In the world of business, there are two kinds of customers: current customers and potential customers. While potential customers may be easy enough to bring in with good branding and effective marketing and advertising, current customers can be a tricky subject. People can be fickle and establishing a relationship isn’t always accomplished with the first interaction your client has with your business. However, one of the best ways to keep your profits increasing is to keep current customers coming back to you time and time again. Here are some good ideas for keeping your current clients happy and well, current.
1. Keep Customers in Your Store Longer. Establishing a relationship with your current clients is easier when your customers feel a connection to your business, and spending more than five to 10 minutes in your store fosters this connection. While you definitely don’t want to irritate your customers, engaging your clients while they are in your store is hardly a burden- it benefits both of you. Things like offering in-store demonstrations or service departments will both help the customers and keep them in your store. In addition, providing customers with the opportunity to interact with the products is a benefit and detains customers in your establishment. Almost anything can be purchased online now but customers still like to go shopping and experience the actual products they intend to buy; providing that interaction increases consumer satisfaction with your store and keeps them with you longer. If your store is an online store, provide customers with a description of the product that is both understandable and informative. Customers will appreciate knowing what they are getting and again, will be in your “store” longer.
2. Better Customer Service. This tip cannot be emphasised enough. Customer service can be improved at every level and with every employee. Periodic training sessions with employees, especially those who deal directly with customers, is a good way to tune up skills. There you can provide the employees with opportunities to role play through difficult customer situations. You should also provide your employees with enough information to deal with customers effectively and efficiently, without always giving in to the customers’ demands. There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than when all the employee can say is “I don’t know and there’s nothing I can do.” If you operate numerous store branches or have franchises, secret visits to the stores to check out customer service, as well as how the store is being managed is a good way to gauge how your employees react to situations when you are not around.
3. Keep in Contact with your Customers. All customers like to feel special, even if they haven’t been to your business very often, and that feeling is what brings many customers back to your business over and over again. Offering customer loyalty programs is one way to build this connection with your customers. Sending out regular e-mails with updates and specials is another way to keep you in the mind of your customers. If you are in a service industry or sell a product with relatively few consumers, calling your customers directly to “check-up” on them and ask how they are liking your service or product engenders good will and encourages customers to come back to your business. If you sell products to a lot of people, an e-mail survey regarding the products can reinforce to your customers that you care about their experiences with your business.
Current customers can be a difficult breed. Regardless of whether they enjoyed the experience with your business, they may find a more convenient business or just move on to another business to take care of their needs. Yet, current customers are a great way to build your business since they allow you to continuously add on instead of replacing new customers and provide free advertising to their friends. Use some of these tips to keep your current customers and grow your profits!