“You’ve heard it before: the importance of after-sale marketing… that extra time you spend with the customer after the sale. It’s when you get to reinforce the value of doing business with you in the customer’s mind, and help avoid buyer’s remorse. And it’s a terrific way to earn referrals.
It isn’t a new concept. In fact, ATRA’s been recommending after-sale marketing in various ways for years. And some shops have taken full advantage of that process to help build their brands in their customers’ minds.
Take Scottie South, owner of Scottie’s Transmission in Amarillo, Texas. Here’s what he has to say about an after-sale marketing technique he picked up from ATRA:
“I first opened my shop in the fall of 1972. Six month later I received a membership promotion flyer from ATRA, with a western cartoon and a headline that said, ‘There’s Gold in Them Tharr Transmissions!’ It may have been a little corny, but it caught my attention.
“I signed up, and a few weeks later I received my membership package with all sorts of goodies inside. One of those items was a sample thank-you card to send to my customers after a sale.
“I began using that card right away, and have used it ever since. I haven’t changing a word in over 40 years. I sign each one and address the envelope by hand. I think sending it out like that adds a personal touch that people respond to.
“I don’t add any discounts or special gimmicks to the message; just a thank you. But that simple message has earned me a lot of lifelong customers.”
Here’s what the message says:
…for having given us the opportunity to serve you!
You have our assurance that we will make every effort to maintain our friendly relationship and merit your continued confidence and good will.
A simple message that shows customers how much Scottie appreciates their business. Not much wonder he’s earned so many lifelong customers from that!
There’s one other thing that Scottie’s doing to help reach out to his customers… something he may not even realize is having an impact: He always uses a postage stamp to mail his cards instead of a postage register.
A lot of people sort their mail based on the postage: those bearing a bulk mail indicia (the postage marking that’s printed right on the card) go right in the trash. First class postage registers might get glanced at. But a stamp makes a statement and it draws your eye. And it gets opened and read.
If you’re thinking about adding thank you notes to your business procedure, take a ride over to your Post Office and buy a sheet of a nice, commemorative stamps; one that’s interesting and eye-catching. You’ll be amazed at how often that simple gesture reaches your customers… and earns their referrals.