It should be obvious that it costs more to get a new client in the door than to keep selling to an existing one.
But to a lot of businesses, the obvious ain’t obvious.
Barbara who’s in Switzerland right now related these stories about two different retailers which illustrate both ends of the scale rather starkly.
Retailer one is a specialist shoe shop in Bern. Barbara’s mother needs special orthopaedics and shoes which will accommodate them. There’s a lot of fitting/modification involved and the shoes are quite expensive as a result.
They’ve bought shoes and been back a couple of times. On each occasion they had to start from scratch with a different sales assistant. While competent, one was lovely and warm. The other just went through the motions.
The shop kept no records of purchases, fittings and modifications. So you have to go through the whole story again.
Aside: Somewhat akin to dealing with your bank or large telco when stuff goes wrong and you have to keep repeating your story. Aggravating!
Contrast this with the local sports shop in Interlaken (where Barbara’s mother lives).
Barbara grew up on skis. But only being there intermittently in winter she decided to hire equipment on days she wanted to ski.
After hiring the equipment the first time, she now just rings them and they get everything ready for her with no fuss.
Couple of days ago she walked in. Even though everyone was serving others they all acknowledged her and carried on.
The owner came down, and an assistant told him it was Mrs Sauter and he immediately looked up her record and said, “We have all the equipment here, ready to go.”
Barbara wasn’t sure if she was going to go – depended on the weather the next day, so he said, “That’s okay, we’ll leave the kit outside next to the garage, you just pick it up this evening if you want it and pay us when you drop it back.”
She did. Had a great day. And when returning them the boss remembered her name even though he’d only seen her once.
Barbara’s singing their praises and recommending them to whomever she meets. And if she did decide to buy skis, where do you think she’d go?
Contrast this with the shoe shop. By not keeping records it’s missing out on a major opportunity to keep in contact with their clients.
Shoes wear out. Fashion changes. How many of their clients would come back if enticed with an offer? Especially knowing that the shop had all their fitting requirements on file making the whole process run smoothly?
The ski shop asked Barbara when she was likely to come back and kept the package together so she didn’t have to be fitted each time. And recognising her skill level, they gave her top class professional skis for the same price as ordinary ones.
It’s often the little things you do for your clients that they remember. The old adage applies. “It’s not what you know, it’s how you make me feel.”
Culture comes from the top. It’s up to you as the boss to decide how you want to treat your clients and then ensure that message goes down the line. And enforce it.
And of course it should go without saying, but you must have a way of capturing client details. Then you can follow up and get them coming back for more.
Want help putting together a system to do all this? We’re only a phone call away. Call Rashid on 0414-913-334.