Since 2010 I’ve worked in a whole range of sales roles, from selling hummus and falafels on a Lebanese food stall, to selling ad space for Microsoft to coconut water to selling yoga retreats to selling leadership training and consulting. Oh and I even used to help answer the phones for my Dad’s business, selling funerals. A diverse portfolio of sales roles to date!
For every single one of these roles it has been crucial for the majority of my sales to come from repeat customers. And how do you create repeat customers? From creating amazing relationships between your brand and them.
I’ve learnt a lot and made a lot of mistakes (and still do) but am increasingly fascinated by how building the necessary trust, delivering an amazing product/service and maintaining a long lasting relationship can enable you to drive your business to the next level.
A Quick Vid
To give an overview of the importance of building loyal relationships with your clients:
What’s Going On In Your Business?
A first few questions to ask yourself regarding customer loyalty:
- What has worked well in the past for your business?
- What is a typical customer journey?
- How long is the customer lifecycle?
- What is the cost of acquiring a new customer?
- How do you re-market at customers?
- What % of your customers buy more than once from you?
3 Reasons Why Loyal Customers Are Essential For A Successful Business:
- It costs 5 x more to acquire new customers than to keep your current ones
- Engaged customers spend 16% more
- A successful company typically sees 80 percent of its business come from 20 percent of its customers.
Examples Of Companies That Do This Really Well
- Starbucks – people get so used to their daily hit that they buy from SB wherever they are in the world and use the phrase ‘I’m off to get a Starbucks’
- Local corner shops – sometimes Tesco or Sains is cheaper but due to the great experience and relationships built you will buy from them again and again
What Can You Do?
- Firstly it is essential to understand WHAT customers are looking for from you. It is so often that companies include things which customers don’t even care about e.g. hotels with mini bars. Whereas Premier inn chooses to strip back on all of these things are just focus on the essentials and strip out the ‘noise’ – extra irrelevant stuff
- Therefore I recommend doing some research on why your customers choose your brand …. A simple survey monkey asking questions such as, ‘what was it that made you purchase my retreat originally?’ and ‘what is it about the clothing you chose which drew you in?’
2. Frequent Communication
With your customers keeps you fresh in their minds and lets you pass along important information.
- Do you have a database? How do you communicate with them regularly? What more could you do?
- What social media channels do you use?
Using the above information, consider how you can better engage with your existing clients and keep them excited and on board. Personal communication, invites to events, competitions and news about your growth plans and founders strengthen the relationship between the brand and customer. Ensure though when you’re communicating in this way you are keeping in mind ‘why should I care?’ from the customer point of view and keeping things exciting and positive.
3. Provide Extra Perks For Your Most Loyal Customers
- Do you offer discounts for repeat purchase? I stayed at a yoga retreat recently where if you booked your next within 30 days you’d get £50 off – it worked, some people go the extra mile to feel like they are ‘getting a deal’
- If a customer refers you to one of their friends, make sure you notice this too – send them a handwritten note or worst case, a short email and recognise their efforts and how this is helping you to build your business that you are so passionate about. Small acts of gratitude go a long way.
- Give value, often – e.g. for yoga teachers this could be yoga videos or blogs and for food businesses free recipes.
4. Amazing Customer Service
This is so so important because customers tell approx 10 people about a bad customer service expereice and only 3 about a positive one so they all have to be positive
Every business is different so it is firstly important to understand what amazing customer service means for your business. To do this you can draw up an ideal customer road map. How, in your ideal world would a customer go from first purchase to second, and third and so forth?
For all businesses the following are essential to build loyal repeat customers;
- Speedy response times, managing expectations accurately, being friendly and understanding, be HUMAN!
- Ask your customers about their updates. Founder of Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Tom Barry swears by his ‘3 question rule’ and uses this in all business and social situations. Whenever seeing someone for the first time in a while asking them 3 questions before they can ask you one, showing interest in their lives and strengthening your relationship
- Use technology effectively but remembering that using technology in the wrong way can be detrimental. For example, when I recently booked for a yoga retreat I didn’t have a single personalised email before I arrived. Every email and text was from a bot. Sure it was efficient for them but it certainly wouldn’t be a company to use again for me.
- Never forgetting to add a smile. A study showed that shoppers who were greeted with a welcome and a smile spent up to 67 percent more than shoppers who were not greeted this way.
- After sales follow-up – how was the product? And this encourages people to review
- Build a face behind your brand e.g. The Happy Pear – taking you through their daily lives, meeting their families and seeing their various emotions makes you feel connected to their brand.
- If you make a mistake, make up for it! See this as an opportunity to completely turn things around e.g. I recently ordered a fertility tracker and a month later it still hadn’t arrived. When I dropped them a message to let them know this, they immediately gave me a call, dropped me a message and ensured I’d received my tracker within a few days
- Keep things personal e.g. Pala – a cool new eco friendly phone case brand deliver a little handwritten note with each purchase
5. Make Your Customers Believe That What You Offer IS The Best In The World
- Recently, neurosciences scanned the brains of Apple fans and learned that the same part of the brain that lights up when religious people think about their deity is activated when these customers think about their beloved products. This shows that if you offer a service or product that your customers think is the best in the world, they’ll be completely devoted with a passion that can’t be topped.
- Question yourself on the following: What are your product differentiators? How can you showcase these more to your clients? Focus more on these in your marketing, communications and interactions with customers.
Of Course, To Top It All Off… Keep Improving!
A few ideas for how you can sure this happens…
- Encourage customer feedback and reward those that take part e.g. small discount
- NPS surveys – how are your customers rating you?
If you’re interested in exploring more on this topic, hit me up for a complimentary consultation on how I can help your wellness/ethical business to grow!