Businesses that generate 40% or more of their sales with repeat customers have almost 50% higher revenue than companies with low levels of repeat business. So how do you get your customers to come back? Here are six ways to drive up your repeat business percentage.
Encourage an Initial High-Dollar Purchase
According to market analytics company SumAll, there is a direct correlation between the dollar amount of a customer’s first purchase and the probability they will return to buy from you again. You see this principle in action with cosmetics companies, for example.
They offer a desirable bonus or free gift with a substantial skin care or fragrance purchase, knowing that once customers invest in their line, they are more likely to buy related products. Direct your high-dollar marketing efforts toward your company’s big spenders to get the best return on investment.
Reward Loyal Customers
It’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to attract new ones, and one of the best ways to keep your customers is to reward them for repeat business. Depending on the type of business, you can offer customers a loyalty card or rewards points scheme; smaller businesses can take a more personal approach and offer a special discount code for future use to customers who make their tenth purchase with your company. No matter how large or small your business is, it’s important to identify, track, and nurture your loyal customers.
Whether you send a periodic email newsletter or ask for feedback after a purchase, it’s important to keep in contact with your customers on a regular basis. Another great way to engage your customers is to ask them to complete a survey; most customers appreciate the opportunity to provide input about how to improve their shopping experience, and you’ll gather valuable data about your customers in the process.
Establish a social media presence, especially on Twitter, and send regular updates. Depending on your business, you may want to develop a smart phone app, which offers incredible opportunities to engage and interact with your customers
Be Responsive and Positive
When you set up channels for communication, such as Twitter, Facebook, email, or other media, it’s important you respond promptly to any questions or comments from your customers. Train your customer service staff to carefully monitor your channels constantly, and establish acceptable guidelines for response time, say within 15 or 30 minutes.
Equip them with the latest technology so they are always available to your customers across all channels. Of course, it’s even more important to make sure your interactions are always positive, especially when a customer has a negative experience.
Develop a Personal Touch
It’s hard to develop repeat customers if you aren’t in tune with what your customers want. Every business should use some type of customer relationship management (CRM) system to collect and store information about your customers, such as contact information, purchase history, and personal data like birthdays and anniversaries.
This information lets you send your customers a discount on a favorite product as a birthday gift, for example, a gesture that will likely result in repeat business. Consumers have hundreds of options to purchase products and services, but they appreciate businesses that take the time to get to know them, and cultivate a more personal relationship with them.
Keep It Interesting
If you do a lot of business through a website, it’s especially important to keep your content fresh and interesting. Customers want to see something new when they visit your site, or they’ll stop coming back. Showcase a new product or service, or do an employee spotlight to introduce your customers to your staff.
Consider adding a blog to your website; it’s a great way to engage customers and share exciting news and interesting tidbits. Keep the content lighthearted and fun so customers look forward to new posts.
Direct at least 25 percent of your marketing budget at your most loyal customers, and work towards giving them a personalized buying experience. You’ll be rewarded with a higher number of repeat business, and a better bottom line.