In the Meantime: What Businesses should do In-Between Sales
Not every business can sell to the same customer daily, many must wait months or years before they can connect with a returning customer. This is especially common in amongst the Automotive Industry and in the age of a customer service evolution, it is more important now than ever before to maintain a relationship with customers in order for them to become loyal and return to your business.
This might sound like an overwhelming process but with a little bit of organization and a dash of creativity, you can keep the connection with your customers “in the meantime”.
“In the Meantime” is a very crucial time, this is the time where customers can become influenced by competitors, can need repairs or assistance with their product(s). The importance is for your business to be the go-to company they choose. In order for this process to occur, you must do the following:
Show You Care – Reach out to the customer to ask how their product is working for them, share specials or provide specials to your most loyal or to your newest clients. Do not be like everyone else; make the experience personal. In other words, do not send out a generic e-mail or form via mail, add a personal touch.
Make an Impact. – Do something “out of the box” by giving something free or by throwing something in with the purchase last minute, making a customer feel special can make an impact that can have a lasting effect.
Share in the Holidays – If you send out cards during various Holidays with your business card, you are showing a human element professionally. It also serves as a reminder that your business is “there” for them and brings your business to the forefront of their mind.
Take Part in Your Community Events – Yet another way for your business’s name to continue its presence in amongst the minds of your customers is to sponsor or take part in community events. Since your clientele is not like a coffee shop, in which the same people return to on a daily basis, you need to tap into community businesses in which the same customers do visit daily. Therefore, you remain relevant and create a pride from the customer through association, especially when sponsoring charities.
Sweat the small stuff.
Making small and genuine attempts will be the responsibility of your business, never expect the customer to make the first move, it will not happen. Using provided information customers give when filling out forms, signing-up online etc. Can be an asset to your big overall marketing strategies; however, think how your business can use the same information to Market your business simply and personally, yet effectively. The “small stuff” can make a HUGE difference.
Here is an example that applied to me as a customer of a Dealership, Bruce Auto Group, located in Nova Scotia Canada. In fact, their actions inspired me to write this article and share their smart initiatives with you.
This past September I celebrated a birthday and a week prior to my big day, I received a mailed card from my dealership. The card was the very first card I received for my birthday and as always, I enjoyed going to the mail to see something there besides bills. When I opened it, a customized birthday card read as such:
Adding a personal touch with a hand written signature by Ed Hankinson, who sold the vehicle to us, continues the connection. On the back of the card, it showed their dealerships name and location as well as had a business card inside the birthday card.
This is a wonderful example of the simple things you can do to leave an impression. I know for me, a person within Social Media, constantly trying to share similar ideas daily, I am not easily impressed anymore, since I am usually initiating these types of ideas. Nevertheless, this impressed me.
It was simple, comforting and humanizing. This was not the first time Bruce Auto Group had done something special, they had offered a free tank of gas once the gas tank that was within the new car had emptied. Yes, new cars come with a full tank of gas, but not a second free one. Just like my birthday comes every year, but not every business sends me a card.
This makes a difference, this caused me to share it with family and friends, and put the card on the wall amongst the various birthday cards I had received and left me as a continued happy customer.
Making customers feel as though they matter, even when they are not buying from you at that moment, matters.
Taking time to show appreciation and value to your customer, matters.
If you are looking to increase the number of returning or loyal customers, think about what would make you smile, make you want to return or make your day.
If you want to matter, you need to be memorable, “in the meantime”.
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