Keep Them Coming Back

go the extra mile

Simple ways to create repeat customers

For small businesses, repeat customers are key. Without a major marketing budget, repeat customers are the best way to generate word of mouth referrals and reach new potential customers.

Whether you run an online business or operate a local storefront, customer service can only get you so far. Nowadays customers expect more than just a friendly face or professional ordering experience – it’s the little things that make the difference.

Here are some simple ways to create a stand out customer experience that’s sure to keep people coming back:

  • Be quick to respond. If someone calls your business for a quote or sends you a message via your online storefront or web contact form, be sure to reply asap. Chances are, if they’ve called or messaged you for information, they may have called or messaged someone else. Be the first to reply, even if you don’t have an answer – let the potential customer know that you got their message and you’re happy to get them more information. Remember that each of these interactions is like a first impression and you want to make a good one.
  • Provide some incentive. Show your customers that you value their loyalty and provide a coupon for their next order or date of service. Whether that’s a physical flier or an online coupon code they receive via email, give them a reason to shop with you again or call you the next time they need your services. (This is also a great way to ask people to like you one Facebook!)
  • Make it personal. Have you ever gone out to eat and noticed your waiter or waitress added a little thank-you note or smiley face to your check? When the service is great, that little extra something is the difference between leaving a five and two singles or a ten dollar bill. Add that “something extra” to your customer’s experience. If they place an online order, add a thank-you note to their package or include a personal message with their automated shipping confirmation.
  • Show that their opinion matters. Show your customers you care about their experience. Ask them to write you a review via your storefront or your business’ Yelp page. Not only are online reviews great for your business, they show your customers you value their input. If you’re on Angie’s List or Google+, customers can also write you reviews there!

When you go the extra mile for your customers, they’ll go the extra mile for your business. People are more likely to tell people about their experiences when they’re a.really really bad (“omg – Never shop at XYZ, they were awful…”) or b. really really great (“Wow! You’ll never believe they even gave me a coupon for next time!). Unfortunately, statistics show that middle of the road experiences just don’t cut it, so try some of these easy ideas today and keep your customers coming back for good.

~ Rachel