With the focus on brand management, lead generation and general awareness, it’s easy to see why a lot of business owners find it hard to create strategies to maintain customer loyalty and keep clients coming back after making their first purchase.
Learning how to keep clients engaged might seem like a lot of hard work for business owners who are solely focused on growth, but creating and building customer engagement and loyalty actually just boils down to excellent customer service and maintaining strong relationships with customers.
When keeping your clients for life, consider the following:
- Make the first 100 days count
- Keep the customer at the centre of everything you do
- Generate referrals via word-of-mouth
- Make sure to get a second sale
Make the first 100 days count
Focusing on your customer’s experience during the first 100 days after making their first purchase is probably one of the most basic things that business owners should learn when knowing how to improve customer retention.
Ultimately, it is easier to continuously cater to new clients and letting these clients spread the business via referrals and word-of-mouth than constantly focusing on acquiring new customers.
Many businesses across industries around the world experience the “100-day slump”, a phenomenon where customers tend to stop patronising a new-found business within its first 100 days. Although there are a series of phases that customers go through after making a purchase, businesses need to focus on addressing buyer’s remorse as this could dictate whether or not a buyer goes back to the business.
Customer engagement at this stage is more important than engaging clients pre-sale. It is important to stop focusing on upselling the business during this period as a means to prevent buyer’s remorse.
Instead of not going automatically on next purchase mode, business owners should focus on the customer’s experience with the product by being genuinely interested in their experience.
Keep the customer at the centre of everything you do
The key to learning how to treat customers professionally while keeping them coming back to the business is building a customer service system that is customer-centric at all times.
Business owners must always gather substantial feedback from customers and apply these to the business’ products/services. Using customer feedback as points for improvement is a good way to make customers feel that the business values their opinions.
The same thing also applies to any negative comments or feedback that the business may receive over the course of their interaction with customers. Business owners should take negative feedback well and use it to further improve the business.
Customers tend to come back and deliver repeat business if they see that its products and services improved because of their feedback.
Generate referrals via word-of-mouth
If customers are satisfied with a business’ products and/or services, it will trigger a chain reaction of customer referrals. Business owners should make a conscious decision to start this chain reaction by actively asking customers to refer them to their families and friends.
Of course, it is important to be courteous and confident when asking for referrals from your customers.
However, customers would only refer the business to other prospective customers if the business delivers top-notch products and services. Actively asking for referrals would be deemed practically useless if the customer isn’t satisfied with their experience in the first place.
Having good products and/or services would definitely increase the business’ chances of making it up on the referral ladder.
Make sure to get a second sale
It’s common knowledge among business owners that closing the first sale with any customer is the most expensive and hardest part of doing sales in businesses. However, business owners in the early days tend not to realise that bagging the second sale from a customer is more important than the first.
If a business manages to get that second sale in the bag, this reflects the customer’s trust and satisfaction in the business’ products and/or services. It can also indicate that the business had delivered its claims and promises during the first sale.
How do businesses ensure that their customers go back for that second sale? By simply delivering customer expectations and making sure that their products and/or services become an indispensable part of their customers’ lives, the second sale would be assured.