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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 19 - September 25, 2018

Retaining Customers

building customer loyalty 22cf7By Don G. Archer

Retaining customers isn't rocket science, but it does take a little work. First things first, you must provide great service and value ... no brainer. Secondly, you must stay in touch.

Towing customers only need you when they need you. The quickest way to lose a customer is when you no longer are top-of-mind. A couple of ways to avoid this is through the use of email and social media.

Many companies today are going paperless, which means providing customers with paid receipts via email. With a database of email addresses, you could send out friendly reminders, alerting them to heat advisories, snow emergencies and helpful hints on checking tire pressure. The emails shouldn't be intrusive; just friendly once-a-month reminders to let them know you're still around to help whenever they may need.

As far as social media goes, you could use a Facebook "Like" campaign or provide a perk like 10 percent off their next tow to get people to like your page. This can help bring more people to your page and keep you top-of-mind, as long as you are actively engaged (meaning regular posts).

A warning: If you stumble and stop posting for an extended length of time, say a week, Facebook's updated algorithm may cause your posts, once you start up again, to not show up in the feed of many who've liked your page. Sorry, FB wants more of your advertising dollars, so stay engaged.

Online reviews are amazing in how they can increase the lifetime value of your customers. They work on a multi-faceted level.

The first being that the more and better reviews you receive the more Google and the other search engines love you and want to present you when a search is performed. This means it's much easier for an existing customer to find you again.

The second is the fact that potential customers use reviews when making decisions. If you have 160 five-star reviews on Google, it can greatly increase your number of calls.

The third benefit towing companies derive from soliciting reviews has to do with the fact that people want to remain congruent with what they've said. It's built into our DNA.

Irrespective of the logic involved, when people say or write something they want to remain consistent. If a customer leaves your company a glowing review, the chances of that customer using your services in the future increase immensely.

To many tow company owners, marketing may seem like a waste of money. It can be if you're doing it wrong. However, when you incorporate a way to accurately measure results then concentrate on turning what were previously one-off customers into die-hard advocates who keep coming back, you have the ability to grow your business tremendously.

American Towman Field Editor-Midwest Don G. Archer is also a multi-published author, educator and speaker helping others to build and start successful towing businesses around the country at Don and his wife, Brenda, formerly owned and operated Broadway Wrecker in Jefferson City, Mo. Email him direct at
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