Service Business + Repeat Customers
5 Ways Your Service Business Earns Repeat Customers
Okay, so your business is about providing services; not selling products. Perhaps you run a salon or a spa. Maybe you offer delivery or shipping services. You do tours; or run a car mechanic shop, manage a dry cleaner, fix shoes, help people file taxes, or solve their legal problems. There are many, many small and medium businesses that offer services … and yet you are finding the competition tough, or you want to grow your business faster.
What does it take to get beyond your current business growth rate and into faster growth? You need a winning formula.
Most winning formulas at their core of any successful services business is consistent execution of your services. If you give great service to a customer the first time, they expect it to be great every time. These experiences of consistent services eventually leave small impressions of reliability and predictability, which eventually leads to trust. As long as your customers trust you, you have them. Remember, statistics show that it’s many times easier to keep a customer you already have in front of you than needing to find new ones.
Here are 5 elements for your winning formula to earn repeat customers:
- Anticipate Customer Expectations – the most common mistake a business can make is to not think about the actual experience you are giving your customers. It happens too often, and it can be a big mistake if it is ignored. So start thinking about what it would be like if you were the customer.
One way to improve your customer’s experience is for you to go through the experience and actually try it out yourself. You might find a process not working well, or you have some staff that is not able or knowledgeable to deliver the kind of experience you would want. This may mean giving some positive encouragement and training might, or even financial incentives to help your staff to stay focused on delivering high customer expectations. Whatever you discover and whichever way you intend to improve keep in mind that you need to map your service offering to the customer experience.
- Make it Easy as You Can – your customers will walk away fast if there is any unacceptable resistance to doing business with you. You should think about all the possible resistances that your customers might experience and then solve them to the best of your ability. Things like easy to park with close access to your physical location. For example, a dry cleaning business in a shopping mall is a poor location because it takes too much effort for most customers to just drop off their dirty clothes and carry on with their day.
Another way to make it as easy as you can is how you price your services. For example, if you offer a base price for doing individual tax returns, and then price out each form that may be needed, it gets very complicated for the customer to understand how much they will be paying. Bundling services together into single pricing or packaging streamline the purchase decision, helping you scale your business faster.
And one other way in which you can make it easy as you can for your customers, is to give them just a few options. Perhaps as part of your close you could offer them two options with two prices, and then the decision is ultimately theirs to make, rather than you coming across as if you know what’s best ultimately taking the decision out of the customer’s hands.
- Deliver Consistent Execution – every time a customer uses your business you need to deliver the same high level of service to meet their expectations every time. Consistent delivery is critical to getting customers to return often. If you are a growing services company and you hire staff to deliver the services, make sure they are fully trained and that they understand the need for consistent delivery, just as if you were delivering the services yourself.
- It’s About What They Remember – think about your customer’s take-aways. What will they remember once the services were delivered? Is it the friendly atmosphere or the feeling of good value? Maybe you should go back to a few of your customers and ask them what they remember about their experience. This is how your create brand equity. Customer value is about a balanced combination of price and quality of service you deliver.
- Provide Incentives To Help Them Think About Future – to really lock in repeat customers, increase their value experience with an incentive. Perhaps it is an extra service option for free, or a discount on the overall price. Also, don’t wait until late in the sales conversation to mention the incentive. Tell the customer at the beginning of your conversation, or even place some discreet signage at your business.
So perhaps now is the time to turn up the volume on your business. With these ideas in mind, along with really good execution, you can create positive word of mouth in your market to generate repeat business and scaled growth – your winning formula!