Today we are going to have a chat about how to get your customers coming back more often.
It’s 6 times easier!
Now you may or may not have heard that it’s actually 6 times easier, and then 6 times cheaper, to get an existing customer to come back and buy from you again than it is to get a new one. However, I see stacks and stacks of business people putting more emphasis and effort into trying to get new customers than looking after their existing ones or trying to get them to buy again. There are timeless examples of different customers that have worked out that this is what’s vitally important.
For example, look at any of you that have a mobile phone, I bet that the company you have brought your phone off of has gone to great lengths to lock you into a contract because they know that by keeping you as a customer is better than trying to get a new one. Now I'm not saying lock all your customers into contracts, I actually don’t think that’s the right thing to do. I think you, your customers should be free to go when they've had enough. If you’re not looking after them, if you’re not serving them at the level that they should be served at, then you don’t deserve them. That’s my personal opinion.
But as I've got written here, it’s 6 times easier to get an existing customer to come back than it is to get a new one. So ask yourself this question… “What strategies do I currently have in place to get my existing customers to come back and buy from me?” Not only just come back and buy from you, but do it more often, and spending more each time. It’s one of those areas in business where people are frantically working out how to get new customers, but they haven’t put a lot of thought into how to do this.
So, what are the easiest ways to get your customers to come back?
Step 1: Keep a Database
The number one thing you need to do is you need to make sure you keep a database. It is frightening how many of you don’t have a database of your current customers. I’m not talking about just their name, I'm talking about their name, their number, their address, their email address, what did they last buy from you last, how long ago was it that they last bought from you and making sure you've got all the details so you can at least communicate with them on a regular basis. If you’re not communicating with your database of current clients within every 90 day period, then you’re going to lose them.
Somebody else will be communicating with your customers and they are your competitors. Do you want your competitors being the ones that are talking to your customers? I don’t think so. So make sure you've got a good, solid database. I can already hear some of you going, “But Ben, it’s very hard for us to get their details.” Run a competition, just ask them for their details. Stop making excuses and just get them. Work out how to make it happen, because it will change the way your business works.
I have worked with cafes where we have got everyone’s details to the point where we have had mugs with people’s names on them hanging out the back. When people would come in, if your name’s John you get your coffee served to you in a mug that has “John” on it. Why? Because we know who you are, and we know how you like your coffee. We send you offers based on what you like. Now the big retailers do it, they do it for a reason, and that’s because it works. So make sure you’re doing exactly the same thing. You know, if Coles can get your details or Woolworth’s can get your details then you can get your customer’s details. It’s that simple.
Now once you've got the database, what sort of things can you do to get them buying more often? Things like newsletters for example. Sending out a monthly newsletter, whether it’s a printed copy or an email version doesn't matter, you’re communicating on a regular basis with your database, you’re keeping them up-to-date with what it is you’ve got available, what offers you have, and what’s available for them to buy.
Now on that note, making sure your customers know 100% of everything that you have available to purchase is another way to make sure your customers buy from you more often. It’s frightening to think how many people… I mean, I’ll ask you this question. How many of your customers do you think know 100% of everything that you offer for sale? I’ll bet it’s not 100%. So if not every customer knows everything you have to offer, you’ve got some work there straightway that you can go and do. Start writing to them, start ringing them, start by sending them newsletters, start collecting your database, communicate with them.
Ask them to come back. I have dealt with businesses that have kept a database. You might have said, “Yes, Ben, I’ve got a brilliant database.” But it’s no good having the database if you don't use it to communicate with your customers on a regular basis. So if you’ve got the database, then start communicating. Work out what timetable of communication are you going to use. How often am I going to transmit a message, how often am I going to write to them? Am I going to ring them? Am I going to drop in? Am I going to send them an email? How am I going to communicate? Maybe you put an event on, you take them on a harbor cruise and you have a closed door after hour’s sale with wine, cheese, and biscuits. Who knows!
But you've got to make sure you communicate with them on a regular basis.
Step 2: Loyalty Program
Another way to get your customers back more often is to have some sort of loyalty program. Now I can see some of you cringing at that, but the reality is pretty much every single one of you will have a loyalty card or a loyalty program of some sort in your wallet or purse. I can guarantee it.
Why..? Because it works!
There’s no other reason. It works. People like to be rewarded for being a customer. And your customers will buy from you over your competition because they’re going to get points, or because they’re going to get a freebie, or whatever it is that you are going to offer them. Buy 10 coffees get one free. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you have got some sort of loyalty program to recognize the loyalty of your customers, they’re going to come back more often.
Now I've actually got 67 strategies on how to get your customers back more often. We haven’t got time for that today. So make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel so you do get updates. I will go through different strategies throughout the year to keep your customers coming back and increasing your net profit. So make sure you do keep in tune!
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.