Small business owners say getting repeat customers is their most important business milestone. It might sound counter-intuitive, but data says it is a wise choice. In the U.S., 40% of revenue comes from repeat purchasers. A repeat customer is 9 times more likely to make a purchase than a first-time shopper, and your top 10% of customers spend 3 times more than the lower 90%. The good news is selling to repeat customers also costs 6-7 times less than to new customers. Here are a few things you can do to generate repeat business.
1. Engage your customers with relevant newsletters
Your regular email newsletter is a critical tool for building and maintaining relationships with your customers. With a regular newsletter, you’re able to keep your business top-of-mind with your readers. Once they’re ready to book their next service, yours will be the first business that comes to mind. A great strategy is to provide the ability to sign up after (or even during) their first appointment. You can then share educational and entertaining content that highlights and complements what your business offers.
2. Invite your customers back automatically
You probably have a good sense for how long loyal customers wait between services for your business. By asking them to book their next appointment at the end of their current service, you increase the ability to keep them as a customer. However, even if your customers aren’t able to commit to a future appointment, you should still plan for an email to hit their inbox right when they’re thinking about booking that next appointment. Automated tools make it easy to set up that email reminder automatically and base it off the date and type of service that was performed so that you don’t have to manually send those emails each day.
3. Reward your customers for their loyalty
Developing a membership program for your business not only increases return visits from your current customers but also rewards them for their loyalty. Loyalty is more than repeat purchases, and loyalty programs should aim to foster a deeper emotional connection between the customer and the store. Granted, customers keep coming back to you because they are satisfied with your products and services, but well-designed loyalty programs can always add value to your business. Discounting can be an effective trigger to bringing back customers, but your customers may not necessarily place a high value on those discounts. The best loyalty programs offer rewards that bring high value to consumers at low internal costs. You can start with rewarding them for creating and updating their contact information. Then by interacting with them frequently through the loyalty program, you can bring them rewards that represent the most value to them. You can also create share-worthy offers that are exclusive to repeat customers or encourage them to refer a new client. Your loyal customers often act like volunteer marketers for your business, and these offers can reward them for recommending you to their friends after having good experiences with you.
4. Stay at the top of your game
Ultimately, your customers have choices, and you need to continually prove and reinforce your value to keep them coming back. There are countless tips and tricks for gaining repeat customers, but truly the best way to your customers’ hearts is by doing the best job possible. No matter what you sell, make sure to offer full guidance from beginning to end. As a service-based business, make sure to train all your employees to provide the best service possible and strive to minimize variability in the quality of service. Every time your customers come back to your business, it should be a continuation of their previous great service experience. Customers should also feel like you are growing to satisfy their changing needs. By consistently delighting your customers, you show that you truly care about making sure they are happy. That’s the best recipe for repeat business.
Click here to learn how MyTime can help you engage with your customers and invite them back automatically.