Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any successful business, and thanks to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, they have the power to be an online ambassador for your company. A loyal customer is not only paying for your products and services, but is telling others about you too. They are your walking, talking billboards and they are everywhere.
Taking the opportunity for repeat business for granted is a huge mistake. Statistics show that repeat customers spend 35% more than first time customers. That said, customers will come and go, often disappearing without ever letting you know why they’re not returning. Be sure to protect the investment you’ve made in earning their business the first time by taking the best possible care of them once you have them. Customer Experience (CX) should be one of your top focuses. (Employee experience should rank 1st in my opinion because the employees are who is taking care of your customers and you can’t ask them to impart that which they do not possess)
“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson
Here are 6 ways to cultivate your repeat customer base.
After each sale, devote considerable resources to continuing to build the relationship. Be relationship focused, not transaction focused. You have to care about them! Opportunities can include the typical being active on social media, sending clients a special incentive, and regular communication such as email newsletters. However, if you really want to wow them connect with them. Provision value to them! There is a fine line between keeping in touch and becoming a nuisance. Make sure your communications are powerful, meaningful and have a strong purpose. It’s always harder to leave someone you have a personal connection to.
Don’t Assume They’ll Remember You.
A customer may have used you once, but there’s absolutely no guarantee they will think of you the next time they need the services or product you offer. The real estate being competed for is the customer’s attention and there are a gazillion distractions for them each day. If you provide services to other companies and you haven’t heard from them in a while, reach out and let your contact know you would appreciate their future business. If they aren’t talking to you then who are they talking to?
Surprise the heck out of them
When someone exceeds our expectations, we leave feeling ecstatic and we’re more likely share our experience with others. This can be as simple as remembering a customer’s name, birthday, or anniversary. I remember shopping at my favorite grocery store and going up to the check-out counter with my kids. The check-out girl remembered my son and asked him something about his sports team. She remembered him, and it blew me away. You can train your people to do things like this or create a culture that rewards this type of activity. Leveraging technology to assist in growing your knowledge about your customers always helps in being able to surprise them.
Stay on the leading-edge of things
Give your customers a reason to shop with you again. Continue to hone and improve your offerings. You have to evolve ahead of your market. Stay on the Leading-Edge of what you do and remember to articulate that to existing customers. Changes and updates are more reasons to interact with your client base. Educate them on what you are doing, or what’s happening around them. Keeping them informed keeps them engaged with you as a source.
Go with the experts, not cheap labor
You can have the best product or service in the world, but if the person your customer interacts with is not engaging or even worse, is unpleasant to deal with, you will drive people away. In today’s world of customer interactions, engagement, and experience your people will make or break you. Make sure you have qualified people on your team. If you don’t it’s on you! It’s even smart to outsource this part to companies who specialize in customer care, sales, support, etc. It doesn’t mean you are losing control. You are being a good steward of your resources. Do what you do best and let others do what they do best. You wouldn’t try to provide your own internet to yourself, right? Why? Because it’s not what you do! (unless you’re an internet company. In that case you would fry your own chicken, right?) Friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and personalized service should be your gold standard. You get what you pay for with experts and labor.
Make Customers Feel Like Royalty
Listen to them! I mean really listen. No one ever feels more important than when they are heard.This requires two steps: paying attention when they share feedback and also proactively asking them what they think of your business. Send surveys to customers regarding their opinion about your product and the service they received, and then take the information to heart.
Go the extra mile for them. This doesn’t mean you have to GIVE them free crap. What it does mean is to put an emphasis on them, and their experience. Use your customer feedback to make the customer journey one that they enjoy. It should be the best ride they’ve ever been on.
“Listening offers data. Hearing offers empathy and intelligence. Activity, action, and engagement steer perspective and encourage a sense of community and advocacy.” – Brian Solis
For more information on how Leading Edge Connections can help you build your customer base, and more importantly hold on to them Click Here
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