The value of a repeat customer
Running a business involves many elements, chief among which is keeping your repeat customers. Since they have sought your services before to fulfill a need, it’s likely that they’ll seek out your services or products again, whether it’s right after their first purchase or a few months down the road.
Ensuring that your customers want to come back sounds simple on the surface – just keep doing what you did the first time – but there’s more to it than that. Here are three key principles that can help you reel them back in:
- Show them other options they may be interested in.
Thanks to modern technology, PR can help businesses track what types of products customers are interested in far more easily than they could obtain that information in the past. Information like search histories on your website and what keywords they use to reach your site from Google tell you what consumers want.
After a customer completes a purchase, you can use the data you’ve collected to suggest other products she might be interested in based on her history. If her search history suggests she’s interested in a certain type of product, use follow-up emails to show her similar products.
Also, offer supplements for the product (like extra parts or companion components) during or right after the purchase. Amazon supplies a perfect example of this. The virtual retail giant has a “Frequently bought together” function that shows what items other people tend to purchase with a given product or service. You can use a module called something like “Recommended packages” to suggest other options for your customers.
- Ask them about their experiences.
After a customer makes a purchase, you need to capture his feedback. This can be as basic as emailing a post-purchase survey or as sophisticated as Axia Public Relations’ ReviewMaxer program. You want to know what he liked and disliked about your product or service.
Not only does this practice gain you valuable information about what you’re doing well and what you need to work on, it also keeps customers engaged with the company, making it easier to remember you for a future purchase.
- Send them information about deals.
Customers love deals. If you offer some sort of discount or other special, they’re more likely to choose to make a purchase. Reach out to those who have previously bought from you through email and text messages to inform them about special deals and other offers (such as buy-one-get-one deals) that will pique their interest.
Note that not every customer is going to use your service again just because of a tempting deal; some may not need anything from you at the moment and some will no longer be interested in the products you offer. However, sending emails out is practically free, so there’s no harm in doing so. You may be surprised by how many people return to you for products similar to those they’ve already purchased.
With these three tips, you’re on your way toward maintaining one of your most valuable business tools: happy repeat customers. It is important to remember to adjust these tips to fit your specific company and needs. For example, if your company only offers a handful of options, you may want to consider just listing your other products instead of setting up a specific system that tracks what your customers purchase to save money.
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