If you want to build loyalty is it more important to increase purchase frequency or purchase volume? In their book, “Meaningful Marketing”, researchers Doug Hall and Jeffrey Stamp concluded that focusing on purchase volume is 3.9 times more effective when trying to build annual loyalty.
Why? Loyalty is not static. Your competitors are always out there, trying to make even your best customers try something new. The research shows that it is best to strike when the iron is hot! When the customer is in a buying mode, help them buy. You may not get another chance later. Hall and Stamp recommend that business owners follow the lead of McDonalds, and think about super sizing the offer.
Give your customers a reason to buy more!
When your customer is ready to buy, give them incentives to purchase more. Long term contracts or larger packages offer you more profit, so pass along some of the savings to customers. Offer incentives, such as discounts on multiunit purchases, to encourage them to buy more now.
Do you want fries with that?
Every time you walk into a McDonalds, and order a hamburger, the person behind the counter asks, “Do you want fries with that?” By simply training their employees to ask the question, McDonalds increased their sales dramatically.
The same technique can grow sales for your business. Do you routinely offer accessories and extra services with every sale? Are these options clearly listed on every proposal with the benefits spelled out for your consumer? If not, it is time to revise your proposal. The research shows that if you don’t mention it up front, you may not get a second chance.
The Meal Deal
McDonalds discovered most customers wanted a drink, fries and sandwich. As a result, they developed a pricing structure that was so attractively that almost everyone buys a “# 1, 2 or 3.
This concept can work for you as well. Bundle accessories and service contracts into the purchase price as standard. Discount the your package only slightly when you leave out an accessory and most consumers will buy the whole package.
Offer “Free Stuff” This bundled approach allows you to offer an extra service ( which costs you very little) “free” with complete system sale.
This bundled approach will help you set yourself apart in the market place as well.
Don’t’ stop with the Meal – Offer a Complete Package
Another tactic is to view your product from the customer’s perspective. What will they need to maximize the use or enjoyment of your product or service? If you offer these related products, either directly or through a strategic partner, your customer has fewer reasons to go elsewhere.
What types of services should you offer? If you sell a product to new homes, consider offering a $25 coupon for a landscape company or nursery with every system you sell. Or maybe a gift certificate for carpet cleaning, or floor refinishing. Your customers will appreciate the little extras.
These extra services don’t have to be an expense item for you. Many companies pay referral bonuses. Talk to service provides about giving you the coupons for free instead of the referral bonus. And, if you are smart, you will give them coupons for your services as well.
These are just some examples of ways to grow you your business by building customer loyalty. For other ideas, simply observe successful companies in industries very different from HVAC, and you may learn other ways to Supersize your business.