The lifeblood of any business is repeat customers. We all know that it costs way more to get new customers than it does to activate previous ones, and yet most of us leave repeat custom to chance — casually hoping that they will remember us, remember our details and that our competition won’t have done a better job at engaging them.
But customers are more fickle than ever, markets are moving faster than ever and competitors are increasingly ruthless. So how do you ensure a steady flow of repeat business?
The secret regardless of your industry is finding and keeping automatic customers.
They are very simple programs, products or services that are billed automatically and repeatedly.
They are powerful on a number of levels.
The most common objection by business owners is “a continuity program just won’t work in my industry,” so here are a few examples to get your creativity flowing:
For decades, oven cleaning companies, well-cleaning companies of all kinds, trudged around neighborhoods dropping thousands of leaflets in the desperate hopes of a call. Invariably they were dead all summer and then an influx around the holidays. So the smartest moved on to a subscription service. Charging customers each month by standing order a small fee in return for one oven clean per quarter. The benefit: Customer retention shot up. Customers previously averaged one clean per year now had four. The customer got to spread the cost and book months in advance so they could have their desired slot. No more last minute panicking before the boss and his wife come over!
No matter how organized we are, why do we never have the right replacement light bulb for the lamp that just blew? And why does the store never have it either?! How about our friendly neighborhood handyman popped round once every quarter checked and replaced all bulbs (including the crazy high ones in the ceiling), checked and replaced batteries in the smoke alarms, security system, external lighting, sprinkler system, anything and everything!
When cars were initially financed you had to pay off all the finance over a few years and then you owned the car, you could keep it or sell it and start the process all over again. Then companies got smart, they realized that if they let you hand your car back at any point and switch up to a new model you would stick with them. A different model of continuity.
Traditionally store-bought basics were transformed when a subscription business entered the market and promised to deliver razors to your door with free shipping and handling at your requested frequency. So if you always blunt razors once per month have them delivered to you!
No one likes spontaneous charges. An option would be to introduce a flat monthly fee on a bronze, silver and gold service, and include your most popular services. The bronze service could include; two checkups per year, plus a session with the hygienist. Clearly, we’re not dentists, but you get the idea!
Don’t do the hard work signing a client and then go through it again each month, have a subscription and they continue working with you until they indicate otherwise.
No matter what your business or industry there is a subscription model that will work, get creative and building that recurring revenue!
TCI Business Capital is an invoice factoring company serving businesses across the United States. For more information on factoring, call (800) 707-4845 for a free, no-obligation consultation and quote.