Some of the links contained within this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We only recommend or review products we feel great about, and work hard to help you make an informed decision.
How to Keep Customers Coming Back
An interesting thing happens when the economy starts to improve… Businesses big and small take for granted their customer base. Albeit, not intentionally, but the result is just the same. For those of you who were in business in 2008-20012, you’ll remember the desperation and fear that business owners across the country faced due to slow sales and lack of revenue.
Then things slowly got better and business owners were faced with another, more sneaky problem, lack of employees to meet customer demand. As the economy has improved, businesses across the United States have struggled to get skilled and affordable labor. In fact, CNBC reports that The U.S. labor shortage is reaching a critical point, stating, “Business’ number one problem is finding qualified workers. At the current pace of job growth, if sustained, this problem is set to get much worse.”
How does this affect your customer return rate?
When a business is running short-staffed or is trying to cut corners in payroll, the customer doesn’t get the attention they need to feel like the interaction was worth a return visit. They may give you a second chance, but if they aren’t delighted, they will never return.
This is a huge problem for your future revenue as repeat business is known for far-reaching business benefits, including:
- Long-time customers are known to spend exponentially more than new customers over the lifetime of your working relationship
- Return customers act as brand ambassadors offering referrals to anyone looking for your product or service
- Repeat customers offer better feedback and insight than new customers who simply will not return if their expectations are not met
How to keep customers coming back
Let’s face it, it can be tough to get customers. You have to market, advertise and hustle to get business, then… You have to try to keep that business. So, how do you keep the same customers coming back again and again?
Be Genuine and Transparent
If you can’t meet a deadline or expectation, keep open communication and be honest with the customer. Most of the time they will be completely understanding and work with you to make the situation right. Since most people value honesty and transparency, they are more likely to return knowing you will always keep them in the loop.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t over promise, under deliver. If the customer’s deadline or expectation is unreasonable, tell them upfront. Likewise, if your business processes work a particular way, let the customer know by providing a hand-out or brochure that outlines what they should expect. This is an easy way to set the expectation up-front and avoid disappointment later.
Whether it’s helping a customer get the right items at a grocery store or building a custom one-off car, do what you say you’re going to do and finish the task at hand.
Keep the customer in the loop by having a follow-up system in place. This may be a status update email or phone call, or an after the service check-in. However, you choose to do it, make sure you continue to follow-up with clients. Making a regular practice of this will keep you top of mind when they need your product or service in the future.
In a nutshell, do what you say when you say you’re going to do it and be grateful that there are people who want to do business with you. Never take your existing customer or clients for granted and do the little things that will delight them in the long-run.
Mandy Davis is the owner of Ingrain Social Media a boutique digital marketing agency in Bend, Oregon that specializes in digital marketing with an emphasis on social media marketing. Mandy helps clients from all walks of life and industries get their brands found online.