Have you ever been on a Merry-Go-Round? If you have you know that this playground favorite does nothing but spin around and around. Part of the fun is seeing the same people and things whisk past during each rotation. Tip your head slightly and everything looks different. It can be a bit of a blur at times, but with a little focus you can clearly see each rotation. Customer service may not appear to be as much fun but the same concept certainly applies.
Meeting with or contacting customers on a regular cycle has immense advantages to most businesses. An annual visit (or what ever cycle suits your business) not only provides follow up service but you remind your customer that you are still around which is better than any advertisement. The customer already has your product (pre-qualified lead) and is presumably happy with it (if not, why not) so the visit is an opportunity to either fix a broken relationship or enhance an already positive one. The visit, although not it's purpose, may even lead to additional sales.
Repeat business is often born from customer service. A satisfied customer is much more likely to buy something from you than a stranger that up until now has only seen your ads. Many businesses derive over half of their sales from repeat customers. Repeat sales cost much less to cultivate and result in much higher customer loyalty than one time purchases. It is important for businesses to establish a customer service pattern. Each cycle, reviewing customer situations, determining needs then offering service or new products to meet those needs. Retail Businesses address the cycle differently but the idea is the same.
Retail Businesses often run the same sale year after year. Why would they do that? Simply because it works. It is easier to repeat a promotion than it is to implement a new one. You may be able to re-use signage, re-run ads and your staff understands how the sale works. More importantly however, customers that purchased when the previous sale ran are more likely to buy when the sale runs again. Like the Merry-Go-Round it is critical that we don't go through the cycle to fast.
We have all seen the business with the "Giant Sale!" signs that never come down. No one believes them. To avoid developing the mistrust that often grows when this type of promotion is used it is important to determine the proper cycle for your business. Contact a customer or run the same sale to soon and we run the risk that customers will learn to ignore us. Remember the Merry-Go-Round, to fast and people get sick or fall off. If we take to long to contact a customer we become like that boring Merry-Go-Round ride when a baby is on board, not very interesting and just about everyone jumps off. Once we find the right contact cycle for our business we can successfully go round and round.