Turn a good customer into a loyal customer in 7 steps
1. Know your customers
You don't need a steel-trap memory to remember your customers, their families, sizes, tastes and preferences. This information can be gleaned from an index card file of sales slips organized by customer name. Or link a computerized database to your cash register. Either way, this information helps you keep in touch with and serve your customers.
2. Inform your customers
Say you own a wine store and you just received a shipment of Cabernet Sauvignon. Go through your files to see who buys Cabernet Sauvignon and send them a postcard or letter about it. Reference the fact that they've bought this from you in the past, then offer to hold some for them for a few days. Since you're loyal to them, they'll be loyal to you.
3. Help your customers
Write a monthly, quarterly or even semi-annual letter to keep customers or clients informed about issues that might relate to them. Changes in the tax code. Computer-software compatibility problems. Whatever. Give people information they can use and they will think of you as a resource.
4. Surprise your customers
Send your best customers a gift certificate in the off-season or a useful premium with your name on it. Since they haven't asked for this and haven't "earned it" through some points program, they are surprised and delighted.
Which brings us to-
5. Delight your customers
Go beyond birthday and anniversary cards and gifts. Write a spouse to remind him or her that the special occasion is coming up. Also let the spouse know that you have some great gift ideas in stock.
6. Thank your customers
"Please" and "Thank you" may be the most powerful words in the English language. Use them in the mail. A sincere thank-you letter following up a purchase is always appreciated. Say, "Please let me know if there's anything else we can do for you," and customers may take you up on your offer.
7. Reward your customers
Maybe you give out punch cards with offers of a free ice-cream cone with every ten purchased. Call it a "Membership Card," take some personal information before you give it out, and use the mail to take the reward program to a higher level. Maybe send members of the program a card on their birthday, with an offer of a free sundae. The card becomes a symbol of a more personal relationship.
If you're loyal to your customers, they'll be loyal to you. There was a time when a woman could walk into a store and be greeted with "Good morning, Mrs. Jones. Those jelly beans that Junior likes came in this morning. Should I pack some up for you?"
Even today, people appreciate that kind of treatment. The mail is a great way to deliver it. Here's how the mail can help you:
- Know your customers
- Inform your customers
- Help your customers
- Surprise your customers
- Delight your customers
- Thank your customers
- Reward your customers
Simple Formulas is a series of publications offered by the United States Postal Service and sponsored by Zairmail. Zairmail is an authorized online affiliate of the United States Postal Service.