How Are You Treating Your “Regulars”?

This week my husband and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we went to a restaurant we often go to over the weekend to listen to our favorite band, and enjoy some grown-up time together. Now we often go to this restaurant on Friday nights because we like the band. Most of the wait staff knows us, along with the band, because we’re there so often (and tip well!) 🙂

So I called an made a reservation, reminded them who we are (regulars), and that we were celebrating our anniversary. I expected them to keep in mind that we come often, and give us a good table by the music. Why? Because we’re regulars, they know we come to hear the band, and we’re a good source of consistent business for them.

So I was a bit surprised when they sat us at a table in the back near the door. There was a “Reserved” sign on the table I expected to get right in front of the band, but we were informed it was not for us, because that table could be expanded to hold 6 people. They would move us if we wanted to one of their smaller tables by the band, but honestly they’re cramped and you have to sit very close to others at those tables which can interfere with conversation if they’re loud, so we stuck with our table in the back by the door. (And that table we wanted remained empty throughout the entire evening.) Not a huge deal, but a little disappointing.

And that led to a series of other disappointments through the night. The food wasn’t up to par on a few of the dishes we ordered. They told us we might not be able to get the entree we wanted because they “only had 1 order left” and they might not give it to us. (They eventually did though.) It just all added up to us feeling like, even though we had told them this was a special occasion for us, it didn’t matter to them. (They did comp us some drinks to apologize, so it wasn’t all bad. Just a little disappointing.)

And it got me to thinking about how we, as direct sellers, have an opportunity to make our regulars feel special, and how that’s good for business. Think about the regulars in your business…the people that come to several of your parties, the hostesses that host a party more than once, the people that shop from you on a regular basis. What do you do to let them know how much you appreciate their business? Do you do anything special for them? Do they get any “perks” that make them feel like regulars?

One of the ways we can encourage reorders is by giving people the “regulars” treatment. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s simply paying special attention to the details. Maybe an extra phone call or Facebook message saying “I just wanted to check in and make sure you were happy with your order. Do you have any questions?” Maybe it’s a birthday card (Send Out Cards makes it cheap and easy for you.) Maybe it’s a special discount you reserve for reordering customers. Maybe it’s your “Hostess Appreciation Party” where you shower your hostesses with attention and thanks. (You can do something like this for regular customers, too.)

By taking the time to make your regulars feel like you value their ongoing business, you continue to nurture that relationship. Sure, it results in more profits for your business. But it also results in word of mouth referrals, as they recommend you to their friends. They’ll never consider going to another consultant, because they know with you they get “perks.”

How do you demonstrate your appreciation of your regulars? What special things do you do for them, to make them feel important? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

5 Responses to How Are You Treating Your “Regulars”?
  1. Amy
    October 29, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    I send birthday postcards to customers. And have a feed on my FB just to show hostesses and customers so that I can comment on their statuses and keep track of those connections. If someone has a baby, I’ll send a card. If they experience a loss, I’ll send a card. It’s the person I am and I want my business to reflect me, not just the products all the time.

  2. Carol Saso
    June 28, 2011 | 11:06 am

    I have heard from SO many people recently that they are tired of only hearing from their direct sales consultant only with “special offers”. They want to feel that they have a personal relationship with their consultant and are not just a dollar sign to their consultant. A birthday card and other expressions of appreciation WITHOUT any sales pitch, special offer or coupon included, goes a long way to making people feel that their consultant cares about them. This article was quite timely in my opinion.

  3. Bernice Caruth
    June 28, 2011 | 8:44 am

    So true, so true, so true. I do offer periodic free product to customers with an order; send free newsletter and info sheets; and call just to say HI.

    Follow-up service and contact is so important. After I bought a new furnace and air conditioner, the owner of the HVAC company never called to see that everything was working right or to remind us that the filter should be changed every 6 months. No phone call when the heating season started to see if we had any questions. We had to call him twice to get something adjusted but he never called to see if the adjustment was OK. All it would take is a simple phone call to recognize the customer and know that the owner cared about the customer, not just installing new equipment for the buck.

    Where I work, I get a phone call every month without fail from the copy machine sales rep. While I don’t need any help 99.99% of the time, he is consistent with his follow-up and offer for additional training, etc. Result? I will recommend his company to others.

  4. Angela
    June 27, 2011 | 5:01 pm

    Wow! That was an interesting and extremely fitting message to those of us in the direct selling business! I hadn’t really thought about the ideas presented here before, but I definitely want to remember this! I like the party for hostesses with a special “perk”. I’ll give this article a “10”!

  5. Marj nesbitt
    June 27, 2011 | 10:20 am

    this incident is all too common and is extremely frustrating. I’m finding there’s a general lack of appreciation of being employed…many clerks just don’t want to work..let alone go the extra mile to give good service! Where are the young and ambitious?

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