UPDATE: How-to Earn A Customer For Life


How to gain a customer for life

UPDATE: What I left out from this story was a not so stellar experience I had with a third party vendor at the mansion. After I wrote this, I notified Sandy at the mansion and told her of my pleasant experience with the stay but not the vendor. She immediately apologized and escalated it to Rick the owner. 

Shortly after I received an apology e-mail from Rick stating he was going to speak to the vendor. 

Twenty-six minutes later, Donna the Office Manager, contacted me and stated they were refunding 100% of the money I paid to the vendor. 

WOW!

Am I a customer for life? You bet! Amazing customer service. Continue reading to see what else the Captain Lord Mansion and it’s staff does to earn customers for life!

I just returned from Captain Lord Mansion a fantastic bed and breakfast in Maine.

There’s a reason they have been a AAA Four Star inn for 30+ years.

They have customers for life.

The following article will look at some of the concepts you can implement in your business to earn your own customer for life.

I’m pulling from the most broad ideas that the folks at Captain Lord Mansion are using at their business. They can be used in many different businesses from blogging to landscapers. You can earn customers for life too.

Remember more than anything that it’s up to you to get out there and earn these connections.

Have An Awesome Product

This part you can’t skip.

We have a lot of choices as consumers in today’s marketplace. Businesses are fighting harder, more creatively, and on a larger scale for our dollar.

We need to have an awesome product or service.

Ask yourself the following:

  • How is my product/service better than the competition?
  • What is the WOW factor to my customer?
  • Will my customer want more of this?
  • Give the customer a great experience.
  • How easy is it to market this product? (This is important.)

Think about how the customer first touches your product or experiences your service:

I already knew the answer to the first question on the list. Captain Lord had an awesome room, the Champion Room, with a super luxurious bathroom. Win.

Second, I reflect back to pulling into the parking lot of the bed and breakfast and taking in the mansion.

Wow, what a site it is.

Meticulous grounds and well preserved heritage of the mansion. A site to see.

Third, walking in the front door and into the main lobby I already want to stay more than one night. Three for three.

Fourth, we were greeted, checked-in and given a tour of the mansion. Explained all rooms of the mansion, when breakfast was served, and listed the local amenities. This is going to be great.

Easy to market? You bet.

As a customer I simply say, “This was an awesome bed and breakfast to stay at.” It doesn’t get much easier than that. This is important because it allows the memory and recommendation to stick with me to share with others.

It’s not something I have to think back on and remember how to explain it or recall the experience. I love keeping things simple not only for yourself, but for others to help spread.

Unique Loyalty Program

Throw out Foursquare – hello old school ledger.

Posted on your wall that you checked in? How about a brick that goes in the ground for life?

Bragging about your Mayor status of a business? How about a guest list that greets everyone walking through the door showing off your seniority?

This is the kind of full circle loyalty program running at the mansion.

When you check in, you’re signing into a ledger that seems as old as the mansion itself. Not only is it giving you that sense of authenticity but a realization that a lot of people have been coming here. In another 20 years, your name will still be in this book and you might even look yourself up again.

Another unique touch, when you’re walking into the main lobby, a guest list is displayed with names and number of visits. When I was there, there was someone with 40 stays! That’s a powerful marketing tool all to itself.

Lastly, as you build your customer’s for life – literally make them stay for a lifetime. At the mansion on your 10th visit, you get a stone engraved with your name on it that builds a path in the courtyard around the fountain. Quite a goal to work towards!

You don’t always need technology

That’s something you don’t hear me say a lot – but you don’t. They are doing it their own way. Using tried and true traditional and non traditional methods.

Here are some unique things you could do with technology:

Do you have a super fan visiting your blog? How about allowing them to guest post.

Have a great customer walking in and out of your door every day? How about announcing them on your Facebook page?

Knowledgeable supporter of your product? Let them answer questions in your LinkedIn Group.

Superb Customer Service

What wraps up the entire experience? Customer service.

Throughout the entire booking process to check out the staff was superb.

One thing that stood out the most: answering all my stupid questions without a flinch.

I was sending a lot of e-mails back and forth with various questions, most businesses would have brushed off. They could have said “we have that info when you get here” and I would have been OK with that.

But that’s just it, you don’t want people to be just “OK” you want them for life so amaze them.

What is your customer service like? Are you just answering all the questions or are you amazing your customers? Are you going above and beyond the call of duty?

Conclusion

There’s a lot we can do to gain customers for life.

The problem is, a lot of us aren’t focused on it day to day. We’re always developing new ideas or out acquiring new customers that we tend to overlook nurturing the existing.

The take away from this?

What will make your customers say WOW?

What will make your customers refer you to their friends?

What can you do to keep them coming back for life?

Let me know what you’re doing in the comments below!

Listen to this Episode

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous on September 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    This is a great post, Matt. I really enjoyed hearing about the experience you had while staying at the Captain Lord Mansion and the take-aways you’ve received from your visit.

    I really liked to hear how they recognized their guests and the length of their visits. That’s unique. Something I wish we saw more of, today. I think companies try so hard to be different but are afraid of really putting themselves out there and going against the norm. They’re so afraid of failure.

    Customer service really drives it home. Without that, they could have all the unique marketing elements in the world and not keep a customer. It reminds me of my experience with Apple. I’ve only had a couple experiences, but everytime I step into their store they perform excellent customer service. The men at the Genuis Bar are always so helpful and informative. It makes me feel like a valued customer- and that’s what I’ll remember- not the issues I had with their products but the experience.

    • Matt Medeiros on September 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Courtney – thanks for stopping by and commenting! As you can see they have blown me away again by refunding a large sum of money I spent on something that I wasn’t satisfied with.

      Truly AWESOME experience!

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