Let’s face it, having 100% repeat customers is most ideal. But it all goes back to brand equity. If your branding is high, customer retention follows without fail. How would you like your customers to repeat their order every time?
It’s a no-brainer. And yet, there may never be a better example of sterling repeat customer strategy than Apple. And it’s loyalty through the roof. Think of the long queues of Apple iPhone buyers who brave hell and high water to get in line. Sacrificing food even.
Android phone users may number more, but in terms of loyalty, iOS-device users are tops. It’s not even close. The world has never seen such dedication to a brand than with the Steve Jobs-founded company.
So how does one get repeat customers? What are the things you need to do to increase customer loyalty?
Well, there certainly is no one-shoe-fits-all solution to this. But you can start by showing compassion, that you truly care. That should help guide you to excel and stand out way beyond the bell curve.
The Value of Repeat Customers
Right from the get-go, a definition of terms should be in order. While you would rejoice at a return customer, you should go after turning your customers into repeat customers.
A return customer is a customer who, after purchasing your goods online or through your brick-and-mortar store, comes back and buys again. A repeat customer is someone who has become a return customer countless times. Therefore, repeat customers are more valuable than return customers.
Of course, a return customer is a potential repeat customer.
Know that customer retention is a hundred times cheaper than going into customer acquisition mode. If your customer retention is poor, that means your branding needs a lift. Think about it. You’d have to move heaven and earth to get new customers. You advertise and get the word out. Then you ensure you get the product sold. It’s a tall order.
However, repeat customers are repeat business with less sweat. Not only will these customers buy from time to time, but they are also your brand’s very own walking advertisements.
In short, these customers strengthen your brand’s value. The wider your repeat customer base is, the greater chances of success you’ll have in the future. Think of Apple’s iPhone iteration. Success over and over again.
How to Develop Repeat Customers
Careful, it all boils down to experience. You might underestimate a customer complaint but think hard and think long before you do. Recent research shows it only takes one lousy customer service experience for you to lose half of your customer base. Of course, it’s an approximation. But it’s horrifying, given that we have social media now to amplify things. Thus, it begs the question of how you’re handling your customer experience. It must be solid right from the start.
- Being helpful – You should be willing to lend a hand when it comes to product usage or delivery.
- Handling returns professionally – Even when a customer returns a product, you need to be at your best, showing you care. Actually, product returns are glorious opportunities to capture a repeat customer. Why? Because proper handling will put your superb customer handling out front. This is the reason the right reverse logistics companies matter. With proper return logistics, you can give the customer a timely response to his product return request and cater to his wishes accordingly.
- Making the transaction memorable – The metric you should be aware of here is experience. How memorable is the transaction? Did it leave a bad taste in the mouth? Remember that you might win the argument with a client, but if you lose his patronage, what good is winning. Instead, choose to give him a memorable experience every time.
- Offering a choice – A good way for you to amplify customer experience is to give your customers a choice. A good example of this is Sephora. It may sound counterintuitive. But when the beauty company brought multiple brand names under one roof, it allowed buyers the benefit of choice. The result? Sephora can give customers different freebies from various brands via its Beauty Insider program of rewards.
- Being mindful of customer feedback – Another key aspect of your quest for customer retention is being in touch with customer feedback. You need to install a feedback mechanism, or you’re going to lose a lot of brand equity in the long run. A good place for you to start is via customer surveys. These surveys convey the message that you’re there to listen to. When your clients feel you truly care, you have won them. Twice over.
By showing that you care and making any interaction with your company positive and memorable for your customers, you can expect return and repeat customers.