I recently attended a seminar for business owners and in a customer-focused break out session, I heard a story that resonated with the entire room:
A woman in my session had purchased her dream car and absolutely loved it. Of course, she loved her car, but her story about the experience is what hit. The dealership had sales reps dressed in all black. A bit more casual than she had seen before, but she loved the vibe. They had fun music pumping throughout the showroom and the atmosphere was upbeat, fun, and celebratory. They even covered her new car with a tarp, called everyone into a room, pulled off the tarp to show the new car and everyone cheered and congratulated her. It was perfect. She continued to go back for 2 years for service and would even buy accessories while she waited. Until her last visit…..
On her final visit, something had drastically changed. The cool black outfits were replaced with ill-fitted and wrinkled dress shirts. The fun music was replaced with bad yacht rock and a general atmosphere of dread. Nobody was smiling nor making eye contact. There was coffee spilled on a desktop and leftover pizza boxes from the night before were in the cube next to the split coffee.
Needless to say, it sounded horrible and she never went back. The dealership went through an ownership change and it clearly was a setback. Outside of the obvious mistakes above, what makes a long-term customer:
How to keep a long-term client
- Communicate: make sure you send meaningful communications. Not just pricing. Include product updates and service updates available to your clients.
- Be Honest: sometimes pricing doesn’t work or contract terms change. Stay ahead of miscommunication and let your client know where you are in the process and where they stand.
- Empathy: Remember important facts about your client’s needs. Get a great CRM and keep notes.
- Reward: reward your clients with loyalty programs and incentives.
- Stay in Touch: remember birthdays, and anniversaries and provide important industry updates.