Earning repeat customers is much more cost-effective and profitable than continuously bringing in new customers. You don't have to spend as much time and money to attract repeat customers because they know your brand and require less information to persuade than new customers. Repeat customers are more likely to make additional purchases and spend more money as a result because they already trust and value your brand.
Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers, and a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to increases in profits between 25 and 95%. Your customers are the reason for your success—and especially the ones who keep coming back for more. So, here's how to stop losing customers and bring more value to them as a trusted brand.
1. Prioritize Customer Service
Customer service is crucial to your business, and it is increasingly important in this day and age. Previously you could succeed without heavy investment in it, but that is no longer the case. Customer service influences most people's purchasing decisions and turns them into lifelong customers by making them feel valued and appreciated.
Take, for instance, if your bad experience with a product is followed by a quick response, solution, kind words, and a smile — instantly, that bad experience is turned into a positive one. In fact, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service, and nearly 80% of customers will forgive a bad experience if they rate the service team as "very good."
Note that it involves more than just responding to issues. Great customer service also includes answering questions and encouraging sales by adding value to the customer's experience with your product, service, and brand. While responding to issues after purchase is crucial, you want your team to be able to reassure customers before they have made their sale.
2. Personalize Your Contact with Customers
Customers want to feel like they're more than just a sale and providing personalized experiences does just that. By taking the time to know your audience and appeal to their specific needs, you can get a leg up on the competition. Thirty-six percent of consumers want retailers to do more to offer personalized experiences, and 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.
Fortunately, you can use technology like CRM software to keep a record of what your customers have purchased and provide them with specific offerings and personalized messages to help them feel valued.
3. Use Email Marketing to Keep In Touch
Email marketing not only helps you keep in touch with your customers but also helps you provide value and establish trust with customers through information and updates using email. You can personalize your messaging and information to make customers feel valued by sending them specially tailored offers and using their name in the subject line and greetings.
Doing so is particularly useful to resonate with Millennials, who are currently the most influential customers in the market. Seventy-three percent of them prefer communications from businesses to come via email, and personalized messages make them feel valued.
4. Begin A Loyalty or Referral Program
Loyalty or referral programs can also help you bring in repeat business by offering perks for shopping from your brand, making the repeat customer feel like they've earned exclusive deals for their loyalty. It also increases word-of-mouth promotion, social media shares and follows, and other free promotions because people love to share their favorite brands with friends and family.
A few notable examples you can use include punch cards, apps, or membership programs. These programs can be online or in-store, making it easy for customers to shop through your website. Even if you don’t offer specific discounts, offering special deals on shipping or allowing subscriptions encourages repeat purchases. As a precursor, you can incorporate elements of it into your email marketing by adjusting your message accordingly prior to launching a membership program.
5. Survey Your Most Loyal Customers
Surveys are another great opportunity to learn more about what your customers like and dislike about your brand. Your repeat customers can give you that valuable feedback about how you can improve or expand your offerings. Meanwhile, you make them feel valued in the process because you're taking their advice into account.
Keep in mind that customers do prefer quick and easy surveys. Answers become less helpful and informative the longer you make your survey. Shorter surveys are preferred. Even if your survey is longer, listing the length of the survey up front reassures customers that you are being considerate of their time by letting them know how long it will take to complete.
6. Respond Quickly to All Messages
Responding quickly to messages leaves your customers with the most positive impression possible and makes your company seem more organized. It makes customers feel like you're prioritizing their experience with your product by allowing access to your team of support whenever they need it. To break down responsive customer service’s importance further:
- 16% of customers expect an immediate response
- 37% expect a response within 1 hour
- More than 80% of customers expect a response within 24 hours
- 96% of customers expect a response within 48 hours
7. Don't Ignore Messages on Social Media
Social media can be a wonderful strategy in marketing, but you need to respond to every message to and about you to truly be successful. Joining relevant conversations is another great strategy because it offers current and potential customers more opportunities to engage with your brand — which is what customers really want nowadays.
Note that it is particularly important to also respond to negative messages to address and change other customer's opinions of your brand. Make sure you don’t use an automated, generic apology, but rather a genuine response to the issue. You want customers to sense there is a person behind your brand, otherwise, it will only hurt your reputation.
8. Offer Exclusive Discounts and promotions
There's something special about feeling exclusive and getting something everyone isn't eligible to get — and customers know it. Offering exclusive discounts or promotions only for your most loyal following of customers works so well because the exclusivity makes them feel more appreciated while still offering value to their purchase.
As previously stated, a great way to get these to your loyal customers is through email. In fact, 75% of customers report scouring their inboxes just to look for relevant discounts, and about 93% of shoppers use a coupon or discount code throughout the year.
9. Pay Attention to the Competition
It will never hurt to check out what the competition is doing and take notes — on both the good and the bad. After all, they're servicing the same customers as you, so the praises and complaints are just as relevant to your business as theirs. Even better, you know what to do or not do in similar situations when they arise.
Also, monitoring what your competitors are offering and how they treat their customers will give you more insight into ways your brand can stand out in these areas. Since you want to offer things that are unique or better than theirs, paying attention to your competition will, without a doubt, lead to a competitive advantage.
10. Create a Variety of Offerings
Everyone loves variety — it keeps life fun and diverse. You want to change up your offer so that your customers have a reason to keep coming back. In addition, varying your tactics is also a good idea. Using the same old tactics will become outdated and boring over time to loyalists, and it won't be long before the competition sparks their interest with something new. The best thing you can do here is to keep building upon and improving what you offer.
The truth is, keeping your customers satisfied and happy is not an easy task, but it is a very rewarding one. Getting help and guidance from a trusted media partner can make all the difference in how well you communicate your value to your audience and improve your customer retention.