Here’s a standard business question. How do I get repeat customers?
I recently read an interesting article entitled 5 Tips for Turing First Time Buyers Into Repeat Clients from Future Simple’s Growth University by Dana Prince that addresses how to keep clients. I thought the same points would also translate into keeping customers as well. It is common sense stuff, but with my dealings with businesses (outside of work) I find very few small (medium, or corporate) business owners are adhering to all of these simple steps.
Part of my job at Distillery Web Design is to find new businesses in the Springfield, Lebanon, Camdenton, and Lake area in Missouri and find out if they have a web presence. Basically, I get to be snoopy. I know there are businesses literally opening everyday. Some with store fronts, others from the comfort of home. Trust me, there are many, many, many cupcake places (even ones infused with alcohol) to choose from. Along with cleaning services, lawn care, photographers,etc. So, how do you get customers to be loyal to your business when there is probably another business (or businesses) just like yours?
Prince states in order to gain repeat customers, businesses should do the following:
- Deliver on Time
- Be polite (actual say “Please” and “Thank You”
- Illicit Feedback (Were you happy? If not, how can we fix it?)
- Deliver Value
- Reward Loyalty
I want to add something to this list as well. All of these points also translate to any online or phone conversations. Any behavior you and your employees exhibit reflects on your business. You might have a great product, but if you are difficult to reach by phone people are not going to stay. Answer the phone by the first or second ring and say something like “Thank you for calling (insert your business here). This is (insert employee name here). How may I help you?” Also, if you have a Facebook page make sure you are answering questions and always, always, be polite.
All business owners (whether small, medium, or corporate) should be implementing these basics. Remember the Golden Rule and treat others the way you want to be treated. I do not think any of us like to be put aside, ignored, left on hold, or feel unwanted.
Let’s reiterate Prince’s 5 points along with a little explanation.
Deliver on Time:
In other words, have follow through. Following through is extremely important because it falls into the trust category. Let me give you an example. You promised said product/service will be delivered, and it arrived late. That customer is going to be mad and will probably not use your product/service again. The dissatisfied customer is going to tell their friends and colleagues not to use your product/service again. Now your business has a bad reputation. Unlike Joan Jett’s song “Bad Reputation”, you should care about your business reputation. Make sure to deliver your promise. If for some reason the product or service will be late (it happens occasionally), then contact the customer immediately. For most people, having a heads up is always better than being surprised.
Follow the Golden Rule. You will also need to train your employees to follow what you deem to be polite, especially if this is a persons first job. Young people do not innately know how to be professional. Employees will follow your lead, so make sure you are setting a good example and TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES.
If something is not going correctly, you will want to know immediately. If a customer is not happy, make it right and save the relationship. If all is well, be sure to thank the customer, and ask for an online recommendation for your business. A happy customer will be more than happy to help.
Prince says it best in her article, “Good products, good pricing, great customer service = happy loyal customers.”
Make your customers feel appreciated. They choose your business to frequent, so reward them. A simple thank you, a buy one get one only for loyal customers, anything to show that you feel lucky to have their business.
Prince goes on to state that you, as a business owner, need to be easy to work with in order to get repeat business. Nobody likes a pain. By following the points Prince has outlined in her article, then your new customers will be repeat customers.
Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!