There is an oft-quoted statistic in business that it takes six times more to create a new customer than to retain one.
Well, there’s no doubt that getting new customers definitely takes time, effort and money, and as such, long-term customers are, indeed, gold for small businesses; they enable us to pay our bills, hire employees and grow our business. They are how entrepreneurs keep their dream alive.
And that then begs the question: How do you actually create repeat, long-term customers?
While a one-time customer is nice, it’s that repeat customer that really makes the difference. Customers can choose any company that will meet their needs; they will only choose yours again and again if you offer them something above the ordinary.
Here are five ways to keep customers coming back for more:
1. Be great at what you do
People hire you to do a service for them, or they go to your store or online store to buy something from you. If your product or service is average, they may come back, they may become regulars, and they may not. But probably not.
But what if you were great at what you did?
Then he will almost certainly come back.
If you sell flowers, create an exceptional bouquet every time. If you cook, use great ingredients and cook with love.
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2. Deliver great customer service
In the same way, customers love you when they know you love them back.
Nordstrom is known for its superior customer service, which is one of the reasons why its customers are so loyal. Costco, at the other end of the retail spectrum, has similarly excellent customer service, and again, it also has exceptional customer loyalty.
That’s how you create a great brand.
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3. Treat your staff well
One of the most interesting small business surveys I’ve ever seen examined what makes a great franchisee. What sets the best franchise owners apart? The biggest difference wasn’t some crackerjack marketing program or a killer location, but, surprisingly, the way the owner treated his employees.
It turns out that the better boss you are, the happier your staff will be, and the happier they are, the better your customers will be treated. Satisfied customers in turn become repeat, loyal customers.
It’s a cycle of success that starts at the top.
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4. Add additional value
I recently decided not to charge some of my oldest customers for the weekly content my business creates for them. I told them I really appreciated their patronage over the years and this was my way of saying thank you.
Yes, they were happy, and I doubt they go elsewhere for their content.
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5. Say thank you to your customers
Most people, when they are done doing business with even a mediocre store, say “thank you”. But when you leave a big job, they’re the ones who say thank you. And that’s not the only time they say it. They say it even when it’s unexpected, or for no reason. Big businesses genuinely appreciate the people who protect them and let people know that.
Let me close by saying one more thing: Thank you for coming here and reading my column; we sincerely appreciate it!