Anyone in sales or marketing has heard the phrase: ‘it’s seven times more difficult to win a new customer than retain an old one’. Many business models survive on repeat business so franchises that operate with this in mind need to keep customers excited and coming back for more!
To quantify this, Gartner Group has found that 80% of future profits are likely come from only 20% of existing customers. Therefore, effort directed at nurturing and upselling existing customers can be hugely productive.
I recently presented at the QSR Media conference and one of my discussion points was about how, before it was developed as a franchise, the Burger & Sauce brand was successfully launched during the Pandemic. Yes, our team needed to attract new customers but most importantly they know it is essential to ensure existing customers returned repeatedly too.
A great product and super service is a must have. Our stores are all welcoming and our staff encouraged to be friendly and put the customer first. Customers like this and return. However, innovation in terms of new product introductions has been key to keep customers excited and this has taken sales to another level!
There is so much choice available – particularly when it comes to fast food options – that to stand out fresh, new product introductions can maintain interest and tempt customers back to try the latest offering. This is applicable to any franchise model that aims to attract repeat business. It can mean you can ‘upsell’ an existing client to try the new offering as an additional order or simply the variety means you can appeal to different needs (or tastes in Burger & Sauce’s case!).
Every three months the team at Burger & Sauce launch a new menu innovation. Most recently these have included the ‘Aberdeen Stack’: premium angus beef topped with double cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato finished with caramelised onions and choice of sauce. We have also introduced the Club Range – a smaller burger made with the same finest ingredients available at a lower price point, plus the new Chicken Burger: ‘Firecracker’ which is topped with a cheese slice, cheese sauce, spicy sauce and flamin hot cheetos. These new introductions have kept customers keen to come back to our stores and they are excited about our brand. They are always on the look out for our next launch, and this has been important to generate repeat business.
For at least the next 12 months the franchise industry will face rising costs. Customers are likely to cut spending to manage their own household budgets better. Therefore, keeping existing customers interested in your offering by developing something new could be the difference to persuade them to invest in your franchise’s services or product when they are limiting their spend with other businesses.
As the statistics show, it’s also much easier to gain repeat business than attract new customers. Therefore, why not spend some time thinking outside of the box to see what innovations you can bring to your franchise offering to keep your own customers excited?