5 Steps That Will Turn Your Customers into Your Salespeople
What To Do After You’ve Made the Sale?
Think you’re done?
Nope. Not if you want to grow your business. The trick is to turn this sale into more sales and then more…………..
Why is this so important? Because it is said (whoever ‘it’ is) that it is five times more expensive to acquire new customers – than to retain existing ones. According to the Harvard Business School, a 5% customer retention can increase profiles by 25% and even as high as 95% while Marketing Metrics states that the probability of selling a product to existing customers is around 60 to 70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer is only 5% to 20%.
People are tired of the impersonal, are weary of being ignored and want to be heard and acknowledged. Turn this into your advantage and your customers will become your salespeople.
Here are 5 tips that will let your customers grow your business for you.
1. Ask them for their honest feedback
We are all tired of the ubiquitous survey requests in our emails, at the bottom of our receipts at worst of all, by phone. But there are smarter ways to ask and receive feedback. Asking for feedback at the point of the sale, not hours or days later, distinguishing your promoters (those that love your service) from your detractors (those that weren’t satisfied) and responding to them appropriately and, when applicable, tying in a loyalty program. At the very least, ask them.
2. Thank them
Yes, our mothers were right- thank you notes are important. Depending on your business, send a handwritten thank you note, a personal email (not a formulaic one from info@…..com) or call them on the phone. When I worked in commercial design, I gave each new employee a copy of the Nordstrom Way, the bible of customer service. Notice at Nordstroms, the salesperson will always walk around the counter to hand you your package and their business card and often will send a handwritten thank you note. Find a method that works for your business-it is time consuming but the time and effort will pay off in the long term.
3. Reward their loyalty
If a customer refers a client or sends someone into your store, show them your appreciation. Send them a small gift or a discount card for their next visit, provide an unexpected service when they come back- whatever works for your market. But to do this, you need to build a system that tracks your customers’ activities and referrals. I referred 7 customers to a local salon, even walking in when 3 of them were in the salon. I don’t need a gift but imagine the impact if the salon owner had presented me with a free service, a small gift or a discount in front of my friends. Don’t you think the people sitting there would be tempted to refer their friends? If there were 15 people within earshot and each of them referred one friend, who in turn referred one friend………………all new business for the cost of a small token.
4. Listen to them
None of the above will matter if you don’t listen to your existing customers. Smart marketers set up social media alerts to stay on top of any mention of their company. The really smart ones respond to every criticism or complaint, not defensively but with an eagerness to help. When you send a survey read and study the results. If a customer had a legitimate complaint, made a valid comment or an excellent suggestion, follow up with an email, letter or phone call them to thank them for taking the time and acknowledge the legitimacy of their comment. A colleague had an issue with their dry cleaner, couldn’t get the desk clerk to fix it and left swearing never to return. The owner stopped by this person’s house that evening to apologize and to pick up the garment with an assurance it would be fixed the next day. The owner’s effort not only gained a customer for life, but the story spread rapidly throughout this customers social network.
5. Become a customer in your own business
Remember, even though you are an owner, you are a customer somewhere else. Walk through your customers’ experience, from the time they come to your website or walk in your door. How are you greeted? Does the front desk look up at you and greet you professionally, is your website helpful and informative or do you have to look for the information you want? Look at the total experience from a customers point of view and do it honestly or ask friends of friends to do it for you- an ad hoc mystery shopper experiment.
According to SBA data, small business spend an average of 5% of their revenues on marketing which is necessary to get the customer to come through your door or to your website. But to grow, you need these customers to become your advocates, to refer you and to give you honest criticism.
Marcy Hoffman has over 25 years of business development background identifying market trends and building innovative businesses and serves as a consultant to startups and small businesses, helping them crystallize their objectives and build a solid marketing approach. Marcy is the Founder of 13hats, a customer retention tool. Feedback+Loyalty+Marketing+a Bump in Social Reviews. 13hats turns data into dollars.