Thursday, 29 January 2015

Published 09:29 by with 0 comment

The one question every service provider should ask their customers

Before stepping into the deep waters of customer acquisition and retention, let me tell you how I became a returning customer at a hairdresser. It was a nice summer day. I looked at the mirror and decided to have a haircut. I called my regular hairdresser to set an appointment but had no luck – she was fully booked for the rest of the week (at least for the appointments that could’ve fit my schedule). I needed the haircut badly, as my family later confirmed, so I made a few calls and got another hairdresser.

Long story short the haircut was way better than what my regular hairdresser could do and the environment was more appealing as well. However one does not simply throw away their well-established partnership with a service provider. My decision to change was based on an important psychological factor. I felt cared. And to create this feeling the hairdresser only needed a little proactivity.

He told me: “Your hairdo will hold its shape for 21 days. If you were satisfied, may I book you an appointment for around that time?” Of course I said yes! Bang, I’d just become a returning customer.

According to my quick survey more than half of the service providers are waiting for the customer to schedule another appointment and not using this simple sales technique to encourage them to return. This kind of approach – to actively try to invite the client to another appointment – requires a little bravery and minimum effort and, at the end of the day, can result in huge success when it comes to returning customers.

In almost every part of the sector there are services similar to haircuts, needed by customers on a regular basis (e.g. private yoga or Pilates classes, Swedish massage, regular health checks, hair coloring, etc.).

Here are some tips how to motivate clients towards returning:

Because of X, Y and Z your body posture is unhealthy. This could lead to pain and joint problems. We could prevent it with a well-structured, 6 month therapy. If you liked my private Pilates class, I can schedule your next appointment.”

“As I understood from our conversation, you are living a stressful life. This massage you just had works to fill up your energy reserves, before any serious stress inducing event (meeting, conference, race or contest). Would you like to schedule something to prepare you for these?”

“Your body has a wonderful shape, it just needs a little sculpture. If you are interested in having a V-shaped body, I am currently forming a new group where we are learning strength training and nutrition together. Would you like to join?” 

To transform a new client into a returning customer you need to set a target that relies heavily on their original motivation of visit. This target needs to be simple, accomplishable, inspiring and original enough to create the feeling of care. Do not wait for them to make the call or to pop in at some time. Make them feel good, set a goal and create an inspiring environment for your customers. They then will more likely to return and stay with you and your services as a loyal client in the long run.

About the Author: Balazs Monos is the founder of Reserveline, a marketplace that lets service providers sell their unscheduled appointments to potential customers at discounted prices. Balazs has spent 7 years in sales and marketing in both B2B and B2C fields. He offers free consultations on client acquisition and pricing strategy for local service providers from and around London.

Also find him on Twitter! @reserveline


Post a Comment