BUSINESS MARKETING: That critical moment between purchase, forgetfulness

2013-02-16T08:54:00Z BUSINESS MARKETING: That critical moment between purchase, forgetfulnessLarry Galler Times Business Marketing
February 16, 2013 8:54 am  • 

One of the most critical moments in the life of a relationship between a customer and business arrives just after the customer’s first purchase.

Most businesses assume the customers are so delighted with the product or service they purchased that they will rush right back whenever they need or want something else the business sells.

But, unless your product or service is something so special or memorable, many customers will quickly forget you. To test this, just for kicks, ask some people around you where they got their last oil change or refrigerator or which company last did a service on their furnace.

I’d be shocked if more than 50 percent would remember because many think of those services and products as commodities and the companies as interchangeable.

Since they think they can get pretty much the same product or service for about the same price, quality, and level of service in many places (and they might be correct), why should they expend the mental energy to keep your business in their mental database?

It might not be important for them; it sure is important for you because if you can attract first-time customers to come back quickly and often, your business will grow.

There is one easy, inexpensive way of impressing them to remember their purchase and where they made it. In that critical moment between purchase and forgetfulness, maybe a week or so, you can disrupt the process of forgetting and stimulate your customer’s memory cells to recall your company by sending a letter, postcard or email.

Your communication should thank them for their purchase, impress them with a little background about your company and excite them to return with some sort of limited-time offer or bonus offer “especially for you, one of our newest customers.”

Rather than passively hoping your new customer remembers you the next time they need or want what you sell, do the active thing in that critical moment between the first purchase and forgetfulness by insuring they will remember your business and, with a limited time offer, some will return sooner.



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Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Get Galler’s free case study of a small business transformed by a breakthrough strategy. Just email and put "Case Study" in the subject line.

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