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Repeat Customers are Gold; How do you close the Golden Sales Loop?

Make a Customer not a Sale

The best way to maintain a profitable business is to close what we call the “Golden Sales Loop.”

Every. Single. Sale.

Golden Sales Loop

 In our blog post Ash to Cash; Make a Customer not a Sale, we commented on this as follows;

“…we take the long view with our customers. We want to make a customer and not just a sale. Every business needs a sustainable income stream to survive. Customers should be valued. If you consistently:

  • deliver excellent service or product,
  • deliver excellent customer care, and
  • keep in touch with your customers,

then you will have closed what we call the Golden Sales Loop.

The Start of it all: Excellent Product or Service

You’ve got to keep improving your product or service. No amount of sales and marketing hype will disguise a poor product or service. You can always change for the better to respond to customer demands, no matter how good you think your offering is. For example, if you run a Bed & Breakfast, improving your product could include:

  • complimentary WiFi, or
  • adding pancakes/ waffles/ scones / whatever-would-be nice to the breakfast menu, or
  • selection of daily newspapers in the breakfast room or lounge, or
  • providing non-slip velvet clothes hangers…

You are only limited by your imagination here and you don’t have to spend a lot of money or even any money at all to improve. Just make sure your changes add value and deliver what the customer either wants or likes. And don’t forget to use your imagination, because as Henry Ford said, “If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a "faster horse".

Customer Communications, Closing the Golden Sales Loop

Customer service doesn’t mean that you only respond to complaints, you should respond to suggestions also. We also run a self catering holiday cottage business, and many of our customers fill out our customer feedback forms. One customer suggested that we put torches in the cottages, so that they could safely walk to and from the local pub in the evenings. This was a really practical, easy to implement suggestion, and we bought the torches. It cost €24 a few years ago, and since then, many guests have used them and commented favorably. We care about guest safety.

We closed the Golden Sales Loop here by sending a personal “thank you” note to the customer who made the suggestion about torches, (he had waived his anonymity on the customer feedback form.) We then put an article in the next customer newsletter to inform our customers about this and other customer suggestions that we had implemented. There is no point in providing great service if nobody knows about it! And it also demonstrates that you respect and value your customers, and that you don’t take their custom for granted. You are in a cycle of continuous improvement, and that closes the Golden Sales Loop, and yields real sales from real customers.  The cost of acquiring a new customer tends to be high, so it makes sense to spend a little time and money on customer retention. 

Repeat Customers are Gold; how do you close the Golden Sales Loop?

 



Comments (2)
  • Bear Files  - Good recipe for long-term success
    Helen, that's a great long-term approach... I like your focus on quality, innovation and then communication to close the loop. After 16 years in business I think I'm practicing most of your points, but follow-up communication is the area I need to work on most. This post inspires me to focus a bit more on that aspect in the future! You did confuse me with the term "torches" but I'm guessing that's what we yanks would call Flashlights. Great work here!
  • Helen  - Thank You
    Hi Bear, yup ~ we use the term "torches" this side of the pond for what you term "Flashlights" on that side of the pond. Follow-up is a weak point for most of us, possibly because it doesn't solve an immediate problem. Thanks for the comment and hope you stop by again soon :)
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