Make their stay welcome
Q. How can I encourage repeat business?
A. Hopefully, it's with a hearty hello! Beyond that, employing a variety of welcome marketing tactics can earn repeat business and lifetime referrals.
New client welcome packet: Ask questions as you make a patient's first sale, and give them a free, customized packet containing:
* Contact us sheet: Who they should talk to in your store with specific questions, i.e. billing, fitting, reorders.
* Branded gifts: A low-cost, useful promo item, i.e. nail file, refrigerator magnet or measuring tape, with your name, phone number and URL on it.
* Event calendar: A checklist of upcoming educational events, vendor specials and other customer-appreciation dates.
* Helpful resources: A list of resources tied to their specific condition, like support groups and online links to more information.
At the time of initial purchase, capture the patient's contact details to drive ongoing programs designed to bring them back into your store--either in-person or online.
Solidify the new relationship by sending a follow-up:
* Text message: How about a thank-you with a special offer for their next visit or a promotion for an upcoming event?
* E-mail: Personalize the e-mail with their name and other details, and include a link to an online survey asking what they need from your store going forward and how their first shopping experience went. If it wasn't all that great, here's your chance to redeem and improve your outreach to keep the client.
Education-based marketing via in-store events gives your prospective clients what they want--information and advice--while removing what they don't want--a pushy sales pitch.
To further increase referrals and store traffic, strengthen client loyalty, build your image as a recommended authority.
Lisa Wells is an Atlanta-based marketing consultant for the medical industry. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-944-0081.