It takes commitment to run a business, and the commitment of loyal customers keeps our businesses running. So it’s doubtful that any serious (or sane) entrepreneur who delivers great products and services wants most customers to come once and never return.
Statistics show that it’s much more cost-effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones. But we live in a world in which our customers’ e-mailboxes are flooded with deals and downloadable coupons for everything from bracelets for toes to braces for teeth.
Speaking of teeth…
I have a friend who dentist-hops. She peruses the deals in her email for dental cleanings. Every six months, she’s in a different chair. She’ll politely make an appointment for the next cleaning when she leaves. Months later she cancels, promising to call back to reschedule. She never does.
In our current “deal of the day” culture, corporate couponers have capitalized on our shorter attention spans to transform normally polite consumers into a fickle, disloyal kiss- and-run flashmob. Fewer folks want to go steady these days. They even kiss with one eye closed; the other one is frantically searching for the next great deal.
Ask my friend who owns a carpet cleaning business. He’s landed hundreds of new customers by offering deals through popular online coupon companies. He complains that it’s rare for customers to call him back, even if they leave rave reviews online. Why?
“They’re coupon addicts,” he complains. “When it’s time to pay me, they’re literally flipping through a pile of coupons to find mine.”
With customer loyalty on life support, even the best performing businesses and medical practices feel as if they’re, well…beating their heads against the wall to get customers to return. What’s a business owner to do?
Enter the White Knight…
Whenever a problem exists in the marketplace, its solution creates a tremendous business opportunity for someone. I liken it to a white knight to coming to the rescue.
OK, so business owners aren’t exactly damsels in distress. But, you certainly can’t argue that they don’t desperately need help in this environment.
I wondered: Short of hypnotizing customers until they shake their coupon addictions cold turkey, how can local business owners look more attractive than a neighboring business sashaying through Cyberspace wearing a sexy coupon?
The answer was right under my nose. At the time, I was selling data management software to large corporations. Pertinent information is critical for decision-making, and it’s the lifeblood of any strong business.
What if local business owners had access to useful data that gave them valuable insights into their prospective customers? What if these data were paired with an effective method for developing long-term relationships with these customers?
A moving target
Did you know that nearly 20% of Americans move each year? That’s a good thing. Number one, maybe some of the ones moving out of your area are coupon addicts. More important: Do you know what new neighbors mean to a local business?
According to that “useful data” I mentioned earlier, these newcomers will develop approximately 70 new local business relationships within the first six months. My wife, Michelle, and I developed a system with patented technology that has proved to make those new relationships long lasting and is helping business owners.
My commitment to you
During the coming weeks, I will share some of the insights we’ve gained since launching Welcomemat Services™ ten years ago—insights that have helped hundreds of small businesses grow their businesses and can help you grow yours, too.
I hope you will allow me to be your success coach. I invite you to subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss any of these nuggets. There will be opportunities for you to get advice on how to overcome obstacles, and I invite you to share your challenges.
We’re in to win it, long term. Let’s let the other guys keep banging their heads against the wall.