We all know that making a sale is exciting and is what brings home the bacon. The sale, however, is not what makes most businesses profitable. By profitable I am referring to long term success. It is the customer relationships that make businesses profitable. More specifically, what happens after the sale is usually what is crucial in maintaining most businesses. Without good customer/client relationships most businesses would fail. I say “most” because I’m sure there is an exception or two to this rule but the majority of businesses do rely on at least 3 things: repeat customers, referrals and good recommendations. Make sure that you keep a database of incoming customers and clients with their contact information. Here are 5 ways to maintain good rapport with your customers after the sale:
1. Send a thank-you. After the sale, send your client or customer a thank-you note and or gift depending on your budget and what service or product you offer. This gives the customer the feeling you see them as a new friend not just a dollar sign. They will think of you again, which is your ultimate goal. I don’t suggest including coupons or anything promotional as this takes away from the sincerity of your actions. There will be opportunities later on for those activities.
2. E-Newsletters & Social Media – get customers to join you in your social media communities as well as sign up for your e-newsletter. Include the latest news and updates in your company as well as links to the latest article you wrote on your blog or elsewhere. This will give you the opportunity to stay in constant connection with your clientele. Not only will you stay in constant contact, you will be the first company they think of when someone they know is looking for the product or service you provide.
3. Postcard, Brochures, other print media that may be appropriate to your business. I know in this day and age a lot of people feel that print advertising is dead. I don’t completely agree with that. I feel that because print media may be taking a back seat in this technological world of social media, online directories and other online advertising, it is a favorable option in your marketing plan and customer relations management. The fact that it is becoming the least used media for advertising and marketing may give you the leg up when utilizing it. When a customer or client gets a piece of print media from you it gives a more personal impression. You aren’t just spamming them with random email ads, you are taking the time to design, address (yes I do recommend writing out the address to the addressee) and put a stamp on a postcard, letter, brochure or whatever it may be.
4. Offer referral discounts. When creating your marketing calendar input an opportunity to send out a coupon offering a discount or gift certificate when customers or potential customers refer you. You can choose to distribute your coupon either through social media or print or both. Make sure you include a coupon code for tracking your marketing and instruct them to make sure their friends mention them when contacting you.
5. Finally, refer your customers and clients to others. Get to know your clientele, find out what they do, ask for a business card, whatever you have to do to get more info from them. Then file that information accordingly and be sure to refer them out during your day to day business as well as to your familiar sphere of influence. Your clients will be extremely grateful and will either continue to utilize your services or products if need be or they will be sure to refer you out to their sphere. One hand washes the other.
Thanks again for reading and if you have any other great ideas or suggestions that are vital to maintaining relationships after the sale please comment!