Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's Good Business - You've Got To Get Them To Come Back For More

Good Morning Everybody,

Tour DVD We have been working like a bunch of buzzin’ honey bees around here on lots of projects and are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The tour CBTL DVD continues to grow – over 6 hours of additional rock solid content FREE for all CBTL attendees [link] – I’m still amazed it’s grown from 2 hours to now over 6 hours – wow!

I have super early morning appointment so let’s get on with today’s post.  I think you are going to love it.  Here we go.

It's Good Business - You've Got To Get Them To Come Back For More

I have to admit, I get a lot of my ideas for my Business Day Thursday posts from real life experiences I've had with other companies that I feel have it right. That's the case for today's post.

As the title today suggests, growing your business is not just about finding new customers, it's also about having them come back for more - more of your what you offer, that is. So, how can you make that happen?

Hit the “Read More…” link below for the rest of the story.

A Superb Customer Service Experience

A few weeks ago, we were in Chicago doing an episode for Will Crocket's Friday Photo School. While up there we grabbed dinner at a restaurant I had never been to - Famous Dave's [link]. They serve some terrific barbecue but that's not what left an impression on me that evening.

Famous Daves I was impressed by how they engaged us and by the effort they put forth to be sure we returned. The lessons learned from that visit would be beneficial to any business. Let me show you how it can apply to your photography business.

We were escorted to our table by the friendly hostess and within a few minutes someone came up to us and offered refreshments - all pretty normal up to his point. We were then asked if this was our first visit to Famous Dave's - customer engagement #1. I have to admit, we have a Famous Dave's just a few miles from us and have never been there. My first famous Dave visit was in Oswego, Illinois - go figure.

The Engagement Process

Answering in the affirmative started the Famous Dave experience for first timers like us. Our server returned a few minutes later with a basket of chips. She then pointed to the row of barbecue sauces on our table and invited us to try the many samples which she described in detail to us - customer engagement #2.

All three of us proceeded to sample the tasty sauces, each of us having a favorite. I kind of like the hotter, spicy variety. LaDawn preferred the sweeter sauce. Our server returned again to take our order and while doing so, asked which sauce we preferred. We were happy to share our tasting experience with her. She took our order and was off- customer engagement #3.

A Very Nice Surprise

Sauces A few minutes later she returned, not with the food, but with two large bottles of our favorite Famous Dave's Barbecue Sauce, one for me and one for LaDawn - customer engagement #4. I was surprised and impressed.

A short while later, our food arrived and we dug in pouring on our favorite sauces over our briskets, pork, and chicken entrees. Everything was delicious! As we were finishing our meal, another gentlemen, the store manager, came by to check on us. We exclaimed our content, he thanked us, smiled, and left only to return a few minutes later with discount coupons for our next Famous Dave's visit - customer engagement #5.

The Brand Stays With Us

In our relatively short 90 minute stay, we were engaged 5 times with the Famous Dave's brand and we were made to feel like the most important diners in the restaurant. We were given two bottles of Famous Dave's Barbecue Sauce, which I am sure the store realizes, will be a constant reminder of our dinning experience at Famous Dave's as they sit on our refrigerator shelf for the next several weeks.

The final coupon offer nearly guarantees that we will make a return visit to sample some more of their great barbecue entrees.

Lessons Learned

So what is the lesson learned? To continue to grow your business, it's more than just serving up your best when you engage a new customer and hoping they come back for more. It's about serving up your best, giving them first a reminder of your brand, and finally a reason to come back again.

So how can this business building strategy be made to work for wedding photographers? Here are my first thoughts on how to make it work.

Here Is My Plan For Photographers

Wedding Albums First, engage the client with your best, most thorough, passionate presentation of your photography. Get them fired up about your product. Let them sample what you have to offer. What you offer better be more than just "one flavor" of photography too.

Ask yourself the question, is it time to evaluate you current product offerings and maybe spice things up a bit? You want to sizzle that first time client experience just the way they did it at Famous Dave's.

Wedding Planning Guide Second, give them something that keeps your brand in front of their eyeballs as they continue to make their wedding plans. This could be something as simple as a little wedding planning guide you've put together with your preferred vendor list, wedding planning suggestions, how to look good for their wedding photos - you get the idea. Design your wedding planning guide to be a convenient, useful, ready reference for them as they continue to plan their wedding celebration.

This is an ideal opportunity to work with your favorite vendors in creating your planner. Your favorite vendors will have their own ideas and resources on the planning process making it an even more valuable tool for your customer. The additional benefit comes when you encourage your vendor buddies to give the planner to their new customers as well. I call that "cross pollination".

Gift CardsAnd thirdly, after you wrap your meeting with your first time clients, why not give them a few vouchers for a complimentary 8x10 or two explaining that they can use the vouchers for a few gift photos for family or friends. Now you've given them a reason to come back.

I still think of my buddy, Frank Wilson, who gives each of his prospective clients a $50 gift card at the end of each interview. WOW! Now that is a BIG reason for you new client to return.

In Conclusion

I hope you can see the power of Famous Dave's customer engagement strategy. None of these ideas "break the bank". They can easily be implemented immediately giving a jump-start on the competition and get you on the road towards successfully building your own business.


Hey gang, that's it for me today.  Everybody have a great rest of the day and I'll plan on seeing you tomorrow.

See ya' then, David