There is an oft-quoted statistic in business that it costs six times more to create a new customer than to retain one.
Why is that?
Well, there’s no doubt that acquiring new customers definitely takes time, effort and money, and as such, long-term customers are truly the gold of small businesses; they enable us to pay bills, hire employees and develop our business. They are how entrepreneurs keep the dream alive.
And that raises the question: How do you actually create permanent, long-term customers?
While a one-time customer is good, it’s the one who keeps coming back that really makes the difference. Customers can choose any company that will meet their needs; they will choose yours again and again only 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, become regulars, or they may not. But probably not.
But what if you’re great at what you do?
Then he will almost certainly come back.
If you sell flowers, create an exceptional bouquet, every time. If you cook, use excellent ingredients and cook with love.
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2. Provide excellent customer service
In the same way, customers love you when they know you love them back.
Nordstrom is known for its superior customer service and this is one of the reasons why its customers are so loyal. Costco, at the other end of the retail spectrum, has similarly great customer service, and yet, 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, it was, surprisingly, how 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 regular, 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 company creates for them. I told them that 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 anywhere else for their content needs.
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5. Say thank you to your customers
Most people, when they are done with even a mediocre shop, 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 at all. Big companies genuinely appreciate the people who support them and let people know it.
Let me close by saying one more thing: Thank you for coming here and reading my column; We sincerely appreciate it!