When customers return to your business on a regular basis, it reduces the time and cost of your marketing efforts. Repeat customers are also more likely to recommend your business to friends and associates. Practicing the following six tips will make your customers want to return again and again.
1. Make a great first impression. A good first impression goes a long way towards customer retention. Greet every customer with eye contact, a friendly tone of voice and a smile – even if your first contact is via phone, chat, or a mobile device.
2. Keep in touch. GenX and Millennials may consider email an outdated technology, but it’s still a very effective way to keep in touch with customers. To keep them interested, send emails with a short blog, newsletter article, or announcements of new products, sales or promotions. Focus on useful information rather than a heavy sales pitch.
3. Be responsive. Business isn’t just about products and services; it’s about relationships. Timely responses to customer comments or questions on your web site or social media will help build the relationship with the customer.
4. Be respectful of your customer’s time. These days, everyone is in a hurry. To respect their time, provide fast, efficient service. Make it easy for customers to find the products they want in your store and the information they want on your web site. When you promise delivery by a certain date, don’t be late!
5. Make your business user-friendly. Make the buying process as quick and simple as possible. Have knowledgeable, well-trained employees who can answer customer questions. Accept call-in orders and mobile payment, and have a customer-friendly return policy. Establish business hours that align with your customers’ schedules.
6. Solve problems quickly and cheerfully. When a customer has a complaint, let them explain it without interrupting, then do your best to resolve it to their satisfaction. Never get angry or blame the customer. Resolving a problem in a timely manner actually strengthens the relationship with the customer.
Most of all, treat your customers with courtesy and respect. People want to do business with people they like. Make them feel welcome, treat them like a friend, and always thank them for their business.