I’m going to keep saying this: Chances are, you lose money on every new customer. We all know that it is a certain few who are profitable enough to cover the costs of all the losers. Who are they? What do they look like? Can you make sure you hang on to them? How about targeting some of the losers who have characteristics similar to the high value customers early in the relationship in an attempt to move a higher percentage onto the more profitable side of the equation? Of course, there is also the opportunity to convert more into second or third-time buyers.
We once did a study in the dry cleaners market. We found that 89 percent of first-time customers never came back. We also found that customers who came in a minimum of three times stayed more than two years. So what’s the short-term goal of a dry cleaner? Get to that third visit!