How to make sure your customers come back
Finding and keeping customers is one of the biggest challenges
facing new businesses. So how do you entice the customer back after
that first sale?
With unreasonable advertising costs and no guarantees on returns
on investments, spreading the word about your business can be
difficult. However, it can be done and here are five tips on how to
get the clients coming back time and time again.
You don't need to a set up loyalty card or points scheme to give
something back to your consumer base, although it is an idea worth
considering if it suits your business. Offering a unique discount
to those who have purchased from you before will keep your name in
customers' minds and remind them to use your business again.
It's the little things you remember to do, which can build a
loyal team of customers. If you record how often customers buy
goods from you, send them a thank you card, voucher or another
token of appreciation with their 10th order. Whichever
way you choose, it will remind your clients how important they are
and help create a friendly image for your business.
Big brands like Tesco make the loyalty card option a staple of
their success while coffee chains and some restaurants have
perfected the "buy eight times, get one free" opportunity. These
may be examples of how big businesses retain customers, but it
shows the idea works and gets customers returning through doors
regularly enough to make up for any short term lost revenue.
Staying in contact with your customers is essential at all
times, whether through newsletters, social media or events.
However, it's never more crucial than when something has gone
wrong. It's a natural reaction to bury your head after a mistake,
but this will only help your clients go elsewhere.
Setting out a clear and open reaction to any issues within your
own company will help explain what went wrong to customers,
assuring them it won't happen again. Beyond this, they'll
understand and see your business as a more approachable brand, one
that sticks in their thoughts for future custom.
Never neglect customers
If you want to hold onto customers, your service to them has to
be one of your highest priorities. If people who are trying to
contact your business are met with half an hour of boring hold
music or impatient and inattentive support staff, you'll never
build up the loyal base of clients you're looking for.
Make sure everyone representing your business puts forward a
positive image and treats customers with the kind of respect which
will get them coming back again and again.
Apple and Papa John's Pizza may not seem like two companies with
a lot in common, but what they share is a reputation for great
customer service, which actively improves their products.
For all the money invested into PR and advertising, having a
face and personality for your brand is the most effective way to
embed yourself in the memories of customers. Take the time to think
how you want to present your brand and how you want customers to
think of you.
Once you've got this fixed, communicate it to everyone in your
business and ensure they present it to customers. Moreover, keep
yourself involved with as many stages of the business as possible
and interact with customers to keep them coming back.
While most modern entrepreneurs are ready to put themselves at
the forefront of their brand, there are few examples as clear as
Richard Branson and the Virgin Group. There is no need to look any
further to see how much an approachable image can help the success
of a business.
Keep it fresh
This is particularly important if your business runs a
significant amount of its processes through a website. You can't
expect customers to come back if there's nothing new to see.
Keeping your product information and highlighted aspects of your
brand fluid will allow the public to see more of what you offer and
maintain an interest in your company.
Creating and regularly using a blog for your business is also a
great way of spreading exciting news, keeping customers interested
and building a personality for your brand. Try to keep what's
written friendly and relaxed to help the public engage with your
It wouldn't be easy to find a successful business without a blog
these days. Many companies tie it in with the use of social media
to keep their content regularly updated and give their customers
something to be interested in.
Finally, have a look at the blog post about giving customers free stuff to discover
another way of getting them to come back.
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