Businesses thrive on their ability to attract customers to purchase what they are selling. In every business there is a point at which the new customer flow wanes and the success of the business is reliant upon the business’s ability to attract repeat business. A company that can reach out and grab new customers while serving past customers many times over, is a business that is poised for long-term success.
Attracting repeat business is in many ways similar to the steps it takes to attract first-time customers. The image of the business is often more important than the features of the products they sell or the prices they can offer. Customers often respond to advertising. Advertising can be delivered through a wide-range of mediums including television and radio, printed ads or the Internet. The most powerful form of advertising is word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth advertising is a form of endorsement. Much like the ads you have seen with a famous person claiming to use the product or service of a particular business, endorsement is a long-traveled road to attracting business. There are no more credible endorsers of a product or business than that that comes from a person you know personally. You are likely much more inclined to follow the recommendation of a family member or close friend than you are to be inspired by an actor or athlete; therefore, treating customers in a way that encourages their endorsement not only makes it likely they will be back but they will urge others to do business with you as well.
Treating customers in a way that makes them more inclined to return involves more than having the products they want and the prices they can afford. Making the shopping experience pleasant goes a long way toward endearing repeat customers. Ways to creating a pleasing shopping experience include having a helpful and friendly staff, arranging the layout of your store or website that makes shopping easier, implementing a service standard that assists customers with concerns regarding their purchase, and offering incentives to shoppers who make future purchases.
Another way to attract repeat business requires a more personal touch. Following up with customers who buy from your business imparts the impression that you and your business is not satisfied merely by their purchase but also by their satisfaction. Follow-up with a customer to see if they have any questions about what they bought or need any assistance. Suggest other purchases that will help with a project or concern that you learned about through the sales process. Customers are more likely to want to continue that relationship versus going to a competitor even if yours aren’t the lowest prices at the time.
Maintain the focus that each customer is an opportunity for future business. By treating each customer with courtesy, respect and an aim at their complete satisfaction, you will create a culture that invites repeat customers and keeps your business thriving for years to come.