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Keep customers coming back for more

September 02, 2009
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Following up with clients is incredibly important in any business, but especially for car detailing. Maintaining a car’s condition depends upon not only on your service menu, but also how regularly you are able to treat the vehicle.

Stay in touch

While you can’t expect to keep every customer, you can keep your losses at a minimum by simply staying in touch on a regular basis. You can combat busy schedules, laziness and forgetfulness by sending out periodic reminders along with a “call to action” coupon special for services.

Dentists often use this tactic to provide reminders of appointments. I get a postcard from my dentist about a week before I’m scheduled to go in for my checkup and cleaning. This creates top of mind awareness in the eyes of your clients.

I recently read about a salon that used this strategy to decrease the amount of clients that were lost. They went into their client database and implemented a three-letter system.

  • The first letter included a free offer. (One of the most powerful words in marketing is “free.”)
  • The next letter was a simple reminder that it was getting close to time for a haircut.
  • The last letter included a referral voucher that rewarded both the current client and new one with a 50 percent discount off their next visit.

Make your own letter campaign

This is your chance to get ahead of the competition. Your first goal should be to build a database of all your clients. Next, develop a system for staying in regular contact with them. You could use the three letter or card system that the salon owner uses. Don’t forget to use powerful headlines that get your customer’s attention when creating postcards. (For headline ideas, I suggest reading “The 100 Most Powerful Headlines Ever Written.”)

Postcard mailings are very inexpensive to create and send out. You need to make sure that you have a system that will give you reminders of when to send out each mailing. Many people use Outlook as a tool for doing this. I use a powerful greeting card system called Send Out Cards to create greeting cards and postcards for my own clients. This system is incredibly effective because it allows me to create greeting card and postcard campaigns that automatically go out on a regular basis to my current clients. I have a part time assistant that can take new clients and add them to my card campaign list inside the program database.

You can implement this system easily into your detailing business, reminding your customers that they are due for another detailing. Along with a reminder, offer a special discount that they can take advantage of for a limited time offer.

Referral mailings are also a great idea, to keep your current customers coming back, but make sure you’re not just giving out money. Create a gift certificate or special discount coupon for their next visit.

You should always be thinking of ways to keep your current clients coming back.

The most important thing is to stay in touch. As I mentioned, people are very busy these days. They will forget about you if you’re not constantly staying in touch. I like to send greeting cards and postcards out to my clients just as a way of saying thank you. I also will occasionally send out holiday cards. With Labor Day coming up, send out greeting cards with a special Labor Day promotion.

Be creative, be personal, but most important- be consistent in your mailings. For more information about creating your own greeting card and post card marketing system in your detailing business, download a copy of my free report, The Referral Card Sales System when you visit

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at

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