Businesses tend to focus their attention on getting new clients but may fail to realize that maintaining a relationship with current clients can perhaps be more important.
A loyal customer/client is not just building your bank account, but they are most likely telling their friends and family about you too. Think of them like a brand ambassador that you don’t have to pay. It is crucial to keep the business bond with returning customers, and also to figure out ways to convert first-time customers into loyal customers. It’s important to realize returning customers usually make up more than half of your business.
Strategies For First Time Customers
For first-time customers and clients, it is crucial you give them the best experience when visiting your business. Instead of speeding up their sale because you are in a rush to get to the next, give the customer/client your time. Make sure you or your employees are answering all of their questions, and focus all your attention on just them. Make their experience personal, introduce yourself by stating your name and ask them for theirs.
How to make the most of a customer’s first time experience:
- Make it personal.
- Ask them questions, and see what they’re interests are, as this will help you find out what products they need without them having to tell you.
- Since they are a first time customer, offer them something free with their purchase or if they are spending a lot, offer them a discount.
- Ask them personal questions at check out, such as when their birthday is, if they have any kids, or if they are celebrating or going to be celebrating anything special in the near future.
- Take any important notes on their profile that stood out about them such as, products they liked or any personal information they shared with you.
- Make it easy for them to reach you, give them your personal email or a company email/phone that they can also reach you for any questions or concerns.
- Follow up on their purchase.
- Listen to their needs, and be genuine.
These are different strategies that will make a customer/client feel important and will make them want to come back.
Make a customer feel important. Most people in the world love to feel like they are somebody special. It’s in our nature to feel a sort of satisfaction when someone makes us feel special or important. Making a customer feel important is one of the most essential ways of getting a repeat customer.
Strategies for Returning Customers
When a customer returns a few times, especially a loyal customer, it is important you remember their name. Greeting them with a “welcome back Mr./Mrs./Ms. Last name will make a customer/client feel special and that they are noticed and important to you and your business.
- Remember their name.
- Write handwritten notes or personal emails as a follow up to thank them for their business.
- Send them products or a gift card to use on your business on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, etc.
- Remember the products they love, and send them emails when products are in.
- Send them emails when new exciting products are in.
- Listen to criticism (and takes notes for next time) and offer them a discount or something free based on their loyalty.
- For very loyal and VIP clients, invite them to company events or any event you are attending that you think they may be interested in.
- Make sure you always keep in touch.
- Send Ecards on email for the holidays.
- Pay attention when they share good or bad feedback, and always ask them for feedback as well.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Making a customer/client feel important, special, and like they are a VIP is the most crucial strategy in any business for attracting and retaining customers.
A company doesn’t succeed or fill its best potential without the right employees. Training your employees to have your company’s beliefs and policies are very important.
A few strategies that are beneficial for training your employees:
- Create a Customer Policy – You can call this policy whatever you prefer, but a good way to remember it is as a “yes” policy. The customer is always right. Train your employees to say yes to anything the customer/clients need unless it is of course illegal. If they can’t offer something the customer is asking for, never say no. Use words such as “however” and train your employees to come up with different alternatives.
- Be Genuine- Most customers/clients can sense when someone is not being genuine. Train your employees to be as nice and respectful in a genuine way.
- Create a Handbook- When you hire a new employee, it is important to have them read a company handbook. The company handbook can reflect on all your policies, the company’s beliefs, and everything expected from your employee.
- Have them watch a Company Video- Similar to a company handbook, a company video would be visual. It will include the same type of information the handbook has.
Keeping customers loyal, and returning to your business is essential for your business to succeed and reach its highest potential. Business owners tend to forget about their returning customers, and instead focus on how to get as many new sales. Leaving a good impression the first time will make the customer come back which in the long run will benefit you and your bank account.