As a screen printing business owner, you’re probably always on the lookout for new customers. But don’t neglect your existing ones – retain them!
The reality of building a fanbase is that you can’t just rely on filling your customers’ orders on time and for a great price. While reliability, quality and price are important factors, you have to provide your customers with exceptional service that makes you their go-to screen printer.
Get to Know Your Customers
Go beyond just taking down your customers’ order specifications; get to know them and their businesses. That means taking the time to make a phone call or stop by their office rather than relying on a quick email to communicate and chatting with them about their businesses and goals. It means taking the time to explore their business websites to gain a better understanding, and tracking their orders so you can see patterns and get a feel for what products they might find useful. Being personable with your customers helps them to see you as more than just the screen printing guy. Getting to understand their businesses and their business needs helps you to understand what you can do to better meet those needs.
For more on better understanding your target customers, check out How to Identify Your Target Market…and Expand to New Markets
Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs
Once you know your customers, you can anticipate their needs. You can put together a catalog or samples of products they’re likely to purchase for their business. You can send them your suggestions or put in a phone call when you know it’s time for them to place an order. When you anticipate your customers’ needs, they know you’re really paying attention to them. It also makes you an integral part of their team and makes their jobs easier. That attention to detail and exceptional service are sure to make them fans of your business.
Let your customers know how much you appreciate their loyalty by taking the time to reward it. That can come in the form of a more formal reward or referral program, or it could mean gifting them with branded products, surprising their office with treats or taking the time to send a handwritten note. When your customers feel appreciated, they’ll return to your business time and time again.
While it’s always important to talk to your customers in person and over the phone, social media can be a valuable tool in getting to know your customers and building a loyal fanbase. Connect with your customers on social media. Follow their pages to gain a better sense of their business. When you make posts from your site, don’t just focus on selling, focus on sharing information about your business and connecting with your customers in a way that helps to build your relationships.
Have a Plan for Follow-Up
Many first-time customers become one-time customers because of a lack of follow-up. Avoid this by having protocol in place for how you’ll follow up with customers. That means knowing when and how you’ll follow up. For customers you’ve dealt with personally, that could be a follow-up thank you card or a call to ensure they were satisfied with their order. If it was an online customer, have a timeline for sending a follow-up email asking about their experience or offering a discount code for their next order. Taking a few minutes to follow up with your customers could provide you with a significant bump in your business.
It does take effort and strategy to build a fanbase for your screen printing business, but it takes a lot less time and effort to garner repeat customers than it does to attract new customers. When you put effort into building a fanbase, you will be rewarded with customers who will seek you out for orders and who will refer others to your business.
For more tips on keeping your screen printing customers happy, check out these blogs: