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This is Ilya Goldin from the Shipyard. Recently, we once again broke our own record: over the past six months, the share of repeat orders of the company has exceeded 40%. And this is without discounts and loyalty programs. In our industry, this number is something to be proud of. I’ll tell you how it was possible to achieve such an indicator.

The old client is more important than the new one. Anyone who has read at least a couple of books about sales, marketing, and brand building has come across this statement. Attracting each new customer is much more expensive than retaining the old one. At the same time, the market is not rubber, and every year the competition is growing. This entails an increase in advertising costs. For the same reason, the value of each re-engagement increases.

In business, there are two approaches:

— sell here and now;

— Build long-term relationships with clients.

Both approaches have the right to exist, their pros and cons. A short-term strategy brings quick profits that require less investment.

How to get a loyal audience without a loyalty program

Long-term work with the audience implies a greater amount of investment and a long payback period. «Shipyard» went the second way. For us, the company is not just a cash cow, but a significant part of our lives. No matter how loud it may sound, for us «Shipyard» is forever.

«Hug Your Customers»

In the subtitle, we took out the name of our favorite book by Jack Mitchell, which I recommend reading to anyone who wants to build a brand and not just sell.

How to get a loyal audience without a loyalty program

The main idea of ​​the book, which is repeated from chapter to chapter, is that building a loyal audience requires you and your company to exceed customer expectations. And we strictly follow this rule — we must exceed the expectations of customers at every point of contact with them.

Our two main sales channels are the store and social networks. For each of them, we are constantly looking for new ways to pleasantly surprise our customers.

What are we doing on social media?

How to get a loyal audience without a loyalty program

In social networks, we do not sell, but communicate. Even at the interview stage, we look not at how a person can sell, but at communication skills. The main task of our manager is not to sell the bag, but to communicate on the most distant topic possible. There are often cases when, before or after placing an order, the dialogue lasts more than one day — with the exchange of photos of children, pets, and yourself.

What do we do in the store

If everything is rather complicated with social networks, because you have only one tool to surprise the client — communication, then in the store there are much more options to “hug the client”. The first is, of course, communication. In the store, our task is the same: not to sell a bag, but to communicate.

Therefore, not clients No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 come to us, but human faces: Maria, who is going to climb Elbrus in a week, our regular client Nikolai from Vladivostok and Alla Borisovna, who purchases the “Family Matters” folder for her son’s wedding in Moscow. Each of our clients is a person behind whom there is a story. And this story is as important to us as it is to them. People, seeing this attitude, come back.

In our shop we will always offer you tea or coffee. It would seem that this is a trifle. But this is something that you will not get in 99 cases out of 100. And the overall impression of the brand is built from such trifles. A third of our store consists of a client area where you can relax — with or without tea. Perhaps, boutique visitors are used to this, but you will not find this in our segment.

One of our salespeople, Eva, comes to work every shift with a dog. His name is Cosmos, and he is able to charm any client, although, to be honest, Eva can handle it herself. Therefore, just one store takes a large share of our revenue.

How to get a loyal audience without a loyalty program

Tips from the Captain

I want to be Captain Obvious for a while and talk about what it means to “exceed expectations”. The person who is about to make a purchase already has expectations based on their previous experience. When a person receives a quality service that matches his experience, that is, meets expectations, the client does not remember the store. Because this experience for him is in the order of things.

Unfortunately, the client remembers either good or bad — something that does not meet his expectations. And the whole point of the superiority of expectations is to give a person an unusual experience that he does not get in a familiar situation. It would seem that offering coffee to a person is the most common situation, because a person does it every day. But did he ever get that offer at a handbag store if it wasn’t Louis Vuitton?

How to get a loyal audience without a loyalty program

If in 5 years every store will offer coffee, it won’t be anything special. And it will become the norm. Therefore, our task is to be one step ahead of expectations.

The fact that it is much easier to get customer loyalty from loyal employees, the importance of product quality and a lifetime warranty will be discussed in the next part.


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