Repeat customers: why they matter and how to get them.

 In 5. Pricing, Money and Profits

Summary

In this section of the ‘Pricing, Money and Profits’ module, we look at increasing your profitability with repeat customers. 

Cleaning business owners often focus their attention on getting new clients, whilst overlooking the potential in their list of past customers. Past customers are leads too and, as you already have their details on file, you don’t have to pay for them! 

Every time a customer returns to you, your ROI improves. 

John Braun’s System

We spoke to John Braun, carpet cleaning business owner and expert cleaning advertiser, who has put together a three-step system you can apply to all of your direct marketing to stimulate repeat business:

    1. Remind your past customers about you. 
      Make sure your customers know your company name. If they don’t know how to spell your company name or if they don’t remember it they will never going to be able to look you up and find you on Google next time they need your services.
    2. Educate them about all of your services.
    3. Stimulate referrals.

But how do you apply this system to your marketing? Here are a few examples of how this will encourage your existing customers to come back for your services again and again: 

Example: Reminder leaflets or postcards

  1. Remind your customers about you. 

Get some leaflets or postcards printed that remind your customer of your business. It could say something like: “We haven­­’t been out to see you in a while, do your carpets need cleaning soon?” You could also incentivise them with a time-limited offer, such as “Book your next carpet clean in the next 10 days and receive 10% off” which should see you booking up that diary fast! 

Remind them of the benefits of your services, such as their carpets lasting longer with regular maintenance, or how often carpet makers recommend to have it done and your home is going to be healthier. 

  1. Educate them about all of your services. 

Perhaps that client has only ever used you for carpet cleaning. Are you confident they know about all the other services you offer? It’s as simple as popping in a line saying “Did you know we can also clean your gutters, hard floor and upholstery?” That way, if they are not looking for a carpet clean, you might prompt them to book another service.

  1. Stimulate referrals. 

Don’t forget to share your referral program with them. This is an extra incentive that rewards them for sending their friends and family to you for a service. They will forget about this if not reminded!

Other touchpoints you can try:

  • Gift cards
    Share gift cards with your current clients that give them an offer such as “£25 off your next clean.” That way, they know they’ll get a discount if they use you again. These can also stimulate referrals, as customers can pass them on to friends and family.
  • Email marketing
    Email marketing can be used in a similar way to your reminder leaflets, with the added advantage that it is cheap to do and easy to automate using services like Mailchimp.
  • Text messages
    If you use texts, make sure you do it in moderation and with permission. Similarly to emails, these can be automated, so you can drop a reminder message one year after their last clean, for example.
  • Facebook posts and ads
    Post the same messages from your direct mail onto your Facebook, too. Normal posts are completely free to you and will be shared with your current audience. You have the option to run ads too. We discussed Facebook retargeting ads in this blog.

Key takeaways:

  • You need to remind your past customers of who you are or they might end up going with someone else next time they need your service. 
  • Educate them on all of your services, or they might not know you can help them.
  • Incentivise your past customers to send you referral business.
  • Ensure that you do all three of these steps in all of your marketing messages to your past customers.
  • Repeat these messages on a periodical basis; stay in front of your past customers – they are valuable to your business. 

If you’d like to learn more about John’s advertising service, you can get details here.

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