A mistake business owners tend to make when trying to grow their businesses is that they focus on attracting new customers and neglect their existing, or past, customers. The key to building a sustainable business is to ensure you have regular, repeat customers.
In fact customer retention is far easier than attracting new customers after all they already know you, they know what you offer and they know how good your product or service delivery is.
“Repeat customers grow businesses”
Repeat customers help you establish credibility and brand loyalty. They can become your indirect marketers by telling their contact who to go to for your particular product or service offering. Because they trust you, their contacts will be more willing to bring you their business.
Benefits of having repeat customers
Having a solid database of repeat customers has a positive impact on your bottom line, and helps you build a sustainable business.
Regular and predictable income stream
Repeat customers top up your revenue coffers on a regular basis. So not only are you earning on a frequent basis, but you can also do more accurate sales forecasting. This in turn enables you to better manage your business finances.
Effective marketing campaigns
It is far easier to build strong relationships with repeat customers. By knowing your customers you will be able to tailor your marketing campaigns to suit their wants and needs. This will greatly reduce your overall marketing costs.
If you know your customers, you know how to get them to buy from you. Unlike cold calling, it is far easier to pick up the phone and tell you customers about an exciting new product offering. As you have an existing relationship with them, they will be more inclined to listen to you. And because they trust you, there is a greater chance that they will buy from you.
Creating repeat customers
Just because someone buys your product or service, doesn’t mean that they will come back to you. Remember that your customer is paying attention to your service throughout the transaction. If you want to get their repeat business, they need to be highly impressed with your business.
“Product quality does not guarantee customer loyalty”
While end product quality is important, it isn’t the only thing that keeps customers coming back. With so many options and alternatives customers expect more for their money. Customers are demanding these days, if they don’t get that feel good factor there is a good chance they will take their business elsewhere.
So just how do you create the feel good factor?
Under-promise and over-deliver
The simplest way to impress your customers is to under-promise and then over-deliver. For instance if you are a service provider or manufacturer, you probably know how long it takes to deliver the end result. So when you are providing a quote, add in a contingency. If you know it will only take 3 days to complete, then tell them that it will take 4 days.
Completing it a day sooner will impress the client. Additionally by having a day’s contingency it will ensure that you can address any issues in a timely manner and still deliver on time.
Make your customers feel special
Look at your customer service, how well do you treat your customers? Disinterested and rude staff, poor communication and impersonal service leaves a bad taste in a customer’s mouth and is the most effective way of chasing your customers away. Make sure you hire the right staff, with good interpersonal skills, and then train them in how to interact with your customers.
Good staff who engage customers in a positive, professional and friendly manner give customers that feel good factor. Your customers will remember them and their experiences of your business, and most likely return.
Go the extra mile
If you really want to impress your customers and turn them into repeat business, then go the extra mile. No matter what you are offering, be it products or services, you are a problem solver. By providing these offerings you are solving a want or need a customer has. If you are too rigid in your offerings you can lose business. So instead of chasing customers away by stating “we don’t offer that”, help them solve their problem. Either by tailoring your offering or helping them find an alternative solution.
This will leave your customer highly impressed with your service. Even if they don’t buy from you immediately, they will remember you and return in the future.
Remember “people buy people first, and product second”. The bottom line is that in order to create repeat business, you need to not only have a great product offering, but you also have to excel at customer service. You have to put them first, make them feel valued and build good relationships with them.