What is the best way to turn customers into repeat customers?
I'm constantly struggling to take happy customers and turn them into repeat customers. What are some fundamental tactics to create repeat customers?
If you have happy customers - then you have solved their problems. To keep repeat customers - you have to find unhappy customers who need their problems solved. If your customers are happy - that's great - you cannot fix what is not broken when you've solved the problems of your customer at that point. They will come back to you when they are in trouble again - but you need more. You may want to consider finding other customers that have the problems you are so good at fixing by starting with your existing customers and asking for the referral. That would be a fundamental tactic to start with.
After Service and keeping relationship with clients by wishing them and their family members on their important days such as Birthdays, Wedding Anniversary and festivals will make them to remember your business always.
I agree with most of the comments that it depends on which industry you are in. Anything with relates to human interaction you need to keep HEART Model in mind;
H Hear and Understand
A Act with Integrity / Do not fear to apologise
R Resolve the issues / Respect Diversity
T Thank them for their business / Transcend Yourself
The simple answer is to make sure you don’t treat them as JUST Customers, meaning that repeat Customers are much more than a sale – repeat Customers are in a relationship. How long that relationship lasts is based on lots of factors.
Customer Service is the number one factor in building Customer relationships. Customers don’t frequent a business solely based on price, it what they perceive as the value added that a business provides.
• Do they feel welcome?
• Are they called by name?
• Are they thanked (many times) for their business?
• Are they sold “what they need” and not more?
• Are all their expectations met AND exceeded?
• Is their follow-up when appropriate?
All these “value added” services are, pretty much, FREE. When Customer Service is done correctly, then referrals and recommendations will be forthcoming and that is FREE ADVERTISING – and the best kind of advertising – personal endorsement.
Along with proactive Customer Service dynamics, make sure that the Customer’s entire “buying” experience is pleasant.
• Are your products and services “top notch” and “as advertised”?
• Are your staff members knowledgeable?
• Are you Customer contact employees empowered to make decisions within their job functions, or must they “talk to the manager”?
• Is the store or office clean and well maintained?
If a business is able to deliver on the above recommendations, then creating long-term relationships should be easy AND relatively inexpensive.
Kevin McCormack is a "Business Solutions Provider"
Hi Carrie ~
There are a lot of fabulous answers here, but what I haven't seen anyone suggest so far is asking for referrals and recommendations. When a satisfied customer thanks you via email, chat, or some other format besides phone, capture their words and send it to them with a polite note, saying something like, "I appreciate your kind comments so much and would love to share them. May I post the following on my website? Or feel free to edit. Thank you!" In my experience, just about everyone will be delighted to let you use the testimonial, especially if you add that you'll include a link back to their site. This is a win-win.
You can also (separately or in addition to the testimonial request) ask who else would be a good fit for your product, and ask if your client would be willing to broker a brief introduction; something as simple as a group message to you and their contact, introducing you to one another and suggesting that you might be able to help the other business with their needs. I've gotten some excellent new business this way. Always keep your original client apprised of the status of the new contact, and be sure to thank them profusely when the new contact becomes an account!
Hope this helps ~
Carrie. It's all about Value Proposition! Deliver on that over and over again and you will make up their minds, get their business forever, and get referrals from them. Whatever your product or service is, show your customer the VALUE. After that, it is all about communication to know their preferences.
Build relationships with them - stay friends, know the role you/your company/your company's products/services plays in their lives, (know what business you are REALLY in ex. I don't sell drinks at the bar, I help people loosen up after a long day's work) and just play that role to the fullest. This may be not the tactical advice you may be looking for, but it's really just like making friends with your customers, and looking out for them. Doing so, you will be exposed to new opportunities to serve them more, and further retaining their business.
Hope that helps!
Hello Carrie, At the risk of sounding glib (which I don't intend to be) the best way is to give them excellent service! I like the saying under promise and over deliver, as it sums up the best way to make customers feel that you have gone that extra mile for them, and that they are special to you.
What you seek is the holy grail that even the biggest global brands would like more of so don't beat yourself up too much if some of your clients are promiscuous.
I hope this both helps and give you more confidence in yourself and your proposition.
Give them just a little bit more than they expect. The principle of the bakers dozen. I wrote an article on this which describes it fully and which will g a long way to turning customers into repeat and loyel customers or clients. http://authorservices.org/bakers-dozen.shtml
when it comes down to having repeat customers you'll have to try to setup a well structured sales process (plus after sales).
In most cases, customers only have a need until they are reminded of it. For example kids drool over Michael Jordan shoes because they are constantly reminded of how cool they are and how great he was when he wore them. Keep this in mind.
When doing sales you'll need to know how you got your customer but most importantly who they are? This will enable you to setup a baseline on how to approach them for repeat services. For example: some clients are busy people and are always on the go. they'll need a reminder of your services more often than someone who has a less busy schedule. Doing a great job, is one thing but that leaves too much in the hands of the customer.
Customers respond best when you pay attention to them (especially for after sales). For example if your client was complaining about business going slow during your project, follow up on them with that as the main topic and slip in (very subtle) a coupon or promotional campaign that you are doing. This will get you started, until you establish a good enough system to automatize it through "MailChimp" for example. In this phase, your goal will be to segment your clients into groups, once you get them in groups, it will be easy to have a system in place to cater to all of them at the right time.
Keep in mind that there are a few reasons why people don't buy again and it usually comes down to this:
*they don't like your services, the initial buy
*they don't need them at that time
*they aren't convinced yet
Your job will to figure out which one it is, this will have the biggest chance in creating loyalty with your customers and loyalty is the biggest thing that you want otherwise they are not coming back.
I hope this helps, sorry for the long read.
Hi Carrie. I've always been a believer in striking when the fire is hot. First, it goes without saying that you have to over deliver on your service, and generally be a pleasant person to work with.
Having said that, the best time to offer additional services to your new client is immediately after delivering your just-completed project. It's at this point that your client is in the most receptive mood, and is excited to collaborate with you on the the next challenge.
Keep in touch with your clients, and nurture the relationship. Show genuine interest and concern for their business. There's no need to hard sell… just be there and present, so that when the time comes, you are the first on their list to reach out to.
Best way to get repeat orders is only possible if you had done your 1st job for them the best way...and off course repeated casual emails might be useful as well.
Fundamentally - you have to think how you shop for products and services and what makes you go back to an existing supplier. Think of any product or service you consume. You will find top 2-3 factors influencing your decision. I just thought about it and in my opinion, among them would be price, quality of service, relevancy of communication with supplier and most important, if there was an issue, how your supplier dealt with it.
Now you map your findings with your customers and see who would value which factor. You will be able to identify that each customer is unique and their expectation would vary. But, if you know your customer enough - you will know the answer.
And, if you do not know your customer enough - then probably it is first issue to be resolved and you need to meet and build relationship with them and understand the factors important to them - and then you are well informed to do what needs to be done.
Hope my perspective helps you.
I think Joseph Gedguad has a great point - they need a reason to come back and if the product you sell is great quality they shouldn't be coming back to buy another one! Although, you might be able to get them to recommend your products to friends (peer to peer marketing is a really good way to get new customers).
You could offer deals on the other products in your range - so they could get the whole set etc.
I guess the other question is how long have you been going - if you have only been trading for a short time you may not have hit the natural life of one of your products to be replaced - Joseph's other point about his bag lasting 3 years. You might get fantastic repeat business once people are ready change to a different laptop and therefore need a new bag?
Cheers & best of luck!
The following has worked great for us:
Over the top customer service (client email us and we respond in less than 5 minutes)
We go the extra mile always
fast turn around on projects
Absorb any costs if we underestimate our projects
Newsletter to our existing customer --to stay top of mind
I hope these may work fro your business.
Do you use a CRM? I would suggest offering incentives for repeat business and referrals. Sending out a survey, online marketing through Social Media to build an engaged audience. You should be reaching out to customers throughout the relationship and being proactive to ensure customer loyalty, especially if your are in the service industry.
Email Marketing will be your real key here.
If you've signed someone up to your website, or they've already checked out, you'll have their email address.
With their permission, of course.
Sending a targeted email with a value proposition that will catch their attention helps you:
a) Reinforce your brand image.
b) Help drive repeat revenue.
c) Allows you to test different messaging.
All of these three will, in turn, help further increase your repeat custom.
Just treat them right and keep in touch with them via social media and they will become loyal repeat customers. You need to find out what they are interested in - they will tell you if you ask the right questions.