Keeping an existing customer costs far less than acquiring and convincing a prospective customer to make that first purchase. Repeat customers are great for business, but what exactly does it take o turn that new shopper into a loyal and lifelong buyer? Here are a few tips:
- CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Providing your customer with a memorable and enjoyable experience is key for repeat business. Nowadays, most marketing strategies are centered on the customer, so your business is facing a lot of competition. One-time shoppers have not established any loyalty to your brand yet, and it would be easy to shop at another establishment simply because they can. Providing a delightful shopping experience to your customer, whether through prompt service, friendly and knowledgeable staff, or going the extra mile, will leave a lasting impression that will entice them to look for a reason to come back to your store, maybe even with a friend in tow.
If you feel you’ve fallen short of giving wowing your customer on their first purchase, don’t fret. Transactions can still be transformed into great relationships with your customers through thoughtful follow-up. The best time to engage a one-time shopper is within 30 days of their purchase – a simple thank you email or handwritten note shows that you took the time to express your appreciation of their business. If you were not able to include your business card with their purchase, you can send that along with your note. Sending gift cards, coupons, or advising them of discounts and promotions would also entice the customer to return to your store.
- CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Businesses are always coming up with new ways to retain customers, and the best way to do this is by finding out what those customers need next. Instead of simply looking at trends, directly asking your customers what they are looking for creates several opportunities for your business: knowing the demand lets you know what to supply, plus your customers would appreciate you getting their input. Furthermore, obtaining feedback or suggestions from customers lets you know what you need to work on, and if you ever implement a change or improvement based on a customer’s suggestion, make sure that that person is credited (with consent). Continue to engage your customers by sending newsletters of whatever changes were based on customer feedback.
Retargeting allows you to re-engage a customer that reached checkout but didn’t complete the transaction. Retargeting through Facebook, Twitter, or Google Adwords allows you to reach a custom audience using ads that they are already interested in. Retargeting can be used to inform them of new products or sales, but also to acquire feedback, thereby reinforcing your brand and building that relationship with your customer.
- CONSISTENCY ACROSS ALL CHANNELS
Providing a shopper with great service should be done on their first purchase and every purchase thereafter. Furthermore, the quality of service you provide should be consistent across the board. A customer who receives great service in-store but speaks to a rude employee over the phone will not likely give you any future business.
Always look at your one-time shoppers as potential repeat customers. That first transaction is the key, but these tips are what will help you open the door to lifelong buyers.