Your job gets a lot harder without returning customers, so staying in touch with previous clients is a no-brainer
Customer relations are the backbone of any business. Without returning customers, you are constantly trying to find new business. And as we all know, there are only so many customers to sell to.
If you take service out of the equation, the best way to retain customers from year to year and job to job is to stay in front of them. There are so many ways to do this, so feel free to get creative with it.
The oldest and most constant way to stay in front of your customer is through mail outs of pens, Post-it notes, etc. — basically anything that would sit on their desk every day. Without a doubt, I will bet that at one point in your life you have had a TD Bank pen. You may not bank there, but you may have picked one up from a vendor or employee. They are everywhere. I can only hope that Royal Flush pens spread that much.
Newsletters are a great way to constantly stay in front of your customer. Through services like Constant Contact, this is really easy to do. It obviously takes time to set up your database and to provide content for the newsletter, but a newsletter is a great way to inform customers of new products, new employees and important milestones in your business. It can be done monthly or quarterly, but consistency is really the key.
Follow-up emails are another great way to stay in front of customers. After a customer gets serviced, a follow-up email can be done a week later to ask how everything went. Each month, routine emails can be sent to customers asking how service has been and if they have had any issues. This summer, I borrowed toilets from Mr. John, a portable restroom company located in New Jersey. I received an email when my toilets were delivered and a second email when my toilets had been picked up. It was such an impressive feature that I looked into copying this at A Royal Flush.
Constant communication does take a lot of time. And it is easy for it to fall to the side during the busy season. So take the thought out of it. Look into services like Constant Contact or find out if your billing system offers automatic emails. The setup takes time but then you really don’t have to think about it.
This is a great winter project. Take time in the off-season to set these systems up. Buy supplies, update databases and set procedures in place. Then, you can easily mail postcards, send brochures with a pen or a cube, and stay in front of customers with just the click of a button.
About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.