How to Keep Customers Coming Back
Once you’ve gained a customer, it’s important to keep them hooked on your business. Follow these 12 strategies for encouraging repeat business.
Congratulations, you’ve scored a new customer! But, now what? How do you make that one-time customer into a loyal, repeat customer?
To be honest, there’s no one trick to keeping your customers coming back. Maintaining your customer base involves incorporating many different strategies geared toward providing the best possible customer experience.
In short, you want to give your customers such a positive interaction with your business that they can’t wait to return.
So, how exactly do businesses keep customers coming back? Check out our guide below for 12 easy strategies to help improve customer retention.
12 Strategies to Keep Customers Coming Back
Encouraging your customers to keep coming back isn’t rocket science, but it does require striking a balance between being supportive and being annoying. You want to keep their interest without becoming a nuance.
With that in mind, follow these 12 tips to help drive customer loyalty and keep customers coming back.
Provide Great Customer Service
Great customer service is one major key to customer retention. Your customers will take note of, and remember, your business if you’ve provided a quick, positive, and efficient customer service experience.
That said, there’s more to it than just providing a customer service phone line and allowing customers to contact you with questions or concerns. Great customer service involves responding to your customers in a timely manner with a pleasant and positive attitude. To keep your customers coming back, it’s pertinent that your representatives are trained to value your customers’ time, respect their opinions, and provide the best possible support.
Listen to Your Customers
A big part of maintaining business involves listening to your customers. What are your customers saying about their experience with your company? Are they raving about your products, complaining about your service, or looking for support?
There are several ways you can get your customers talking. For example, you can encourage your customers to leave reviews, fill out surveys, or contact your business directly. You can even offer them incentives for providing you with feedback like a special discount or freebie.
Once they’ve communicated with you, don’t let their feedback, suggestions, and complaints go unheard. Use this as an opportunity to reply to their comments, address their concerns, and better your service, products, and business as a whole. When your customers feel like they’re being heard, they’re more likely to keep coming back.
Show Your Appreciation
A little love goes a long way. Think about ways you can show your customers that you appreciate their business.
For your company, that might mean sending a personalized thank you message after your customers buy a product or surprising them with a voucher for their next purchase. Even tailoring your messages to align with their product preferences or past purchases can help your customers feel seen and recognized.
Take Advantage of Social Media
If you want your customers to keep coming back, you need to show up where they spend their time. And in many cases, that means having a social media presence. Encourage your customers to follow you on your social media accounts so they can stay up to date with your business.
For instance, if your customers are scrolling through Instagram and see you’re offering a sale on your latest line of jewelry, that just might be the incentive they need to take a peek at your new collection. Or, if they notice you’ve posted a new summer menu on Facebook, there’s a much better chance your restaurant will be top of mind when date night rolls around.
Taking advantage of social media helps you stay relevant, so your customers are more likely to revisit your business.
Use Text Marketing to Interact with Your Customers
When sending out promotional emails, there’s a good chance your message will get buried in your customers’ inboxes. That’s just one of the many reasons why so many businesses are turning to SMS messaging to get more eyes on their content. In fact, with a 98% open rate, SMS marketing offers one of the quickest and most reliable ways of reaching your customers.
What’s more, many customers actually like receiving information and updates about your business right on their phones in real-time. This helps open up the lines of communication with your customers, allowing you to interact with them according to their preferences. With SMS messaging, you can send out personalized texts, promo codes, invitations, announcements, and so much more.
Make Yourself Available
Diversifying the way you interact with your customers provides additional channels for communication. Some customers may like the old-fashioned way of picking up a phone and speaking to a customer service representative, while others prefer to address their concerns via text messaging, online chats, or even social media.
Providing your customers with multiple ways of reaching you and making sure it’s a positive experience may be the difference between them deciding to return to your business or not in the future.
That said, if you’re going to offer various lines of communication, just be sure that you have enough trained staff on hand to monitor each channel and respond in real-time.
When it comes to your relationships with your customers, don’t be a stranger. There are countless ways you can keep in touch and build a relationship, such as personalizing your promotional messaging with their names, sending special birthday promotions, and even recognizing their anniversaries with your business.
Or, if it’s been a while since they’ve frequented your business, text them a discount to encourage them to shop again, share information about your latest products geared toward their preferences, or offer an incentive for referring a friend.
While it’s good to stay in touch, try to only send messages with a clear purpose, so you avoid spamming their inboxes and overwhelming your customers.
Contribute to the Community
Volunteering and giving back to your community is one way to capture your customers’ attention. After all, customers like supporting altruistic businesses, and when they see the difference your business is making in their community, they might be more inclined to use your company’s goods and services over another’s.
How can you contribute to your local community? You could create an event where a percentage of every item you sell goes toward a local initiative like building a new elementary school or funding the local homeless shelter. Or, maybe your business decides to sponsor a local sports team or host a fundraising event for a special cause.
If you’re not sure what avenue to take, this is a great opportunity for you to connect with the members of your community and determine where your business could best be of service.
How do you encourage repeat customers? Well, everyone loves to receive perks, and creating a customer loyalty program is one surefire way to keep your customers coming back.
Essentially, the way customer loyalty with small businesses works is that your customers are rewarded for doing business with your company. The more they frequent your business, the more points they’ll rack up, which could go toward anything from a discount to a free product or service. Your loyalty program could even treat members to exclusive promos or sneak peeks that regular customers aren’t privy to.
The more elite and special you make your members feel, the more likely they’ll want to stick with your business.
Create a Strong Team
Even if you offer the best products around, that won’t get you very far if you don’t have a solid internal team. Your team can really make or break the entire customer experience, so it’s crucial that you hire collaborative employees who align with your mission and are passionate about your business. What’s more, your employees represent your business, so you want to ensure your team is friendly, positive, and eager to help and support your customers at all times.
Align with Your Mission
Now more than ever, customers want visibility into the way businesses operate. For instance, some customers are passionate about purchasing from fair-trade companies, while others will only buy vegan or cruelty-free products. If your business aligns with certain initiatives or mission statements, stay true to them and inform your customers if anything changes to avoid blindsiding them.
We hate to encourage you to compare yourself to others, but when you’re trying to hold on to your customer base, it’s important to be aware of what your competition is offering. For instance, if your competition is providing free same-day shipping via drones while you’re charging your customers for standard ground delivery that takes five to 10 business days to arrive, it’s time to make some changes.
Even if your customers love your business, if you have a slow and outdated website or a clunky and frustrating check-out process, these are the things that will cause your customers to look for business elsewhere. To help prevent your customers from jumping ship, keep an eye on your competition and stay relevant with the latest technology.
SMS Marketing for the Win
Retaining your customers involves incorporating different strategies, many of which you can implement using SMS or MMS marketing. Whether you’re looking to incentivize your customers, find new ways to reach them, or improve your customer service experience, mass messaging can help. Contact us today to find out how to implement an SMS marketing strategy of your own.