It’s no surprise that it costs less to generate business from existing customers than from new ones. After all, people who have already done business with your company have first-hand experience with your brand, products, and service.
Yet many businesses are leaving money on the table by not focusing enough on generating repeat business. Here are five easy steps to help you get more from this profitable customer group:
- Know your customers. Why did they make a purchase with you, and how can you encourage them to purchase again? What challenges do they have that you can solve? This understanding will help focus your efforts.
- Be consistent. One reason people like to do business with the same company is because they know what to expect. All customer touch points should be consistent, from how you answer the phone or greet people when they walk in the door, to your website, product delivery, and overall customer service. In addition, everything you do should deliver on your unique selling proposition (USP) — the element that sets you apart from the competition.
- Make sure customers understand what you do. If customers purchased a certain product or service, they might not realize that you offer much more. Be sure to communicate the full range of what you offer. You can highlight this in multiple places, such as your phone greeting or on-hold message, website, direct mail, and flyers included with orders.
- Provide a personal touch. Call the customer a few weeks after their purchase to get their feedback. Send the occasional handwritten note or promotional item, or a birthday card. These small steps can really stand out in today’s busy digital world.
- Stay top of mind. One of the best ways to generate repeat business is to ensure customers remember you when they’re ready to purchase again. There are numerous ways to do this, including newsletters, blogs and e-mail campaigns. Another effective way to stay top of mind is to give customers a promotional item with their purchase. This should be something they will use and see often, such as calendars, pens, magnets, pads of sticky notes, or desktop items like paper clip holders.
New customers are important, but repeat sales are even better. With a little planning, these steps can help you create long-term and profitable customer relationships.