How to see that one customer again?
Okay, you have your business up and running. You got everything ready to receive your clients. You welcome them, you serve them and make sure they leave you with a big smile on their faces.
Then you start thinking, are they coming back? Did they like me enough to step back into that door?
Different thoughts start to cross your mind. So, how do they actually come back?
First let’s think about why is it important for customers to come back?
- Acquiring new customers is 5X more costly than retaining new ones as per the article “customer acquisition vs customer retention costs”.
- Returning customers are one of the most important advertising tool as they’re the best and most trusted brand ambassadors
- Returning customers are more profitable. Customers who purchased 2 times from your store are 9 times more likely to convert than a first-time shopper.
- A repeat customer is easier to sell to and less price sensitive. Remember that human nature is an important factor to consider even in purchasing behavior. So, people rather buy or visit a shop they’re used to instead of trying a new one. So benefit from this fact to keep them coming back.
How to calculate returning customers rate?
(%) Percent Returning Customers = (#) Returning Customers / (#) Total Customers X 100
What is a healthy returning customer’s rate?
It depends on each business but anything between 25% to 40% is a healthy rate that keeps you less vulnerable to competition.
Now let’s go back to what matters here. How to see customers back in your shop?
A key element is to assume walk in customers won’t remember you and you have to make the effort to remind them of you. Reach out to them through emails or text messages or even newsletters.
That’s why it is becoming very crucial to register clients’ contact information.
But, draw the limit between a gentle and friendly reminder and constant nuisance.
Your reminder should be full of purpose for the client to make them want to return to you.
Innovate and keep their experience interesting and intriguing.
The world is moving and changing so fast so does your clients’ preferences and taste. Make sure to offer something new and innovative. Improve your offerings and get all the latest products or services in your industry.
Always give them this unexpected additional service to keep them coming back. It might be an exquisite customer relation, a desert on the house or a solution to a problem they faced.
Create a connection between you and your customers.
Listen to your customers and show appreciation for choosing you.
Your customers are always trying to tell you something with their purchasing behaviors. A product they can’t find, bad customer service, untrained and uneducated front-line employee…
All of these are causes to lose customers and usually your clients give you hints about the things they appreciate the most in doing business with you and about the things they don’t really appreciate.
Does it mean you have to alter your services according to your customers’ specific and individual needs?
Of course not, but there is always a rule of thumb for the alarm to start ticking!!
Reward your customers.
- Create member loyalty programs like points’ system.
- Collect 500 points and win a free item.
- With every 5 orders, you get 1 free especially on perishable items that are going to be wasted anyway.
- With every 5 large coffee orders, you get 1 free doughnut.
Loyalty programs are very important and they can be done in different ways whether on the bill or by punch.
A simple happy birthday message with a 10% discount is a great way to tell your clients you care for them on individual basis.
So, make sure you capture their birthdates at POS.
What if you are losing customers?
Well, no one wants to lose a client you’ve built a business relation with.
What to do?
- Focus on your VIP ones that generate the most sales. Meaning that you should focus on the 20% customers that generate 80% of your revenues and on the 20% of your products that generate 80% of your revenues to sell. Generated reports from your POS software usually give you detailed numbers on this aspect.
- Connect with them and listen to them.
- Try to offer segmented products or service
- Work on your frontline employees that offer the services to customers
Now remember!! Repeat customers are not the only factor to consider when measuring your performance and overall wellbeing but it is a good indication and an important one that tells you that you’re on the right track.
On a final note it’s always good to show your customers that you share them the same concerns.
A way to do it is to be involved in your community! Show them that you’re part of the society and you’re close to them. Millennials are interested in corporate social responsibility behaviors and so is their purchasing behavior.
Companies like Lego, Ben & Jerry and many others chose to take part in social responsibility and their profits were increasing as per this article in the “Harvard Business school online” proclaims.
Different ways to take part in social corporate responsibility might be:
- Environmental responsibility and awareness practices
- Ethical labor practices
- Support of human rights