The allure of new customers can be strong for any retail florist, but the best customer for your business is likely the person who is already shopping with you. (In fact, some experts argue it costs five times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing buyer.)
“Taking repeat business for granted is a mistake,” writes Diane Gottsman, owner of the Protocol School of Texas in San Antonio, for Inc. magazine. “Customers will come and go, often disappearing without ever letting you know why they’re not returning. Be sure to protect the investment you made in earning their business the first time by taking the best possible care of them once they are in the fold.”
What does that care entail? Here are three tips from Gottsman:
Introduce yourself — again and again.
“A customer may have hired you once, but that doesn’t guarantee they will think of you the next time they need the services you offer,” Gottsman writes. “You are competing for their attention amidst a million other distractions every day… If you provide services to other companies and you haven’t heard from them in a while, reach out and let your contact know you would appreciate their future business.”
Keep it fresh.
“Give your customers a reason to shop with you again,” she suggests. “Hone and improve your offerings, and remember to articulate to existing customers what’s new. Changes and updates are more reasons to interact with your client base.”
Surprise and reward them.
“When someone does something above and beyond our expectations, we leave feeling delighted and excited, and will likely tell others,” Gottsman explains. “This can be as simple as remembering a customer’s name or as special as offering a gift on their birthday or another milestone. Reward them for their business by giving them loyalty discounts or extras when they use your services repeatedly.
Read about one shop that has implemented a high tech loyalty program with a customer app —an effort that won the business Floral Management magazine’s 2016 Marketer of the Year honors.