We all know it’s better and more cost effective to have a steady stream of returning customers than always being focused on finding new customers. So, how do we keep our customers coming back once the first sale is made? Think of the first transaction as the first date in a series of dates, which ultimately leads to a long and wonderful relationship. The way to keep customers coming back is to develop and nurture a relationship with them.
Here are some ideas to keep your new customer coming back, in order to establish a lasting relationship:
- Promote your strengths, best products/services and greatest value compared to competitors.
- Offer incentives/discounts for return customers.
- Develop a customer-based community online: create a Facebook page where customers can share ideas and communicate with others of like mind.
- Once you have a Facebook page, provide valuable and interesting information that can help your customers.
- Create trust: let your customers know that if they don’t like something you’ll fix it.
- Contribute to a cause in a way that involves your customers. For example, if you sell books, offer to collect old books to give to charity like your local library or women’s shelter, and in return your customer gets 15% off on their next purchase.
- Establish a loyal customer rewards program and make it feel like it’s personalized to each individual.
- Make the sales process easier, faster and better than your competitors.
- Establish a follow up process to check on your customer’s satisfaction and needs regularly.
- Offer free personal delivery service or shipping.
- Establish an online relationship with your customers and provide real-time customer service.
- Provide an easy and comfortable way for customers to provide feedback, and promote changes and improvements you’ve made based on the suggestions of your customers.
- Once in a while, surprise your best customers with a special gift and share what you’ve done with the world.
- Highlight loyal customers and promote their importance for the world to see (create positive buzz).
- Create a fun, interactive contest as part of your marketing.
- Provide memorable and excellent customer service and value consistently.
- Focus on making the customer feel special, respected, highly valued and like they are a dear friend.
The key is to focus your efforts on developing a relationship with your customers, offering excellence, value and unique service that only you can provide.
How do you keep your customers coming back? We love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.