O.K., so you’ve worked like crazy advertising your business, attracting positive attention, using every marketing technique you’ve learned, and doing everything right. So it seems. Because you’ve had a tremendous increase in new customers, but you lose them. They never come back.
You designed your advertising so well and marketed so wisely that you’re shocked at how your customers ignore you. You treated them courteously while they were in your store. You gave them a fair price and ensured that your staff produces a quality product. Basically, you made service your middle name. You smiled and used their name when you said good-bye, thanking them for their business.
And then, after all that caring attention on your part, they completely ignored you. Never set foot in your store again.
Do you want to know why they ignored you? Why it was so easy for they to forget about your cleaners?
It’s because you ignored them. It’s because you made one transaction and then made the grave, but all-to-common, error of thinking that your marketing job was over. That can be a terrible mistake. But at least you’ve got a lot of company making the same mistake. Nearly 70 percent of business lost in America is lost due to post-sale apathy. This “love’em and leave’em” attitude can be fatal to your bottom-line.
What can you do to make sure those new customers keep coming back? The opposite of apathy is follow-up. Develop a “love’em and love’em” attitude: market to prospects like crazy until the sale is made, then continue marketing to them like crazy after the sale. Apathy never has a chance to set in because customers never feel ignored.
Do everything in your power to intensify the relationship with caring follow-up and loving attention. Once you establish a genuine relationship, your service is no longer thought of as a commodity. Cleaners who sell their services as a commodity usually lose customers to lower priced competitors.
Cleaners who develop warm relationships with their customers go beyond being thought of as a commodity and are able to maintain their customer relationships with good service and constant contact. It’s no wonder they don’t lose business very easily. People want relationships. They want the businesses they patronize to stay in contact with them. They want to feel cared for and not ignored.
Astute cleaners know that their customer relationships are their most precious assets. They know that if a customer comes to them one time and has an enjoyable experience, they’re very likely to come back again, and again, providing many referrals over time.
As a way to foster this kind of relationship, it’s a good idea to send a “Thank You” note within 48 hours after their initial visit. About a month later, contact them again, to make sure they are completely satisfied. Get in touch with them about three months later to let them know about other services or specials. Three months after that, make another contact. This is a continuous process that will build life-long relationships for your company.
This kind of follow-up not only prevents apathy from setting in, but also increases business anywhere from 20 to 300 percent. Customers, in their hearts, silently hope for recognition, acknowledgement, information, and, even, advance opportunities to take advantage of specials.
Instead of the kind of apathy that loses customers forever, constant attention and follow-up results in healthy back-end sales, in other words, repeat, ancillary, and referral sales. And this means big profits to you because it costs six times more to sell something to a new prospect that to sell the same thing to an existing customer.
All of the marketing experts ask you to calculate the lifetime value of a customer. If you don’t understand the damaging effects of apathy after the sale, that lifetime value is pretty small. If you do all in your power to prevent apathy from ever setting in, the lifetime value of each customer will continue to increase.
You’ll profit from the initial sale, from the repeat sales, from the referral sales, and form a long mutually beneficial relationship. All of this can only happen when you overcome apathy. And now you know how to do that.