The Best Way To Earn Repeat Business

by derek on August 3, 2007 · 29 comments

Take a walk with me down memory lane as we recall my discussion yesterday about how magazines and bloggers alike are using good marketing skills to appeal to people’s desire to have things quicker, easier or better.
You’ll recall that I provided encouragement to come back today to learn the best way to earn repeat business. Well, I’m glad to see that you came back!
Maybe you run a blog and you’re looking for a way to keep readers coming back day after day. Or maybe you operate a business and you want to keep your customers coming back for more as you know how difficult it can be to gain a new customer. Regardless of how you define “repeat business” I think you can benefit from what I am about to share with you.
Go Above And Beyond
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
But think about this for a minute. When you go above and beyond the expectations of your customer (or reader), you stand a good chance that you will have gained repeat business from that person.
Not only will that person be impressed with how you exceeded their expectations but they will likely express their happiness with numerous people in their lives. As many business and blog owners are well aware, word of mouth is one of the best advertisements that you can get and can provide a steady stream of new business.
How you go above and beyond may very well depend on the nature of your business. Recently I had two experiences where a business went above and beyond for me, which has resulted in me being so pleased that I have decided to spread the “word of mouth” advertising with this blog post.
ShoeMoney Steps Up
About two months ago, ShoeMoney had announced the launch of the ShoeMoney Shirt Store and I jumped at the opportunity to order a handful of shirts.
When I placed my order for 15 ShoeMoney shirts, I was anxiously waiting for them to arrive as I wanted to give away a few free t-shirts. I’d purposely ordered a few in 2XL as I wanted to keep one for myself and I’m not exactly a small guy.
After waiting a little longer than I originally hoped for my shirts to arrive, I was like a kid on Christmas morning as I opened up the box. As soon as I opened the box I felt like the kid that just realized there is no Santa – there were no 2XL shirts in the box!
The next day I received an email from ShoeMoney as he was checking in to see if the shirts had arrived yet. After getting over the shock that I actually had an email from ShoeMoney himself sitting in my inbox, I responded with the following:

They arrived yesterday afternoon, although the shipment included 5 of the white mens shirts in XL instead of the 2XL that I had ordered. I don’t think that’s a big deal though because I will likely give them out to reader’s of my blog (dereksemmler.com). I was hoping to keep one of the 2XLs for myself but I’ll have to do without as the XL won’t fit me after the first wash.
Thanks for touching base to see if they arrived.

An hour later I had a response from Shoe that he was having a few 2XL shirts sent out to me. I was not expecting that at all and was very happy with the gesture. In this instance, Shoe went above and beyond my expectations by responding personally to see if I had received the shirts and then sending out a few extra shirts to correct the order.
Dell Comes Through
After having a CD explode in my DVD drive, I received quite a bit of traffic as that post hit the front page of digg.
Included in my post was a picture of my wife and kid’s machine with the cover off and the Dell logo visible in the picture. About two weeks after that post was published, I received an email from a manager in the Dell support group indicating that they realized I had already replaced the drive but they wanted to send me a free replacement drive.
While I wasn’t able to get them to send me some free goodies in place of the drive, they did generously offer to replace the drive free of charge. In this case, Dell went above and beyond as I had not even contacted them about this issue with the exploding CD but they had come across my post and extended the offer to me.
Now It’s My Turn
I’ve explained a few examples of a business going above and beyond my expectations and how they have gained me as a future customer as a result. While I don’t have a business selling a product, I do author a couple of blogs and want to do my best to continue the idea of gaining “repeat business” by exceeding your expectations.
As a token of my appreciation for you spending your time visiting my site and in an attempt to gain your “repeat business”, I’m going to be giving away a few more ShoeMoney and flippingrich.com t-shirts in the next few days. Unfortunately I don’t have any more of the little squeeze toys but this time around I will be selecting more than 3 winners!
Next I would like to publicly thank Leo Chiang as his site has consistently been one of the top referring sites to this blog. I’ve sent an email to Leo to thank him for the consistent referrals and I have offered him a little prize package as a token of my appreciation.
Be sure to stop by Leo’s site as he is currently doing his part to go above and beyond with his support to help find a cure for breast cancer – and you might even win a prize in the process.
How are you going to go above and beyond?
Note:You might want to subscribe to my RSS feed as I may provide details on how to get an extra entry in the t-shirt giveaway! 😈

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Brown Baron August 4, 2007 at 2:17 am

Great job on the post. Something that most people should realize. Great job as always Derek!

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Glen Allsopp August 4, 2007 at 5:48 am

Completely agree, one of my business motos is ‘Do more than is expected of you’

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Damien Riley August 4, 2007 at 5:39 pm

As a teacher it’s so easy to fall into the “bare minimum” trap. When you go full out “above and beyond” a lot of time no one notices and we don’t work on commission or sales. BUT the intrinsic rewards of going above and beyond as a teacher are incredibly valuable. The other day I got an email from a girl I taught 3 chords in my 5th grade class (on guitar) back in ’02. She’s now playing in a rock band . . . you guessed it, lead guitarist.
Thanks for the reminder that going above and beyond makes you successful. I couldn’t agree more.

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Leo August 5, 2007 at 12:07 am

Ok Derek, what did I say about being so damend nice 😉
Thanks for the support too, pookie bear!

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Leo August 5, 2007 at 12:07 am

*damned

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Rose August 5, 2007 at 1:14 am

I’m still waiting for my t-shirt to arrive and that is great Dell is replacing the drive.

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Tavi Nemet August 5, 2007 at 7:29 am

Great post especially because it is backed up with real life examples and just pure theory. That makes the article a lot more valuable.
Now what do I have to do to get a free t-shirt? 😀

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derek August 5, 2007 at 11:00 pm

@Brown Baron :: Thanks for the kind words and the link love on your site!
@Glen :: I’m sure your customers appreciate that!
@Damien :: You’re right that many times the effort to go above and beyond is not recognized but as you mentioned, the times when you do hear of something positive like that it makes it all worth it.
@Leo :: If you don’t want me to be nice, I’ll send you the womens t-shirt. 🙂
@Rose :: Hopefully they will arrive soon. I know that the other two winners have received their package but shipping across borders may slow things down.
@Tavi :: Thanks for the comment and kind words. Stay tuned for the info on the free t-shirt.

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Leo August 5, 2007 at 11:22 pm

U just want to send me a women’s shirt so I can get one of my sexy lady friends to pose in it. You sly dog you 😉

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derek August 5, 2007 at 11:23 pm

That’s scary…I think you read my mind. Check your email! 😈

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ms danielle August 6, 2007 at 1:39 am

hey that’s cool that they replaced the drive for you. what a freaky accident. but what goes around comes around, good or bad. and since you’re always going above and beyond it’s being paid back to you in positive karma points. yay! 😀

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derek August 6, 2007 at 9:23 am

Yeah, I was pretty surprised by that myself. I’m still waiting for the drive to arrive though, I was told it would be overnighted to me but I have yet to receive it.

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Rose August 6, 2007 at 8:55 pm

It takes anywhere from a week to two to get here. I ship allot across borders.

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derek August 7, 2007 at 8:56 am

For $17 you would think it would arrive a little quicker! It was cheaper when I sent something to Malaysia and I think it arrived quicker. Next time I might need to pick a different shipping method.

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Celebrity Foods February 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Real nice article and examples of what companies are doing to go above and beyond expectations. Thank you for the read, I enjoyed it.

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derek February 27, 2008 at 10:53 pm

You’re welcome, thanks for the feedback!

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