It stands to reason that when prospects finally reach the sale stage after months of careful nurturing, they’re pretty well-informed (and confident) about what they’re buying. The trick, though, is keeping them satisfied after that first sale so that they keep coming back for more, and become brand ambassadors.
Loyal customers stick around because they find value in their experience – be it the product or service by itself, convenience, price, customer service – or simply a combination of all the above.
Here’s a personal example. Whenever I visit friends in a certain small town, I always make time to visit a local Italian bakery. It’s not the only bakery in that town – in fact, there are a tea-and-scone kind of café and a specialty sweet shop on the same street. This particular place, however, has made my list of never-fail favorites for several reasons:
In a location not known for ethnic diversity, an authentic Italian bakery offers a unique experience. I was intrigued not only by the unusual baked goods on display, but also by the idea of getting both a product and service I probably wouldn’t find anywhere else in my neighborhood.
As a leisure cook myself, I’m particular about what goes into my food. One bite into a traditional cannoli was enough to tell me that I’d stumbled into something really good – and sure enough, these bakers turn out a brand new selection each morning, right there in the shop. It’s worth a little extra money to know that I’m getting fresh products made from real, natural ingredients.
Since the baked goods are fresh each morning, the items in the case change from day to day. Even if it’s just a switch in the flavor of the cannolis, I know that every time I stop in, I’ll be sure to find at least one delicacy I haven’t tried before.
The bakery also offers catering services with a full range of cuisine – not just desserts, but breakfast breads, soups, appetizers, and classic entrees as well. It’s a great convenience to be able to pick up an order of raspberry twists or Stromboli on the way to a party – and while I’m there, maybe a special treat for my kid.
It probably goes without saying that the wares in this bakery are attractively decorated – elegant, savory, and enticing. More than that, though, the shop is warm and colorful, and although the kitchen lies in full view right behind the counter, it’s impeccably clean. The bakers take pride in their entire image. They care, and that makes me want to come back for more.
Coming from a family of Italian bakers, the shop’s owner knows her stuff. Not only can she bake to perfection, but she enjoys her work – she’s happy to answer any questions about the goods or their history, or even tell a story or two about her culinary childhood. It’s a winning blend of expertise and congeniality. I always feel welcome and comfortable about my purchase, no matter what it is.
A cozy bakery and a smorgasbord of fresh, warm treats on a cold day. Need I say more?
There are larger, better-known food vendors in the area, but though I’ve patronized them all, this little Italian bakery holds my loyalty. They didn’t just sell me on my first visit; they’ve provided a consistently satisfying experience – a perfect balance of quality products, service, and accessibility – that keeps me going back. Want to earn the loyalty of your customers? Follow the recipe of this small bakery and you’ll see how simple it can be if you pay attention to details and offer consistent quality products and service.