Trust—it’s truly the secret to strong, lasting relationships with your customers. While you can’t buy trust or expect it to magically come about with little effort, trust-building is absolutely crucial to encouraging more repeat customers. You need a customer retention strategy designed to cultivate customer trust at every point in the buy cycle.
That’s why so many businesses offer repeat customer perks, such as loyalty cards, customer discounts, frequent flyer miles, and rewards programs. It’s all bait to lure customers back in for more. As long as you continue to deliver on your promises, customers will come back.
Your best bet? Kill ‘em with kindness to earn enduring loyalty and to build customer trust.
Be More than a Price Tag
As a small business, whether you’re selling a product or service, chances are pretty good you can’t offer a better price than big box stores unless you have an unbeatable business model. If you do try to compete exclusively on price, some company will find a way to undercut you and steal your customers. Add value by offering a unique add-on service or some other enticement to encourage repeat customers.
Take Dollar Shave Club, for example. They automatically deliver something more than half the population needs almost daily, on the cheap. Refer a friend and you get a $5 credit. As they say, “1000 friends gets you 83 years of free razors…and if you live long than that, bravo, we’ll be happy to keep sending.” Brilliant.
Send Personal Thank You Notes and Greetings
A common practice a century ago, handwritten notes are long out of fashion. But you have your customers’ addresses, so why not drop a personal note just after a sale? The gesture shows your company cares and that you’re personally invested in the sale. (And hey, it’s not too late for a Happy New Year note, so send away!)
Issue an Invitation
To land big, repeat customers, nothing beats a personal touch. Invite your big-name clients to lunch or throw an office party to show top decision makers around and introduce them to your staff. OR, try presenting your repeat customers with a secret portal on your website offering invitation-only discounts and special offers. Your repeat customers (big or small) will feel valued and special—you can’t go wrong.
Online Version of Fishbowl Freebies
Restaurants often put out a fishbowl and ask customers to drop in business cards, then give away a catered lunch once a month in return. You may not have a brick-and-mortar and a fishbowl, but you can capture the same spirit with customer satisfaction surveys, online polls, and even social media responses. Provide your customers with an incentive to interact with your brand online and reward your customers with a deep discount or even a free product or service giveaway. Also, hey, take your customers’ responses to heart. Whether B2B or B2C, when people take the time to provide valuable feedback, do not let the opportunity for improvement go to waste!
Focus on Customer Service
78% of consumers say they've bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase due to a poor customer service experience. NOTHING beats great customer service. Deliver more than you promised and do it fast. Respond quickly to queries and issues and ensure your customer service staff is always accessible, empowered to fix things, and easy to find.
Remember, true profitability isn’t simply in the one-time sale—it’s all about gaining more repeat customers. Lay the groundwork for a solid relationship built on trust from first contact, then show your customers so much kindness and care that they’ll remain loyal customers for life.