Generating repeat business is not that difficult once you understand the three basic components of any interaction. Each service transaction, whether it is face-to-face, over the phone or via a Web site can, and should, start or continue the customer on a journey of lifetime loyalty.
In researching my new book, The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business, I discovered that in the majority of cases, customer loyalty has been secured not by a company, but via a company associate. Whether it’s Mary at the food-mart, Joe at the local bank, John at the mall clothing store or Sally, the dental office receptionist, it’s the relationship that one customer has with one company associate which is key.
‘Welcomers’, those associates that see the customer as a person first, customer second, automatically view their customers as people and take responsibility for ensuring that person has a positive experience. They learn the customer’s name, their likes and dislikes, what they enjoy, where they go vacation, etc. They also communicate their hours and days of work, are proactive about contacting their customers to notify them of an upcoming sale or that they themselves might be going on vacation and will not be available to assist them during a particular period of time.
Unfortunately, Welcomers are rare. There are too many robotic acting frontline associates who do not understand the need to build a connection with customers and to take responsibility for their experience.
Therefore, I developed a tool kit for Welcomer-wannabees to help them think and act the way a Welcomer would. The tool kit is divided into three segments: the Greet, the Assist and the Leave-Behind. Employed together, these three components will help any business generate repeat customers.
Let’s look at the tools for the Leave-Behind:
➢ Thank the customer for his/her business.
➢ Invite the customer to return.
➢ Notify the customer that, if possible, you would like to personally assist them again.
➢ Communicate your work schedule, direct line, etc.
➢ And, it always nice to close with “Mr. Smith, have a great day.”
When these simple tools for the Leave-Behind are appropriately executed, they convey the extremely important message to customers that the frontline associate not only wants to do business with them in the future, but appreciates and values them as a unique individual.