Customer retention

Monday, July 25, 2011

Q. Can you grow a business without new customers?  

A. One simple and occasionally overlooked aspect of running a business is ensuring that the customers who have purchased once will continue to purchase in the future. Companies are constantly marketing for new referral sources and putting efforts toward gaining new customers. Unfortunately, this often results in neglecting your current customer base. By showing your current customers that you value their individual needs, you will increase their loyalty and ensure they will contact you again in the future. These steps could be as simple as a follow-up phone call or a letter to communicate that you are grateful to have them as a patient. Once they know their business is appreciated, they are inclined to bring you more.

The first element of nurturing your existing clients occurs internally based on employee training and motivation. Make sure your staff members share the same commitment to a positive customer experience. When the client walks into the store, are they greeted by a personable welcome or a casual glance from a disinterested and overworked receptionist? Also help your clients feel at home with a brief office orientation. Introduce them to the staff, show them where the coffee pot and bathrooms are, and help make them comfortable to ask their questions. Listening to and understanding each customer's individual request will increase their confidence level in your staff and your store.  

Another way to develop a better shopping experience is to take a look at your store from a "patients' eye" view. When purchasing medical supplies, does your store reflect energy and optimism? Or does it seem drab and make the experience that much more intolerable? The general atmosphere, look and feel of your store can increase the energy level and comfort of your existing and potentially future clients.

Jennifer Sowards is COO of HME Providers, Inc. Reach her at or 321-267-7576 ext. 222.