We all know that attracting a woman - or, in this case, your customer - is just the beginning. After you win her heart, you have to keep her happy. Here are ten ways to keep her coming back:
1. Remind them how much you care. Find a way to stay at the top of your customer's mind. For example, I tuck promotional cards of varying styles into the packaging of their subscriptions simply to remind them how much I appreciate their business. Your incentive program should be posted your website and other materials your customers will see over and over. Women like gifts - it's as simple as that.
2. Build a referral incentive. Make "the free lunch" a reality. Offer your customers a gift with every referral. Not only can you measure it, but the perk gives you an opportunity to thank your customers for their loyalty. The most cost-effective way to get more customers, is to ask your existing customers to refer.
3. Say sorry. Don't be afraid to admit when you're wrong. Customers want to know that you hear them and you take their concerns seriously. Errors can be opportunities to build trust but don't make too many that you look incompetent and disorganized.
4. Be consistent. Always stay on top of your game and make sure your messages are consistent with your brand. If you are in the luxury market, make sure your products are just that. There's nothing worse than buying into a broken promise. Don't pretend to be something you're not, it's much more attractive to be honest.
5. Always respond promptly. Communicate with your customers in a timely manner and thank them for their business at the end of your calls. My pledge is to have staff respond within an hour of a voicemail and often within 15 minutes via email. Bigger organizations may have challenges with this level of service but it's not impossible. Women don't like to kept waiting too long.
6. Go the distance. Offer after-hours service or something beyond the 9-5. Your customers may be stay-at-home moms or dads, CEO's or cab drivers. They work hard every day, so help them out by offering a valuable product or service.
7. Obsess over the details. Work hard for your customers and tick all the boxes when it comes to their purchase. Hire staff that crave perfection.
8. Stay in touch. Use social networking, newsletters, promotional cards, thank-you emails etc to keep chatting. Ask them for their opinions and make sure to share your own expertise.
9. Make her feel special. Customers want to feel unique and they want to feel cared for. If you want them to brag about you, be romantic! That means being thoughtful and making sure they feel like they're important.
10. Get personal. Prove that you care by tuning into your customers' special qualities, likes and desires. Send them thank-you notes and emails. I once hand wrote a thank-you card to a woman who didn't use the computer. Customers like it when their personal requests are taken to heart and when they are made to feel extra important, like a good friend.
Natalie Grunberg is a serial entrepreneur, a Francophile and an expert in all things panty...by post. She runs PantybyPost.com , an internationally recognized online panty subscription service with agents in New York and Moscow.
Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT