The Care and Feeding of Customers
• Return customers need to be recognized as such. Try a little handwritten note to tuck in with a repeat customers order. You don’t need to do it every time but tuck in a small thank you gift as well. A little card offering a discount on their next purchase works wonders. Offer a private sale or showing for customers (and a guest) to show that they are valued.
• Keep in touch with your existing customers. Call or email them; don’t make this a sales call! Think how annoyed you get from people constantly bugging you for business.
• Keep your relationships growing. Let customers know that you truly care for them. Don’t just meet their needs. Anticipate them! You can’t do that if you don’t know them.
• No matter how hard you try you will experience “difficult” customers. Most customers who complain don’t really want their money back, they want what they were promised or expected to receive. They want to be listed to and for someone who cares. A complaining customer is more than a pain in your neck though; they are an opportunity to improve your service, product and image. All at the same time!
Your customers are hungry for information on your new items or services, what shows your work is in etc. Feed them information through a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Start a blog about what you are doing. Facebook is great for community referrals and Twitter is great for your personal branding. Pinterst is really fun in a visual industry. Your posts don’t have to be long or elaborate but should be updated every few days to be effective. Important hint: Remember that social media is everywhere, be aware of what you post and keep it positive!
With proper “care and feeding” your customers can have a wonderful lifelong relationship with you.
-Leah Alden Jaswal