What can keep a business afloat? Make new customers and establish repeat customers. Making a sale is just the first step in growing a business. The next step is to ensure they become repeat customers.Attracting new customers is just as important as retaining them.
In No Joke Marketing’s Six Sentence Marketing Plan™, the focus of the marketing plan is the customer. The details of the plan discuss about what you want your prospects to do, who will be your target market, how will you reach them and the most important thing is what will be your lasting impression on them. And that’s the secret.
Great lasting impression should be on every businessman’s mind. This can only be achieved through Excellent Customer Service. Put yourself into a customer’s perspective. Surely there are establishments you prefer and some you would rather not return to because of how the experience made you feel. All customers deserve a delightful experience. A customer’s experience stays with them and could be the deciding factor if they will return for your service/product or not. It’s good to have new customers but better if they become your repeat customers.
Here are few steps you can take to help you establish repeat customers.
Say “Thank You” and mean it. This simple gesture can make a difference. You can send an email to them and much better if you can personalize it with their names. Some establishments even hold an anniversary sale or event highlighting their gratitude for their customers.
Be Visible. This means BE there for your customers. Know their concerns, answer inquiries, assist in every possible way.
Build communication portal. Connect with your customers through social media, emails and official website. Be active in answering inquiries and comments. Always update your site.
Give Discounts and Bonuses. Some businesses give next-order discounts, birthday discounts and return/welcome-back discounts. Also, customers like bonuses. That’s why the “buy x get y free” is almost always a hit. Better bonuses are those which come as a surprise which are normally in a service industry such as hotels. For example a complimentary dinner, exclusive offers and such.
As much as possible we want our customers to have the best service and experience. However, how about those who are not satisfied? Customers can destroy your image through word-of-mouth, social media and even in your establishment if not handled properly. Before you count them as a loss, great customer service can save this customer. Always connect with your customer, listen to the concern and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. One effective way of demonstrating concern to the customer after you resolved the complaint is by calling the customer to check if the service or product, for example a replacement item, is received to their satisfaction. Customers need assurance that they are valued.
A new customer means opportunity to become a loyal customer. You have to take care of them the moment they decide to acquire your service. Remember, they can either build or destroy your reputation. A happy customer is a repeat customer.