For many businesses the focus of your online marketing strategy is customer acquisition, but what about existing customers? Unlike new visitors to your website, existing customers have already converted at least once which is a factor that should not be overlooked and instead should be focused on. Everyone from web design companies to fidget spinner sellers should not only strategize how to acquire new customers but also help foster repeat business. That is our focus today as we share our Top Tips for creating Repeat Customers.
The Value of a Repeat Customer
Why is a repeat customer valuable? Well to start it costs less from a marketing perspective to retain a customer compared to finding a new one. Generally speaking it can cost anywhere from 4 to 10 times more to acquire a new customer compared to keeping an existing one.
That is a pretty big cost gap.
The other consideration has to do with your revenue stream. Every business is different, but stable businesses often have anywhere from 30% to 50% of total revenue from existing customers. That number tends to decrease when things are booming, but on the flip side it increases when budgets tighten and our economic picture isn’t as rosy as it currently is.
For those reasons your marketing strategy should include plans for maintaining or increasing retention.
Tips for Creating Repeat Customers
- Under-Promise & Over-Deliver – One of the worst things a business can do is underperform; one of the best is over perform. By focusing efforts on delivering beyond expectations you will have happier and more satisfied customers which will positively affect your brand and image making people want to use your business repeatedly.
- Respond on All Platforms – Customer questions and/or complaints should always be responded to quickly and professionally. That means you need to monitor email, your website, social media platforms and even third party rating sites like Yelp if applicable. People appreciate when you answer questions and show a commitment to customer needs, even if they aren’t the person asking the question or having the problem.
- Loyalty Programs – A well-made loyalty or rewards program is a great way to foster excitement and allegiance to your business. By rewarding people who make repeat purchases you can increase conversions and possible entice them to spend more.
- Sell an Experience – Some brands have done an amazing job in creating a loyal customer base simply because the experience they receive can’t be beat. You can buy almost any product or service from someone else, but what isn’t easily replicated is the experience each customer has during the process. Truly remarkable experiences are memorable and worth repeating.
- Referral Programs – Want more great customers? Get them from your existing great customers! A referral program is a fantastic way to turn happy customers into brand ambassadors who are looking to entice their own friends and family into converting so they can get a reward such as discounts on future purchases.
- Simplify the Experience – One way to make people come back again and again is by making it easier for them each time. Track data to help anticipate needs, find ways to streamline the process for those who have converted already like using one-touch purchases like Amazon, and customize contact and offers to provide existing customers with offers and updates that provide value to their needs rather than yours.
- Always be Thankful – You need customers; they don’t always need you. It is important that you genuinely are grateful for them choosing to do business with you, which means thanking customers during and after the process for their patronage. You can also use social media platforms to post a ‘thank you’ to your base.
The bottom line is that most businesses need both new and repeat customers to be successful. However, many businesses focus too much on just customer acquisition rather than both acquiring and retaining customers. Our tops tips for creating repeat customers provide a good starting point for those who need to adjust their strategy to ensure those valuable existing customers are being retained.