Boosting Repeat Customer Numbers
Depending on which expert you believe, it costs somewhere between 5-7 times as much to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, and if you were to ask any retailer or service business their priorities will be similar regardless of their product or service. Increasing the number of customers through their bricks and mortar or virtual door, increasing the value of each purchase or ‘basket size’ and harnessing the power of word of mouth by turning their best customers into brand advocates are common goals that drive the most successful customer focused businesses.
One of the most important steps in increasing repeat customers is to identify who these customers currently are, look for patterns in their profile and purchasing habits and formulate your key customer profile. Once you have established the customers most like to return and be the most loyal, you can target your sales strategies in the direction most likely to succeed.
Survey a cross section of your key customers to assess why they are motivated to purchase from you and not your competitors. Find out what the key benefit you offer as a business and ask how they found out about you to assist in future marketing and advertising strategies and initiatives.
Once you have identified who your key customers are, the profile of those most likely to purchase in the future and the best communication strategies that attracted them to your business, use this information to drive the campaigns and offers most attractive to those most likely to buy and make them an offer they can’t refuse.
It’s easy to think you’ve got customer service in the bag, and become complacent when it comes to customer interaction. It never hurts to refresh and remind front line staff of some simple and straightforward strategies to ensure they are providing the high level of service your customers expect and deserve.
Just because you have successful sales strategies and a proven track record you need to remember the basics in keeping your customers happy. Don’t forget to actively listen and learn. Follow up and facilitate feedback from customers so that you can ensure the experience was as successful as thought it was and you can use positive experiences as testimonials and encourage your customers to become brand advocates and ambassadors.
Treat customers as you like to be treated and look for opportunities to exceed their expectations. Make sure all visitors feel welcome and valued. When you offer help, don’t make assumptions and ensure their buying experience is individualised and effective on all levels, and if this is not possible for some reason, listen carefully and respectfully to any complaints or concerns and action and follow through on issues until a satisfactory resolution is achieved.
However you interact with your customers; online, over the phone, in person or in writing, carry through the same level of customer service, engagement and goals. Your presence and service might be fantastic in store but unfriendly in social media or vice versa, which sends mixed and unhelpful messages. Be consistent and the results will show.