You know, it's commonly said or commonly known that it's six times easier and six times cheaper to get an existing customer to come back and buy from you than it is to get a new one. Yet I see so many people focused on getting new leads and customers in the door, and they're not putting the same attention on the customers that they've already got. So I'm going to give you three tips that are pretty much no-cost or minimal cost that will help you keep your customers coming back longer so you don't have to keep finding new customers all the time. And I think, like I said, this is vitally important. It's about extending the lifetime value of every single customer.
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So tip number one, and it's a pretty obvious one, is give great service. Now I know what you're saying. You're saying, 'Ben, I already give fantastic service.' And most of us think that. The reality is that if you interviewed your customers, I can guarantee that the service they think they're getting is not as high as the service level you think you're giving. That's pretty typical. It's called perceived indifference. And I ask this question of a lot of people. I say, 'Rate the level of service you get out there in the marketplace.' They'll give me a rating. I'll say, 'How do you rate the level of service you give your customers?' They'll give me another rating. And, of course, the rating they give themselves is always higher. So it's silly to kid ourselves. It's better to be honest with ourselves and say, 'You know what, our service is probably not as good as it could be.' And you can start looking at ways on a monthly basis, you can implement a strategy that's going to increase your customer service. And this is just about making sure you have a focus on this so that it happens. Because customer service is a great way to ensure your customers keep coming back.
Idea number two I've got for you is to start some type of loyalty program. Now, I can guarantee you're a member of a frequent flier club or a coffee club, and you would definitely have a loyalty card in your wallet or purse. The reason I know that is just about every Australian does. Now the reason it works so well is it's a reminder to shop somewhere. It's a reminder that if I shop somewhere, I get rewarded. It's called operant conditioning. Now I know that's a sort-of jargon-y type of word, operant conditioning, but it's the same conditioning they use for all mammals, like dolphins, for example. They give them a fish when they do a trick. As humans, if you can get a reward when you do something, you feel good about that. It releases endorphins in the brain, and you want to go back and do it again. So if you can get some points, get a flight, movie tickets or something for being a loyal customer, it makes us feel good. And if you feel good, you want more of it. So the tendency is to go back to the same place and shop at the very same place. You need to come up with your own variation whether it's buy nine and get one free or earn points for something else, whatever it might be. It's entirely up to you how you do it. But I highly suggest you come up with some sort of loyalty program and get every single customer to be aware of it so that they keep coming back and buying from you.
Trick number three, or strategy number three, it's not really a trick, and that is to continually communicate with your customers. Here's something that I've learned in my years being in business. 100% of your customers will not know 100% of what you offer. And that's a huge risk. Now ask yourself this question: 'How many of my customers know 100% of everything I sell or offer?' I can guarantee it won't be 100%. So by communicating regularly with your customers and start to educate them on what you have available. You can do this through emails, through videos like this, through brochures, through a phone call. It's entirely up to you how you choose to communicate with your customers on a regular basis, but you really need to let them know on a regular basis what's available. And you know yourself, you've probably seen customers that buy a product or service that you sell from a competitor because they didn't realize you sold it or stocked it.
So there's your three tips to help you get your customers coming back more often. Hopefully that's helped you out.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.