Every business wants to win new customers, but realistically, it’s far easier and more profitable to keep your current customers satisfied. In fact, survey after survey shows that repeat customers spend more and are generally more valuable overall than first-time customers.
We asked business owners how they drive repeat business. Here’s how they responded:
Personalize the customer experience
Customer retention can stem from creating a personal relationship with your consumers. I want to show each and every customer that buys from us that we, as a brand, genuinely care for their health and well-being. We have tried many strategies in an effort to make our company as personal as possible, including sending a thank-you email to everyone that buys from us. Along with that, I give them my personal email so they can discuss with me anything they’d like, whether it’s sending me a review or asking me questions about our product.
—William Schumacher, founder and CEO, Uprising Food, Cincinnati
Stay connected with clients
I think it’s critical with any type of sales to make sure your end product or service is “sticky”—meaning that it keeps your users engaged, month after month, year after year. You need to ensure that they can’t walk away from you. We work with clients in all different types of industries, and we have quarterly meetings with our clients to check in, let them know what we are doing and ask what we can be doing better. We are in touch with our clients each week, but having these quarterly meetings makes sure we are proactively attending to their needs.
—Jennifer Morehead, CEO, Flex HR, Atlanta
Engage over social media
“Being interactive and engaging with customers is exactly what it takes to keep them coming back.”
Customer service is something we take seriously. Being interactive and engaging with customers is exactly what it takes to keep them coming back. We do a lot of chatting with our customers via Instagram. It’s been a great way to hear out any requests and answer any questions regarding our products.
—Kaz Amor, founder, VoCê Haircare, Los Angeles
Provide education and nurturing
We sell crickets that our customers feed to their pets, but there are many other cricket farms providing the same services that we do. We differentiate ourselves by offering excellent guidance on how to care for their pets. We hired an in-house zoologist to write detailed care guides, for example, on bearded dragons, leopard dragons, tarantulas and other common exotic pets. We also created a social media platform for reptile owners to share pictures of the pets and habitats, and ask questions on proper husbandry. We estimate that this nurturing has helped convert 50% of our customer base into repeat customers.
—Jeff Neal, founder, The Cricket Depot, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Build a community—online or offline
We run an online language school, and even though all of our students are online, we still want them to feel like they are joining something—like they’re part of the team. We do a few different things to achieve this. For one, we designed college swag to be given out free to new students who sign up. This way our school feels less abstract and more established, and more like an actual community of learners. Second, we invite all our students to a schoolwide Slack channel, where outside of class they can chat with our teaching fellows and other students. Third, we position our methods and our approach relative to other organizations and well-known individuals. This helps our students identify, first, with the larger conversation about language-learning best practices, but also with our own approach.
—Ryan Hammill, co-founder and COO, Ancient Language Institute, Moscow, Idaho
How do you create repeat customers at your business? Share your insights in the comments section below!Print this article