When small business owners focus on finding business strategies for retaining their current clients, they are more likely to reap the benefits of repeat sales. If you run a small business, you have most likely already heard that it is far easier to keep customers than it is to create new ones. So, what can you do to ensure that your current customers come back for future business? Well, there are several easy strategies you can implement that will help encourage repeat business, no matter what industry you may be working in.
First and foremost, the most important thing you can do is to get organized. You should have some means for compiling and organizing all of your clients’ contact information. Most small businesses use a database, such as Microsoft Access, for this purpose. It’s important to get on board with a technology like this because it can be used to generate mass emails, mailing labels, call lists, and other things that will make communication with your customers much simpler. There are many software options out there that can even automatically send out emails to your clients on a regular basis.
Depending on the type of business you run, you might choose to use your database for storing brief notes on your clients as well. Customers will feel appreciated when you show them that you remember them. When you make phone calls, have their information pulled up on your computer screen so that it is readily available. Call them by name and refer to your notes so that you can mention something that will make them feel remembered. For example, mention their last purchase and ask them how they liked it, or ask them about their recent move, which they mentioned during their last visit. You’ll be surprised at how well this small gesture will be received.
Once you have established a database of client information, regular communication with your customers will be much easier. If you aren’t already doing so, you should be sending your customers regular emails with business updates and information. Most business owners will try to send emails once every other week or perhaps more frequently. You’ll want to ensure that you don’t send too much communication, however, as this can become irritating to some customers, and they could end up opting out of your communications altogether.
Another great way to generate repeat sales is to distribute discounts or specials to your current customers from time to time. Or, you could come up with an incentive program for repeat customers. For example, after a certain number of purchases, you could reward customers with a special discount or small gift to show them that you value their business.
Your customers are also sure to appreciate it if you make it known that you value their opinions. It’s a good idea to allow for feedback from your customers in some way, whether it’s through your website, emails, or comment cards. Also be sure to follow up on any client feedback, whether it’s positive or negative; this could be done via email or with a brief phone call. It’s also wise to keep records of all customer feedback, because you never know when issues will recur or need further attention.
The bottom line is that it all comes down to making your current customers your highest priority. Be sure to stay on top of their needs by doing constant research. As your clients’ needs change, your business should change to meet those needs. If you are always providing the products or services that your customers require, they will have no reason to go elsewhere.