Meet Mr. Green. He lives in Illinois. That’s pretty much all I know about him (other than his first name which I won’t divulge here for privacy reasons). He sells foam earplugs – that’s all, nothing else. In just about any quantity you can imagine – he sells them online here and on eBay here.
I use soft foam earplugs for a variety of things (such as mowing the lawn, using the leaf blower, on a plane, sleeping in noisy hotel rooms, etc) and it takes me a long time to go through 50 pairs of them.
But when I do need them, I know where I can get them. I’ve been buying soft foam earplugs from Mr. Green for many years. Even though there are lots of places I can go to buy these, I keep coming back to him for 2 simple reasons. I know that he’ll ship them to me quickly and I know I won’t overpay for them.
This is an example of the type of relationship businesses should strive for (assuming the products they sell have repeat business potential). It makes a ‘win win’ for both the business and the customer. The customer (me) gets what he wants and Mr. Green makes money without having to acquire a new customer.
Even if you don’t sell products or services that are likely to generate return business, you’ll still benefit from such a relationship. Even if your customer isn’t likely to buy again, you’ll get referrals from satisfied customers. When someone asks where I buy the earplugs, what do you think I say? I tell them where and Mr. Green gets referral business.
I suspect Mr. Green has a home-based business, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we can learn from the simple principles behind this business and apply them to our own home business. It especially underscores the value of a return customer – a customer for life. Even if it’s just soft foam earplugs!
Tags: Customer Relations, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction