How To Boost Sales With Returning Customers
Keeping your customers happy in today’s competitive market is no small feat.
Not only do potential buyers have unlimited options to choose from, but they also have a wide variety of ways to buy.
Satisfied, happy customers are the lifeblood of most businesses. They make up 80% of the company’s future revenue and are a source of new business through referrals.
But how do you keep your customers happy? How do you make sure they keep returning to buy from over many years.
The key is to build trust and loyalty. When customers feel loyal to your brand, they are much more likely to choose your brand over other competitors.
Don’t Forget Your Existing Customers
Many business owners get obsessed with finding new customers and clients. They see that new customers can equal more revenue and growth.
But the reality is that acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than keeping existing customers happy. Add to this the fact that it is 50% easier to sell to existing customers than brand new prospects.
Studies by Bain & Co have shown that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. Focusing on improving your customer communication and service quality might be one of the best-kept marketing secrets out there.
Here are some of the best methods for growing customer loyalty and retention.
1) Reduce Purchase Friction
Reducing friction for your customers is crucial if you want to stand out. Faster service translates into real revenue. Look at the ways that Amazon has made buying easier during the past 25 years. Businesses lose customers who have to go through several steps at checkout or complete a lot of forms. As a rule, focus on eliminating every purchasing hurdle you can, from check-ins to entering additional information. Make it easy, and customers will stay with you.
2) Invite Feedback and Suggestions
It might seem strange to ask your customers how to run your business, but you might be surprised to find they can help.
Involving your customers in the design and delivery of products and services not only makes your business better but makes your customers want to stay with you.
By soliciting customer ideas and suggestions, you can engage with them on a deeper level and understand what motivates them to buy.
Of course, getting feedback doesn’t just mean sending out random surveys. It means inviting customers to company events or visiting them at their location to see them using your products in real-time.
Take the time to understand your business from the point of view of a customer, and you will be able to better shape your offerings around what they want.
3) Focus on Caring For People
According to Shep Hyken, ‘customer retention is a byproduct of customer service and experience.’ And all experiences are created by the people who work for your company.
When you systemize your customer experience, you can potentially increase customer retention. But, retention and loyalty will only happen when a business has a people-focused culture. What is happening inside an organization is felt by the customers on the outside. Companies that don’t care for their team don’t typically retain customers for very long.
Take care of your team, and they will take better care of your customers. From there, a genuine relationship of trust and loyalty will begin.
4) Engage In a Genuine Way
A business is different from a person, but that doesn’t mean your company can’t communicate in a human way.
Ensure that the corporate tones are turned down, and a genuine personality permeates your marketing and social media. A genuine person will outshine any corporate messaging. This is why you see companies like AT&T and Progressive Insurance use people to represent their brands. Even though they are larger scale companies, they still appear genuine and personal in their approach. Give your customers a voice to connect with, and your brand will always get more attention.
5) Run Loyalty Oriented Promotions
Everyone likes to feel like they are a VIP or part of the Inner Circle. And one of the best ways to make this happen for your clients is to offer them a simple loyalty program.
Membership programs have become very popular during the past ten years, as more stores offer special discounts and member-only offers. You can create one for your company by asking your customers what they would value from you the most. Then create a loyalty or rewards program around them that has clear, tangible benefits.
You can even personalize the customer experience by offering them seasonal offers before they go to the public or exclusive access to new products and services. Another great idea is to feature your members in your marketing in some way, showing the benefits of being a loyal customer.
Customers Don’t Owe You Loyalty
It might seem that having excellent products or services should be enough to keep customers coming back. But in today’s hyper-competitive world, this is no longer the case.
If you want customers to keep coming back, you have to earn their loyalty first. Give them a wow experience the first time, and they will be more likely to return. Keep improving their experience, and they will keep buying and referring new business to you over many years.