Regardless of whether you’re a start-up or an established business, keeping your existing customers happy and coming back to make further purchases costs you less and can make you more money. According to blueocean, it can cost up to five times as much to acquire a new customer than it costs to retain one; 70% of businesses who were surveyed agree that it’s cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones and a 5% increase your customer retention rate can increase profits anywhere from 25 – 95%. Your existing customer base is arguably your most important asset as they are not only a potential source for continuous sales, they may even become brand evangelists, recommending your products or services to family, friends and social media contacts. So with that, let’s take a look at three ways you can get customers coming back and buying from you again.
1. Communication is Key
How many times have we heard that saying when it comes to relationships? And building a relationship with your customers is a reliable way to ensure they’ll return again. Financeit puts it this way, “Touching base with your customers on a regular basis can help keep your business top of mind.” They recommend developing a “communications schedule to map out ongoing touchpoints with your customer base.” This means looking for opportunities to reach out to your customers that make sense. For example, Shopify found that emails were the number one referral source for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. So following up with a thank you email or a hand-written note a couple of weeks after a sale, emails personalized to your customers letting them know of new product lines they might be interested in and emails notifying them of sales can get your customers back through your physical or virtual shop doors.
2. No Matter What You Sell, You’re in the Service Business
Which means that every time your customers engage with you is an opportunity for you to win their loyalties. Or at least the opportunity not to lose them. Having a phone number customers can call, a chat box, help desk tool and answering customer emails promptly are all necessary in the e-commerce age. With online shopping essentially available 24/7, if you’re not there to answer a potential customer’s question or resolve an issue quickly, it’s far too easy for that customer to leave you for a competitor or dissuade other potential customers with a bad online review. You can also make it easy for customers who have made a purchase to create an account with one click of a button. The convenience factor alone could be enough to get customers to buy from you again.
3. Reward Their Loyalty
How often do you go to a specific gas station or grocery store because you want to collect points? It only makes sense that if you have to spend the money, that you might as well get the most for your dollar. Your business might not sell necessities that people have to keep coming back to purchase, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer discounts for referrals, multiple purchases or orders over a certain dollar value. With the right incentives in place (it might be a good idea to ask customers what those would be) your customers might even look for excuses to make more purchases from you.