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Following up with your clients is incredibly important in any business especially car detailing. You can’t always expect a certain level of attrition to occur, but you can keep that at a minimum by simply staying in touch with them on a regular basis. People are forgetful, their schedules are full, but if you can send out regular follow-up reminders that they’re due for another detailing and then offer a special along with that reminder, you’ll likely get people to take action. 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.
I recently read about a salon using this strategy to decrease the amount of clients that never returned. 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 “haircut time.” The last letter they sent was a referral letter that gave a voucher to reward both the current client and new one with a 50 percent discount off their next visit.
As a detailer, you implement strategies like this yourself. You may already be doing it to some degree, but most businesses do not. This is your chance to get ahead of the competition. Your first goal should be building a database of all your clients. Next is to stay in contact with them. You could use the system that the salon owner uses or you could send out a monthly newsletter with your local community news.
I would definitely implement the reminder strategy into your mailing. 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 (I will discuss a system I use in my next article). Many people use Microsoft Outlook as a tool for doing this. Create a postcard that reminds the customer that she is due for another detailing; along with the reminder, offer a special discount that she can take advantage of for a limited time.
Referral mailings are also a great idea to keep your current customers coming back, but make sure you’re not just giving away 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 in the next month, send out greeting cards with a special Labor Day promotion.
Be creative, be personal, but most important- be consistent in your mailings.
Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach