Updated: Jan 22
When it comes to finding a new customer versus having a repeat customer, the latter is better for your business. As per a study conducted by BIA/Kelsey, repeat customers are critical for the success of your business. Repeat customers spend more than new customers, are easier to sell to, and cost less for each sale. The good news is that getting your customers to come back isn't as hard as you may think. Let's look at 5 underrated strategies to keep customers coming back—even if they already bought from you:
1. Focus on Customer Service
Most companies believe that if they sell a good product, the customers will keep buying more. However, that is not the case. American Express found that about 52% of customers did not complete a transaction due to poor customer service. When customers experience your business, they want a positive experience, not just a great product.
You can improve your customer service by training your agents to communicate well provide easy self-service modes or chatbots for instant replies. For example, look at Trader Joe's. Just run a simple Google search, and you will see hundreds of articles on how Trader Joe's cult following is constantly growing. The number one reason for this is their unbeatable customer service program.
2. Provide Personalized Services
Accenture found that about 33% of customers left a business due to the lack of personalized services. Personalization conveys that you value your customers and want to provide the best possible service to them. This is especially true in today's data-driven economy, where companies heavily invest in the personalization of services. Personalization doesn't mean that you have to create new services for each customer. Instead, it could be as simple as providing offers and discounts based on the customers' purchasing history.
YouTube Recommendations is perhaps one of the best examples of the value of personalization. The company has grown exponentially by providing recommendations based on users' watch history. Thus, creating a feeling from the YouTube subscriber that YouTube "knows" what they like, making the search process seamless.
3. Respond to Feedback
In all likelihood, your customers don't expect you to be perfect. Instead, they want to know that you care about what they think. This is especially important when you are just starting to build a base of repeat customers. Consider creating a process for taking and responding to feedback quickly and efficiently.
First, you might have to check the method your customers are most comfortable with. For example, an online feedback form might work for an online consultancy but not for a grocery store. Find a method that makes it easier for the customer to respond and easy to collect, so nothing slips through the cracks.
4. Follow Through On Your Commitments
Take your commitments very seriously. If you said you would do something, make sure you follow through! This can be as simple as returning a call or email at the scheduled time.
Following through with your commitments creates a sense of predictability and reliability. Your customers will appreciate your reliability, thus fostering trust between them and your brand.
5. Create Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are great for incentivizing your customers to become repeat customers. The benefits you offer through such a program will not be available if your customers decide to shop from your competitor. Loyalty programs are also good for your business as they do not require any upfront costs. You can set up a loyalty program based on your business model. The most common form is to provide a discount on a subsequent purchase.
For example, look at Starbucks Rewards Program. Depending on the number of stars, you can skip the line at the store, get a free drink on your birthday and receive unlimited coffee refills at the store. This encourages the customers to return for more stars and earn incentives!
In short, repeat customers are the backbone of your business. Repeat customers spend more than new customers, but they also require lesser marketing dollars to acquire. To create a strong repeat customer base, invest in customer retention strategies. This can be in the form of improved customer service, responding to feedback, following through, providing personalized services, and creating loyalty programs.