Some small businesses focus on winning over new customers when they’d make more money if they were able to keep the same customers coming back. Preserving customer loyalty is the key to a stable and reliable source of income. Here are some tips for making your customers repeat customers.
Establish a Personal Connection
It’s easy for customers to abandon your business and pick another if they don’t feel personally connected to you. Think of your customer base as a small town or a small community. Be accountable and personal. Pay attention to details. Make them feel like people and not just numbers.
It’s frustrating when loyal customers feel like only new customers get special discounts or opportunities — and they will seek out new places to take their business if becoming a new customer at a different company is more advantageous than being a loyal customer at your business. Don’t forget about your loyal customers when trying to court new ones.
Don’t Send Too Many Emails
A great way to inform past customers of loyalty programs, discounts, events, etc. is through a mailing list or email database. Email databases can reach an unlimited amount of people, without the postage and office supply costs of direct mail. Just make sure not to spam your customers. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is emailing too often — and many of these email blasts have no real benefits for the customer. Don’t use emails just to say hi. Your customers are already spammed with emails from a variety of businesses. Give them an action step: a coupon to use, a sale to attend, a contest to enter.
Make Use of Social Media
You can also reach out to your customers via Twitter and Facebook. Again, don’t spam your customers or they will un-“Like” you and un-follow you. You can offer a discount or coupon to court new followers – but think about why people should continue to follow you past that initial step. Provide information. Ask for customer opinions on your Facebook wall. Re-tweet Twitter followers who recommend your business.
Know Your Competition
What are other businesses offering that might make customers switch over? The best way to preserve customer loyalty is to provide customers with the best offer possible!