It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, so focusing on customer retention should be a no-brainer for small business owners. How can you transform a one-time purchase into a repeat customer who comes back again and again?
5 Foundations to Encourage Repeat Customers
It doesn’t matter what you sell or how much you charge when it comes to repeat customers. You could be selling a luxury car or a handmade hair clip, but at the end of the day, it’s all about value. Do your customers feel like they’re getting a great value for what they’re buying? If the answer is yes, they’ll come back to your business in the future. If not, chances are they ‘ll try one of your competitors next. Focus on providing exemplary value through your products and services.
How do you communicate to your customers? Do you have an email newsletter, do you send them postcards in the mail, or do you advertise on a regular basis? It’s important that you keep your business top-of-mind for your customers so they think of you the minute they have a need for your products and services. Try a few different methods for communicating with them and see which avenues provide the best results.
Communication no longer happens only from business to consumer, thanks in large part to social media. You now have an amazing opportunity to create conversations and engage your customers. It goes well beyond traditional advertising, and you have a number of social platforms to use to do it. The brands that are most successful at engaging customers in social conversations will find that they create loyal customers much more quickly.
Customer service has always been a major factor in customer retention. You will need to be responsive, accommodating, and accessible in order to handle any issues quickly and efficiently. However, customer service is no longer restricted to phone calls or email messages. Make sure you’re tracking mentions of your brand on social media and watching for both positive and negative online reviews so you can quickly respond and provide a positive customer service experience.
One important part of creating repeat customers is giving them what they want. You can’t do this unless you are 1. asking them questions, and 2. implementing changes in your business based on the feedback you receive. You can ask for feedback through customer surveys and questionnaires, by conducting customer satisfaction calls, and even by following up on comments posted in social media and on online review sites.
If you work to provide these five things to each of your customers, they are much more likely to come back. Then, when they continue to come back because they’re so happy with your products and services, they’ll recommend your business to others, giving you another opportunity to create repeat customers.
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