How do you stay in contact with your customers? I'm guessing most of us use some combination of phone, email, text, and social media. Today, technology has made it easy to stay in contact with our customers, but is it all that it's cracked up to be?
If we want to build lasting relationships with our clients, we need to make them feel appreciated.
It's good to remember that customers have choices. You're not the only groomer in town. There's always somebody ready to fill your shoes if you don't take the time to create and maintain a connection with your clients.
How can you easily foster a long-term personal relationship with your clients?
One great way is to go old school: the handwritten card or note, addressed - by hand - with a stamp on it. It doesn't have to be a long message. Trust me, as simple as this is, it can go a long way towards distinguishing you from the competition!
When should you drop a simple card or note into the mail?
Here are a five ideas.
Thank You Cards
Professional thank you cards are quick, easy, and affordable. They enhance any business or personal relationship. They are easy to do either daily or weekly. They are perfect for new clients - but don't stop there. Take the time to recognize and thank anyone who has referred a new client to you, as well.
Send a card to every new client who uses your services or to anyone who has referred a new customer to you.
Take a moment to personalize the card by recalling one or two positive key features about the pet. Let the pet parent know you are looking forward to seeing "Buffy" in the near future. If you are thanking an existing customer for a referral, make sure you identify who the new client was. Keep it short but make it personal.
Pets have become true members of our families. When they pass, most pet parents mourn their loss. Many are overcome with grief. If the client has been with you for any amount of time, sending a timely, heartfelt sympathy card can go a long way to help ease their pain.
Condolences are offered only in the event of the death of a pet. Sympathy may be expressed for a death but can also extend to those who have suffered from fire, flood, storm, or other natural disaster.
Get Well Cards
How often have you had a client who needed to cancel or reschedule a grooming appointment because of a sick pet? How do you think a client would feel if a get well card came in the mail addressed to the pet? Successful salons know how important it is to let clients know how much you care. Sending a get well card sends a clear message that you care about both the client and their pet.
Most pets benefit from regular grooming on a 4 to 6 week basis. We all know that life gets busy. If a client hasn't pre-booked an appointment, sometimes they need a little reminder that their pet is due for professional grooming. For clients that have gone a week or two beyond their normal appointment time, a simple phone call is typically all you need to do to get them to book another appointment.
However, if the client has gone beyond their two-week suggested rotation, dropping a card in the mail can be the best solution to attract their attention. Over the years, we have found humorous cards are the most effective when it comes to getting a client to rebook a grooming appointment.
Who doesn't like to get a birthday card in the mail? And what if it was addressed to the dog? What if you enclosed is a special gift coupon they could use at their next grooming session in honor of their birthday? How do you think that client is going to feel about your salon?
Most databases allow you to track/sort your clientele by a number of criteria. Many of them allow you to sort by the birthday of a pet. Do a quick sort, then hand address the birthday cards and slip in a gift coupon for a special service.
I have just given you five ideas. However, don't let that stop you from coming up with more! A heartfelt, well-timed card or note can make a huge difference. It's never in poor taste to let clients know you appreciate them.
Here are a just a few websites that supply cards for pet services. There are many more out there. Take the time to find a greeting card or company that matches your brand and resonates with how you feel about your clientele. Once you find the cards that work for your business, stock up on them. It's important to be consistent with the cards you send out. You'll always want them at your fingertips. Here are links to three companies worth checking out.
It Takes Two
With technology taking over most of our correspondence, having a sincere note arriving in the mailbox is refreshing. A handwritten note may be thought of as old-fashioned, but being thoughtful and sincere never goes out of style. Taking the time to send a personalized note or card to the pet's family shows them you appreciate their business. Sending cards is an uplifting way to show your customers how much you value them.
How do YOU build a memorable customer relationship? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us about it!