How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
It costs much more to obtain a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer. The challenge for any business is to connect with their best customers and keep them coming back for more.
Customers want to be recognised, they want to receive good service and they want their loyalty to be appreciated. It’s important to get these fundamentals right to ensure repeat business.
How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
A customer decides whether to be loyal to your business long-term, from the moment they walk into your store. It’s important to provide outstanding customer service from the very beginning and create a great first impression. Once a customer experiences a superior level of service that can’t be found elsewhere, they will come back not only for your product or service, but for the experience.
In order to build loyalty, you need to reward it. You can offer a rewards program or a loyalty card to entice customers back. Other ideas may include:
- offering a discount on their next purchase
- holding special event nights with samples and door prizes
- offering free delivery to customers who live in the immediate area.
After Sales Communication
Regular communication with customers after the sale, is imperative in order to build relationships and ensure retention. Reach out to customers through a newsletter, emails, surveys, or social media to send updates and offers. However, keep in mind that “too much” communication can become annoying to some customers and may in fact have the opposite effect. Find the right balance and ensure your communication is meaningful and has a purpose. Staying in contact with your customers is essential at all times, especially if something has gone wrong. You need to be able to quickly react to and rectify any negative issues which may arise. In doing so, you may avoid “losing” customers by showing that your business is understanding, reassuring and approachable.
Provide Great Service
If you want customers to keep coming back to your business, your service to them has to be one of your highest priorities. If people who are trying to contact your business over the phone are put on hold for too long, or your in-store customers are met with rude and impatient staff, you’ll never build up a loyal base of customers. It’s so important to make sure that everyone representing your business puts forward a positive image and treats customers with the kind of respect that will keep them coming back again and again.
Keep it Fresh
Customers have little incentive to come back to your store if there is nothing new to see or there are rarely any changes. Keep your store dynamic by regularly updating store displays, front windows, products, services, décor, fixtures, fittings and overall store ambience. Whilst it’s impractical and costly to change all of these, just focusing on a couple of areas at a time, is enough to keep customers coming back to your store and maintaining an interest in your business.
Listen to customers when they share feedback about your business, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. This could be in the form of surveys, questionnaires, face-to-face conversations or even social media. Their opinion about your products and the service they received is the best tool you have to measure how your business is performing. Focus on making the positives even better and identify and improve on the negatives. This shows customers that you value their opinion and are willing to make changes to how you run your business. Regular interaction with customers is a simple way to ensure they keep coming back.
Tips to Keep Customers Coming Back:
- Encourage staff to greet customers by name whenever possible
- Thank them for their business at the time of the order or sale
- Set high standards for providing outstanding service
- Train staff to be warm and friendly
- If appropriate, maintain a database on regular customers and their preferences
- Attempt to make all customers feel welcome and appreciated
- Send them thank you notes or cards
- Offer them special discounts
- Sell them everything they need to gain maximum benefit from their purchase
- Follow up (after sales service)
- Stay in touch often
- Keep the lines of communication open
- Make it easy for them to contact your business
- Surprise them (gifts, samples, birthday discounts)
- Inform them of new stock, products and services
- Exceed their expectations
Keeping a customer loyal to your business starts from when they enter your store for the very first time. The impression they get from this initial visit will determine whether or not they keep coming back for more. By providing outstanding service to the customer and treating them with respect and kindness, you create a positive perception of your business in their mind. This in-turn increases the likelihood of them returning to your store for repeat business (and perhaps telling others about you).