Improve Long-Term Customer Retention

Just because you’re hot on the trail of your next big client doesn’t mean you can afford to let current customers fall by the wayside. Here are some quick tips to help keep your regulars happy.

Be consistent. Pricing alone doesn’t make a repeat customer. Instead, a shop needs to offer the right mix of customer service, quality work and prompt turn time, and it needs to be able to do all of that reliably. “We don’t set out to try to do a single order excellently,” says Andy Shuman, general manager of Topton, PA-based Rockland Embroidery Inc. (asi/734150). “We set out to grow a client with strong, consistent service.”

Anticipate needs. Working on multiple jobs for a customer gives you the opportunity to discover ongoing needs and potential problems. Offer solutions before your customer thinks to ask. Shuman calls it a matter of “working with customers.”

Nurture relationships. Don’t forget about a customer once you’ve made a sale. Keep in contact, and show you care even when you’re not in the middle of a transaction.