Do you want more loyal customers? Most businesses do.
Yours would also do better with more repeat customers coming through the door, right?
You have probably heard that it is easy for a customer to open their wallet and do business with you the second, third, fourth, tenth or twentieth time compared to the first time they walk through your doors.
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Part of the reason why this happens may be attributed to familiarity: with you, your employees, your products, your services and their past experiences buying from you.
How a prospect, turns into a one time customer then becomes a loyal customer – or a client if you like
- 1 How a prospect, turns into a one time customer then becomes a loyal customer – or a client if you like
- 1.1 1. They are served and treated well
- 1.2 2. Good conversation with your customers is a must for serious business owners
- 1.3 3. They get more value for the money they spend
- 1.4 4. Convenience they get doing business with you
- 1.5 5. Recommendations by someone who is already your customer
- 1.6 6. Loyalty schemes
- 1.7 7. Your business doesn’t shove its responsibilities to the customer
- 1.8 8. You are dominant in your niche
- 1.9 9. They feel at home
- 1.10 10. Sometimes you sacrifice profits so they can get the best
- 1.11 11. You keep in touch with them
- 1.12 12. Their children falls madly in love with you
- 1.13 Related
Assuming the people who do repeat business with you are doing it because of something unique you do and not because you are the only person that comes to mind (because you have few to no competitors and what they are looking for, they can only get from you) when they want to pay for a particular product or service, the following are some things that can easily turn a one time customer into a loyal one.
1. They are served and treated well
What customer doesn’t like a business that treats them with respect, honesty and serves them fast appreciating the fact that they have other things to do with the limited hours they have each day?
This treatment extends to how you welcome your customers. Do you welcome their presence and show interest in their needs and wants? A business that genuinely does this quickly sets itself apart from the many others out there.
The window to do this is always small and in a few occasions you may not be in the mood to keep that smile up and respond warmly to their presence. In some businesses, a person walks in and is out in a matter of minutes.
You have a very limited window to help them make their mind whether they want to buy from you again in the future or not.
Treating and serving the person very well could be the difference between never seeing them again and having them walk through your doors and willingly open their wallets to make even larger purchases some weeks down the road.
Don’t forget to invite them to stop by your business again when they are, or happen to be, in the vicinity.
2. Good conversation with your customers is a must for serious business owners
I have walked into some business premises with owners who really knew how to get their customers to join a discussion.
You are in there standing or sitting and an awkward silence tries to creep in to make the environment boring. But then they come to the rescue.
They choose a topic and involve you and other customers in the conversation. Conversation which in some cases is not even related to the products and services they have in the market.
The owner asks the customers about their experiences and opinions on topics they know they might be interested. Like some of the items covered in the news that almost everyone seems to have an opinion on that they’d gladly share with whoever cares to lend them an ear.
Almost every customer that you meet is willing to be involved in conversations like this. Even the ones who seem busy, almost like they have to rush somewhere.
Tell them your name. Ask them their name. Ask them about their day. Tell them you are happy to have them as a customer and welcome them. Ask their opinion on some area of your business – a particular product, a business policy of yours, your employees etc.
Are they playing with their music player? Ask them what they are listening to.
Notice what they are wearing and carrying. Notice those in their company. Listen to what they say carefully. Your topic might just be among those things, not hidden, but in plain view.
3. They get more value for the money they spend
The simplest way to do this? Let your business be known for quality products and services. Not only that. Offer great support when something they buy from you isn’t working well – as expected.
Also, come up with a few surprises. Great surprises.
Give them something free when they make a purchase.
Put a smile on their face.
The rule is that the freebie must compliment that which they have purchased. Toothpaste purchased? Give them a toothbrush or a coupon that gets them a discount when they visit the most trusted dentist in town.
If they order online, surprise them with free and prompt shipping.
Are you busy and want to spend more time doing other things? Show some patience.
Restrain yourself from making their presence seem unwelcome.
4. Convenience they get doing business with you
Your business can be convenient to a customer in many different ways.
They may be attracted to you because of your location (proximity to their residence or work place), competitive pricing, variety, among many other needs of theirs that they can fulfill at the same spot, fast.
Find more ways to be convenient – and win more customers – and grow your business.
5. Recommendations by someone who is already your customer
They are looking for someone to help them achieve a particular goal.
As they do this, weighing their options, someone they trust their recommendations can eliminate, in an instant, all the other options they had in mind, putting your business at the top of their mind.
Of course the person recommending your business will say nice things about you.
When they make their mind to visit you and make a purchase and realize that all those good things said about you are actually true, you’ve got yourself a new potential loyal customer right there.
6. Loyalty schemes
Create a system to reward people who buy from you.
Customers can, for example, earn points every time they purchase something from you, pay for one of your services etc and use those points to get discounted rates on future purchases, get free shipping, free service, prompt support or get many of the other things you come up with in your reward system that will make them feel special.
7. Your business doesn’t shove its responsibilities to the customer
We have already talked about some of the responsibilities business owners cannot push to their customers.
Every time you do your best and the customer sees that you are only doing your best to make their day better and not burden them with your responsibilities, they’ll appreciate it.
One of the good things that happen when you wholly embrace and hold your end of the bargain is this: you become a business owner whose every action is inspired more by courage than fear.
That way your mind is not spent wondering how not get your customers not to ask for refunds.
When they ask for their money back, you’ll gladly listen to their reasons, bring to their knowledge the options you are thinking about but most importantly be ready to give them their money back.
Or a repair or replacement if that’s fine with them.
You decide to spend the time that you’d normally waste on fear making your customer feel special. Giving the best experience possible. Nurturing a relationship that can last a lifetime.
8. You are dominant in your niche
Dominance plays an important role when it comes to loyalty.
Brand perception can do you some amazing things and win you more loyal customers.
But only if the perception is great: one customers associate with quality, affordability and then the feeling that they are not wrong to choose to do business with you, a player who is at the top and trusted by many other people as well.
9. They feel at home
When your customer thinks that your business understands them well, you are on your way to having another loyal customer.
When they finally find you, after working with similar businesses that don’t make them feel special, a business they can trust, the feeling that they belong, will almost win you their loyalty.
10. Sometimes you sacrifice profits so they can get the best
How can you do this?
Recommending another product or service if you think your recommendation can lead to a better purchasing decision (and doing this even if it means netting a little less) on their first visit instead of shoving products in front of them and manipulating them to buy.
11. You keep in touch with them
Saying hallo, wishing them happy birthday and remembering them all the time, and especially during occasions important to them (holidays, a special event or day they talked to you about etc).
While doing this, you can also inform them of new products, updates, discounts and bonuses.
You can do this via text, your website, your business blog, adverts on traditional media like radio, newspapers and TV or emails if you manage to have them join your email list.
12. Their children falls madly in love with you
If the customer is a parent, their children can help you win their loyalty.
For example, mummy comes home from the shop around the corner with her shopping. And what do the kids find hidden in the sugar? Biscuits. Maybe sweets.
Or say, amongst the clothes she buys for her children, she gets something extra– free – say, earrings, bracelet, a vest or an extra t-shirt.
Guess what the children will think? That next time mummy shops for the same items, she has to go to the same place to get them. The children will prod her to buy from you again and again.
Soon, you have a customer who, with each shopping, becomes even more loyal.
What has a business done to win your loyalty as a customer – and as a business owner, what have you done to gain the loyalty of your customers? Share your story in the comments below.