Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Top Tip Tuesday - Keeping your customers coming back for more! The importance of collecting your customers details.

There’s no feeling like it…. Your first sale! And ever other sale after that!
Making stuff is the easy part, getting someone to actually buy it is a whole new ball game.
I’m assuming people are buying your hand made goods because they like them and have bought into you as the maker and shaker.
You can have the best products in the world, but if someone doesn’t like you, they won’t buy it.
Now this is not going to be a post on ‘How to win friends and influence people’. No, it’s about how you keep the customers you have and how to keep them coming back.

You’ve probably noticed that most shops and stores now offer a Loyalty Scheme these days. 1p in every £1 hardly seems worth the effort of carrying around that irritating piece of plastic that seems to be the last card you take out when you need to find it.
That card is not about thanking you for being a loyal customer…. 1p in the £1 is hardly a reward…. No, it’s about collecting your information!
Stores will give you this piece of plastic in return for something….
Your name,
Your address,
Your email address

What they get from you:
A traceable record of your spending habits
(Ever wondered why Tescos knows what products to send you coupons for and why yours differs to your friends?)

A way to send you a newsletter promoting their products many of which you don’t need or want…. Until that vital email comes through! 
Then somehow you need to act quickly! And before you know it < CLICK > SOLD!

Sending you that ‘Irresistible offer’ – You know… the one that you simply can’t refuse.

They’ll send you invitations to wine and cheese evenings  and their sales preview nights as one of their ‘preferred customers’.

They’ll also have your details to sell on to marketing firms and other businesses!

This is not exactly conning you… although you may feel like it once the veil is lifted from your eyes…. But it is a very clever way of keeping YOU as a customer and getting you to return and spend money with them, rather than going elsewhere.

How can knowing all this help you and your small business?

I’m not suggesting everyone rushes out and splashes out on loyalty cards, although this may be a topic for later, but I am going to suggest you at least gather Names, Addresses and emails to build a list of your clients, so that you can at least in the future contact them when you have special offers or new products to offer them.

How do you do this?

If people buy off your website this is easy as all the information you need will come in with your order.
However, what about craft fairs and markets?
A simple notebook or a printed sheet will help you gather your customer’s details.
A simple email now and again or better still a personal postcard will be all that is needed to keep you top of there minds.
We are so heavily bombarded in our email boxes these days a hand written small message on a postcard can mean a lot!
Customers become friends and friends buy and recommend you…. It’s that simple.

A word of warning

And by that I mean, don’t just sell, sell, sell.
The point of collecting customers information is about building a relationship and a following which in turn will build up T.K.L.
Trust and get the customer to know and like you.

Why bother?

If someone has bought from you and it is admired or appreciated, then there’s a very high chance that, the person will buy again.
Keeping a customer is cheaper and far less time consuming than finding a new customer every time.
It makes your customer and yourself feel valued – Win Win!
You can offer your customer products that you know they will like and give them first refusal.
Every time you contact them, you’ll be back in their minds and most probably first on their list when they need something special.
Market research. You can always contact them and ask their valuable opinion about your product or service and how you may improve. People LOVE to help
You can keep them informed of any craft fairs or markets you are visiting and tell them that you’d love to see them again.

Play nicely!

If you want to loose customers probably the best way to do this is to insist they part with their details willy nilly. Avoid this tactic at all costs!
Don’t think for one minute people will hand over this info without there being something in it for them. It’s human nature!
Large store offer incentives for you to have one of their store cards, perhaps extra points or a discount on that purchase.

I know that in your small business, where you’ve cut your prices to the core offering a discount may leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

So let’s look at an alternative:
How about offering entry into a free prize draw to win
(insert a small incentive that won’t make you bankrupt).

In my own business I offer entry into a Wedding Postbox Draw. The draws take place on 21st March, 21st June, 21st September & 21st of December. Entry is free and on the draw forms I ask for
The couples names – So I can email them personally using their first names
Their address – To give me a clue as to their location
Their wedding venue – So I can judge their overall budget and target the marketing to suit their pockets.
The date of their wedding – It’s pointless offering them wedding stationery after the event has long since been and gone.
Their email address – as a point of contact
Their wedding colours and theme – Again for target marketing.

Perhaps you could do something like this in your business? Even if it’s just 1 prize draw a year?

If you sell or make baby items, then the above idea would easily transfer.

You could offer a discount coupon for them to use on their next purchase either at your next craft fair or market or off your website.

With larger more expensive purchases the incentive can be much higher (of course).

What ways do you use to collect customers information?
What incentives do you offer?
What other ways can you think of to make this work for both you AND the client?

Please leave a comment below or come and join us in our FREE Hand Made Yorkshire Collective Page we’d love to hear from you.

Bright blessings & Happy Crafting,
Sue x


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