Extending the Experience

Everybody puts their money into communicating with consumers prior to the sale. That’s what advertising and marketing are all about.
Equally important, however, is keeping it up after the sale. Return customers and patients are, in fact, the lifeblood of a small business.

Tip: Keep a notebook by the register to record customer comments…. and then ACT upon them.

2xOffline conversations generate twice the sales impact as [impersonal] online communications.

POST SALE
Here are just a couple of ways to communicate in order to extend the experience beyond your four walls…and beyond the sale.
• RECORD. Keep a notebook by the register to record customer comments…and then ACT upon them, stresses Fruchtman Marketing. “This is where truly innovative, original ideas for your business can be found.”
• CONVERSE. “It’s something as easy as saying ‘Thank you’ to a customer after a sale, but through a different medium,” adds CEO Ellen Fruchtman.”

THANK YOU
That’s exactly what Eric White, O.D., owner of Complete Family Vision in San Diego, does. “At the end of the day, I email patients who had comprehensive eye exams. It takes 15 minutes, and the return has been incredible. I send it from my personal email.”
• CONTENT. What can go into that post-refraction or post-purchase communication? “I write a personal thank-you note,” explains Dr. White. “I cut and paste a paragraph thanking them for coming in, asking for referrals, and asking them to write a review on Google and/or Yelp.”
• PERSONAL TOUCH. “I always talk about something personal—their family, travel, whatever—at the beginning of the exam,” adds Dr. White. “In the note I add a personal line about what we talked about in the beginning—vacation, what their kids are doing, or something so they know it is me sending it, not a third party.”
• MR. POSTMAN. At Margot & Camille Optique in Philadelphia, owner Valerie Vittu and her staff hand write thank you cards to everyone who purchases from them.
Like Dr. White’s email, Vittu’s handwritten note says volumes about the personal service delivered at her location. And, most important, both forms of thank you also extend the consumer’s experience beyond the visit, further cementing the ECP-patient relationship.

BOTTOM LINE
Why is this important? AdWeek stresses that whether the thank you is in-person or in writing, these “conversations generate twice the sales impact as [impersonal] online communications.” These additional ‘conversations’ also help gather information about patients. According to salesforce.com, “76% of consumers will share personal information with a brand if they believe it will improve their experience and interaction.”

Do you follow up with patients after a purchase or exam? If so, tell us how it helps your business and share in the Facebook conversation here.

Erinn Morgan