How To Bring Customers Back

I once interviewed over three hundred associates for a large furniture chain. It was a great education that really came alive while speaking with the delivery crews. I happened to meet an interesting delivery captain. When asked to describe his job, he responded by saying, "Look, I am the most important person in the sales process. I resell every customer on the purchase they made. I tell them how great it looks, and how they made a great selection that their family and friends will admire. There is never buyer's remorse when I deliver some thing."

This beautifully arrogant statement stayed with me. My wife and I recently had a leather sectional delivered to our home in St. Augustine. The delivery captain did a great job. He demonstrated the piece, gave us hints on care, and left his card if anything else was needed. Now, my experience as a furniture customer was eye-opening. I got to thinking, what could be added to this delivery sequence, this exceptional People Media, that would make it even better?

First off, consider the formula created by Jay Abraham that was presented in the March/April 2008 issue of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine. Jay stated that there are three, and only three, ways to increase your business.

  • Increase your number of customers.
  • Increase the size of your tickets.
  • Increase the number of times your customers visit your store.

Moreover, Jay claimed that a mere10% increase in each of these categories will double your volume. Here are some specific ways that will measurably increase your volume in two of these three categories. I'm sure you can brainstorm more improvements to the delivery sequence.

May/June 2008 FURNITURE WORLD 25

Huppe is a Canadian Manufacturer distributing products throughout Canada and the United States since 1967

All of our collections are available in 18 different finishes with accent pieces and upholstered concepts in patterns or solid fabrics in various colors Delivery in tour weeks.

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Tel: 81 9-758-1529 Fax; 800-263-3480

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After Placing The Recliner Or Sofa In The Right place and admiring how great it looks and stating what an excellent buy the customer has made, the delivery captain hands the customer a gift. This gift has three parts.

SUGGESTED SCENARIO: After placing the recliner or sofa in the right place and admiring how great it looks and stating what an excellent buy the customer has made (before thrusting the scary-looking paperwork at her), the delivery captain hands the customer a gift. This gift has three parts. First, it has a lovely thank you card from the salesperson. "Mrs. Smith, your sales adviser, Jane Consultant, asked me to be sure to pass this along to you." Later, Mrs. Smith will learn that inside is a personal note from Jane Consultant thanking her for the purchase, and assuring Mrs. Smith that Jane will personally be glad to help if there is ever a need. Sales persons should look at any future contact with Mrs. Smith, not as an annoyance, but rather as another opportunity to exceed her expectations for quality and service. Inside are a couple of cards from Jane Consultant, and a final little note along these lines: "The greatest honor you can give me is to recommend my services to a friend ... "

Next, the little gift pack contains a small brochure selling your store. Yes, you should have one by now. It is critical that such a "portable website" be handed to every guest who happens into your store. This silent salesperson tells your story and introduces your unique Brand in the best possible way. It makes sense to leave your prospects and customers with a reminder of how great you and your team are. Once the creative work is done, such a flyer is relatively inexpensive. Finally, consider placing other surprises in the "Come Back" package to wow your customer and exceed their expectations. Perhaps include a special coupon or an invitation to your next decorating seminar. This key element in building business has been covered in Margaret DeGange's multi-part Decorating Crash Course series in FURNITURE WORLD Magazine, that is posted to the article archives area on www.furninfo.com. It would also be a nice touch if the delivery captain handed his card to the customer. Or, at least a card stating "Delivered with pride by_____and __

OK, it will be a lot of fuss to create and police a program like this. But, remember that it costs eight times more to get a new customer than to keep an old one. And, if this technique works only one out of ten times in getting a referral or bringing a customer back into your store, it will reach Abraham's ten percent criterion for doubling your store's business!

WILL YOU DO IT?

I got a couple of responses from store owners who wanted to know if I was serious when I wrote that only one percent of people who read Jay Abraham's book will follow his advice. The answer is yes. Only about one percent excel on world-class levels in any given field. To illustrate this, I pass along a little story. Mark Joyner is a top consultant-guru. He tells in his aforementioned book that he once gave a seminar to a few hundred people, and he asked this question: "How many of you have ever heard of Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich?" Almost everyone in the room stood up. "How many of you have read it?" Nearly everyone remained standing. Joyner then said: "If any of you still standing don't believe that following the principles in this book will make you rich and successful beyond your wildest dreams, I want you to sit down right now."

May/June 2008 FURNITURE WORLD 27

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