“I CAN HELP NEXT IN LINE!”
You recognize this cashier and begin to order a large coffee with-
“Hi John, it’s great to see you. Can I get you the usual?”
Now, that’s great customer service.
It’s also what keeps customers coming back and businesses up and running. Last year, RJMetrics explained that top companies get most of their revenue from repeat customers. While it’s extremely difficult to get customers to make the second purchase, top companies are able to get 20 percent of their revenue from those same customers within the first month. By the end of their third year, top companies can earn up to 60 percent of their revenue from the same customers. There are plenty of ways to grow your company, but one of the simplest ways to keep them coming back is connecting with customers. In honor of Get to Know Your Customer Day, here are three ways to help your business grow through loyal consumers:
- Using names means that you’re taking the time to notice who is a regular. You’re validating your customer’s identity and making them feel appreciated for coming into your business, again.
- Remember, as you grab their attention, it’s best to think about using their name formally or informally. It’s usually best to use their formal name until they give you permission to use their first name, or nickname, if they have one.
- Get customers involved in your business, by sending a friendly email. This method of communication ensures customers don’t forget about you. Email them a few days after their purchase and ask them what they think of the product and service. Don’t try to sell them on future items or ask them to opt into an email list, because it will only send them away.
- It’s important to understand that customers don’t want to be overwhelmed with email. Instead, try a monthly email that keeps them up to date with deals, events, and check-ins.
- Encouraging customers to join a loyalty program is invaluable when you wish to send birthday, first-year customer anniversary, and holiday wishes.
- Food industry: Consider comping a regular customers “usual” on the house or provide a local discount. You want to do this for the customers that have made a purchase at least once a week over a period of two months. Not only do you know their names for this, but this action will let them know your establishment has noticed.
- Sellers: Try giving loyal customers a special discount. This will grab their attention and make them more inclined to make the second purchase before the expiration date.
- Neither of these your type of business? Try a sending a client a thank you note and make it as personable as you can. This shows that you’ve taken the time to acknowledge them.
Customers are an important part of any business, they are the ones who help build the company and keep the doors open. Getting to know them and finding ways to keep them coming back is crucial to a successful business.
Sharon Schweitzer and Esther Sanchez co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is an award-winning entrepreneur, cross-cultural trainer, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, (3rd printing), was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.
Esther Sanchez is a Fall 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Access to Culture. She is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin as a Journalism major and working to earn a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and a certificate in Computer Science. She plans to use these skills to tell stories through virtual reality from around the world. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Photo credit: Pxhere