It is no secret that repeat customers spend more money than new customers on new and existing products and services, require less marketing dollars, and are the pulse of a healthy business. If a continuous flow of loyal, repeat customers is a sign of good health, then delivering exemplary customer service is the prescription for business survival.
Benefits Of Repeat Customers
Many businesses focus on acquiring new customers and spend most of their advertising and marketing budgets to reach a larger market. The reality, though, is that there are many benefits of shifting your focus on establishing relationships with your customers and increasing repeat business. Establish customer loyalty and you can:
- Watch your sales go up. Repeat customers spend more than new customers.
- Establish yourself in the marketplace. When customers keep coming back to you, they are not going to the competition.
- Save money on marketing. You do not have to spend as much money to attract loyal customers, who also help you by offering referrals and telling their friends and family the reasons they prefer you over the competition.
- Secure your price points. Loyal customers are loyal because they value your goods and services, which means they are willing to pay your prices. There is no need to lower prices to lure in repeat business.
- Easily up-sell a loyal customer. Satisfied customers are more likely to also sample other products and services.
Loyal Customers vs. Habitual Customers
A repeat customer is anyone who gives you repeat business. Repeat business is good, but what you really want are loyal customers, not just customers who come to you out of habit. Too often, small businesses try to attract repeat customers with lower prices. However, customer loyalty is not built on price. In fact, a loyal customer is one who sees the value in the goods and services you provide and will pay the price you quote. Not sure if your customers are loyal? Ask them for referrals. If your customers are willing to give you referrals, it is an indication they are loyal. If not, then ask if there is a problem – simply asking customers what is wrong makes them feel valued. Once you have established loyalty, you can also continue asking your customers how you can improve your business.
Keys To Exemplary Service
In most cases, there is little difference in companies’ prices, warranties, or quality in products and services. The one thing that can turn a new customer into a loyal, repeat customer? Customer service. Providing exemplary service costs much less than advertising or marketing, and yet it can have a more powerful impact on your customer base.
In today’s market, where customers make so many transactions online and deal with many automated features, they appreciate the warmth of genuine customer service from a live person. This means that taking the time to make your customers feel appreciated and special will translate into a larger base of loyal customers. One way you can accomplish this is by being very attentive. Get to know your customers, what they like, what they dislike, etc. Catering to your customers’ individual wants and needs is a surefire way to build and maintain customer loyalty. Also, greet your customers by name. It is a small detail with huge impact – customers feel flattered and special when you are able to address them by their name. For new customers, make it a point to make eye contact, smile, and greet them. It is those small details, often viewed as unimportant, that improve your customers’ buying experience – making them come back and talk positively about you.
While some businesses may dread customer complaints, the truth is, a customer who is vocal about a problem is better than one who is silent and takes their business elsewhere. Make it easy for customers to complain so that you can quickly and effectively resolve any issues. Train your employees to resolve customer complaints; be very specific about how much authority they have to resolve any issues and when it is time to call you in for assistance. Make it clear that fairness and customer satisfaction are your top customer service goals. You can ensure customer loyalty and repeat business by treating customers fairly during a dispute and providing a just resolution.
There is no doubt that you must have a quality product or service in order to have a successful business. But, if you do not couple that quality with exemplary customer service, you will not have a thriving business. Incorporate the small things that improve a customer’s buying experience, take the time to establish a relationship with your customers, and watch your business flourish with repeat success.