The Secret To Repeat Business
Acquiring a new client costs you way more than selling to an existing customer. As a business owner, you should aim to generate as much repeat business as much as possible. The question is how? Well, the secret is in your customer service. Each step of the purchasing journey is an opportunity to show your customers that you care and your chance to give them a reason to come back for more. Acquiring a new client costs you way more than selling to an existing customer. As a business owner, you should aim to generate as much repeat business as much as possible. The question is how? Well, the secret is in your customer service. Each step of the purchasing journey is an opportunity to show your customers that you care and your chance to give them a reason to come back for more.
We’ve broken the customer journey into 6 steps and without getting too in-depth below are simple things you can change in your business operation to leave a positive lasting impact on your customers.
Step 1: Before the first contact
This initial stage is important because you want to right away eliminate all kinds of frictions. It should be easy for people to get in touch with you. This stage is about getting the prospective client to reach out to you, so whether the lead is on your website, social network profile, or storefront, is she able to:
- Understand your services? Your services/offerings need to be easy to understand. Making it easy for your lead to navigate increases your chance of getting an inquiry.
- Find your contact info and reach you? Maybe the lead just has a question or wants to call or chat. You should make that information easily accessible and visible.
- Find that call to action (Book Now, Call Us, Make an Appointment, etc.)? You have to be able to tell your lead what you want her to do when browsing your services. Whether you want her to book online or to ask you a question or even buy, that call to action has to be clear and accessible.
Step 2: First Contact
Now, a connection has been established
- Is the lead left waiting for an answer? Always answer your leads as soon as possible, within 5 minutes if you can. The idea is simple, chances are she is still on the same task and haven’t moved on to something else yet. You’ll be making her life easier by allowing her to deal with the subject at hand right away but you’ll also be the first company she is interacting with. This allows you to set the tone for your competitors.
- Have you established a rapport? When presented with two identical services, people will choose the company they have built some kind of rapport with. There’s no one universal way of doing this but think of a way of asking an open-ended personal question to your leads to get them talking. For example, a wedding professional can ask her bride how she met her soulmate.
Step 3: Initial Communication
Now there’s a conversation going
- What is your tone? Match your tone to your line of business and to the tone of the lead. Some people don’t say much, pay attention to that and match their tone. But that does not mean you have to be cold, it simply means that you understand that they are straightforward. Also, don’t send emojis if you happen to be in the funeral industry. Know your clients.
- Are you actively listening to your leads or are you waiting to start your spiel? This is huge and goes back to creating a rapport. In most cases listening beats talking. Matter of fact, the key to converting a lead into a client usually resides in the lead’s own words. Ask questions and listen.
- Did you thank your leads for reaching out? I know some businesses that send gifts out to their leads. I’m not saying you should too, but at least say thank you. It does not hurt.
- Is it easy for the lead to book your services? Imagine you walk into a grocery store and as you are about to check out, there’s a sign that reads “We don’t take cards and only accept one-dollar bills”. What would be your reaction? Would you go back to that store knowing the hassle it took you the previous time? Probably not. Evaluate your payment process and make it as streamlined as possible. When a customer is willing to give you her money don’t make it hard on her.
Step 4: Fulfilling your promise
The lead is now a client.
- Does the client have a clear understanding of the service you are about to offer? And the timeline that goes with it? Those questions should have been answered at the previous stage. The last thing you want is for your client to realize she had paid for one thing but getting another.
- Are you responsive to the client’s question? Because you booked the client does not mean you are off the hook. You have to keep on being just as responsive as you were before she booked, if not even more. You don’t want the client to think that you were only chasing her account.
- Did you send the client a thank you note or a gift? Again, not necessary but it could be a nice touch based on your line of business.
Step 5: Post-sale
You have rendered the service. Now what?
- Is the client happy? If not, what do you do about it? Your goal here is to make sure, no matter what, that the client trusts you enough to book your services again. I once failed to fully provide a service in one of my other businesses as described in the contract, yet the client left me a 5-star review, simply because of the way my team and I handled the situation.
- Have you properly thank the client? Now, this is not optional. Say thank you. In an email, a handwritten note, a gift, just say thank you.
Step 6: Strengthen the relationship
This is your most important step, but it will be very difficult unless you’ve nailed the previous five.
- Are you keeping in touch with your client? This is not always easy but every business should be doing this. Get your client’s email address, phone number, social account, and check-in. It does not have to be much. It can be a quick text, a comment on a social network post, a marketing email, anything to make sure they don’t forget you. The key is to be consistent because it could take years for that client to come back to refer you. Be patient.
These 6 steps will get you results, I guarantee you that, but you have to make sure you nail each of them and stay consistent.
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