Whether you run a brick-and-mortar shop, online store, or service-based business, it’s easy to assume that you’ve done your job when a customer gives you their money. After all, they got what they wanted or needed, and you’ve been paid for it! That’s how businesses run, right?
But what happens when that customer needs another product or service that you provide? Are they going to come back to you? We’ve seen many cases of customers finding other product or service providers than the one they worked within the first place, and it’s usually because the first business didn’t utilize aftercare marketing.
So what can you do to keep customers coming back? And what the heck is aftercare marketing?
Aftercare: Not Just for the Health Industry
Aftercare is a term used by health professionals to mean that there is more that needs to be done once the patient gets home.
Surgeries sometimes require physical therapy, and patients recovering from illness need a comfortable, safe place to rest and restore themselves.
Because of this, we invented the term aftercare marketing to mean that even though a customer’s original experience with you is done, you still need to market to them, sometimes with more pointed and specific efforts.
Aftercare marketing refers to the act of staying in close contact with the customer, and making sure that they’re still included in your regular marketing efforts in addition to providing them with a different level of marketing.
And no, you can’t do this just with an e-blast – these people have bought from you, and when they did, they placed trust in you. Aftercare marketing is more involved and relies on a business’s interest in keeping that customer.
But why should you get so involved?
Aftercare Marketing Saves You Money
With aftercare marketing, you’ll be retaining a customer and spending much less on advertising.
Don’t believe us? Well, Forbes says it best, “According to a Bain & Company study, 60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them. How can that be? Often it’s due to a lack of connection.”
Nurturing that connection is step one to saving money.
Think of it this way: You place a $500 ad in a newspaper and get 10 new customers. Each of those customers cost you $50 each from the ad alone. Now, add in the extra costs to get each of those customers into your database. That cost includes not only a sliver of the price you pay for your CMS software, but for the time that your employees have to take to get that information together, not to mention the fact that the more time you spend on one customer could cost you time with another customer.
That doesn’t include the marketing aspect.
The ad you placed for $500 is probably not the first ad your potential customers see before they decide to purchase. Over time, the price of a new customer accumulates, turning every person who walks through your door into a higher-value client.
According to the Harvard Business Review, studies suggest that you’re paying anywhere from 5 to 25 times more for a new customer over the cost of a retained customer. That means that for each new customer coming in from our example above, your real price tag would be between $250 and $1,250.
Aftercare marketing helps you keep those higher-value clients so you don’t spend more on them than you have to!
How to Use Aftercare Marketing
When the customer walks in your door, your marketing efforts have worked. Now you just have to sell your brand to them – they clearly want your products or services, or they wouldn’t have come to you. Once they reach the decision to buy, that is the moment that aftercare marketing begins.
While you’re ringing up their products or writing your service ticket, you can also be gathering the materials you’ll need to give aftercare marketing to that customer.
Phone numbers, email or mailing addresses, and even just the collection of a business card can all help you forge a connection with that customer that gives them another reason to revisit your business.
All of these points of contact with this customer gives you the ability to use aftercare marketing on them. For instance, emails and physical addresses are great for requesting reviews. These are also great methods for providing information on referral programs, or sending out holiday greetings.
Possibly the best form of aftercare marketing is to forge a relationship with high quality customer service. Along with referral programs, e-mails, and mailers, a phone call within a prescribed amount of time reminds a customer of not just how much they enjoyed their experience with your business, it also makes them think of who else, or what else, your products or services could be useful for.
Aftercare marketing is unique to every business, so get creative and keep those high-value customers!
Victory Harbin is one of the owners of The Social Brand and is a content strategist. She helps people be smart about using content to get the best results to grow their business.