Don’t miss opportunities to capture more wedding-related profits
For over a dozen years, my husband and I have run a DJ company that specializes in weddings. Sure, we do the occasional holiday party, but other than that it’s nothing but weddings April through November. Which means, we once thought, no repeat customers. Unless they come back to us after the divorce. Cringe. As Jeff likes to joke, “Marry well, marry often.”
The myth: There are no repeat customers in the wedding business. If you buy into this myth, like we did for so many years, you’re missing out on huge profit potential.
According to a study by Frederick Reichheld of Bain and Company, it costs six to seven times more to get a new customer than it does to retain a current one. This can easily add up to thousands of dollars in advertising and marketing expenses every year to bring in those new customers.
Without repeat customers, you’re working much harder than necessary to turn the profit you want. In fact, boosting customer retention by just 5% increases profits from anywhere from 5 to 95%.
The long and the short of it: If you’re not cultivating repeat customers for your wedding DJ business, you’re leaving big stacks of money on the table. But how can you have repeat customers in the wedding business? It’s not like the couple is going to hire you again, right?
My husband and I had a heated debate over this one. “A repeat customer is someone who buys the same thing from you more than once,” he argued. “I can understand getting the couple to buy an upsell by adding on additional services, but that’s not a repeat customer.”
Here’s the example I used to convince my doubting husband:
Let’s say you go into Home Depot to buy a flashlight, some batteries and a role of duct tape. That’s your first visit to the store and your first customer experience. Then, two weeks later, you return to pick up some gardening supplies. That’s your second customer experience, when you officially become a repeat customer.
Now let’s compare this example to your DJ business. You meet with a couple and they book your wedding entertainment packages, then add on some uplighting. That’s the first customer experience.
Four months later, you email them an incredible offer for a photo booth rental, and they buy. Now you have a repeat customer.
Most wedding DJs assume that the purchase on the initial visit is all they are going to get, since the likelihood that a couple will hire you to DJ their wedding twice is pretty small. However, what if you can get them to buy from you again two months down the road? Or even the month before the wedding? Now you have a repeat customer.
It’s important to reject the myth that you are not in the repeat customer business in order to explore the untapped resource you have in your current customers. Don’t forget: you have six months to a year or more to turn that bride or groom into a repeat customer.
Brainstorm the possibilities. What else can you sell them? Some ideas to spark your creative thinking:
– Wedding accessories
– Travel packages
– Lighting packages
Could you refer them to other vendors in exchange for a commission? If your DJ business also performs for non-wedding events, you could cultivate a relationship after the wedding so that you become the “family DJ” they call for every celebration.
The most effective way to turn your wedding couples into repeat customers is with an automated email follow up sequence. You could send them helpful information and offers to purchase the products and services they need, based on where they are in the planning process. This may help you increase your profits without spending another dime on the expensive process of attracting brand new customers.
You may decide that your business model doesn’t cater to repeat customers, but it’s in your best interest to ponder what else you can sell to the customers you’ve worked so hard to attract. They already like and trust you, and they’re sure to be buying a whole bunch of other things in the process of planning their wedding. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could buy them from you?
Filed Under: Business, Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #148
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