Long-term, repeat customers are the lifeblood of successful businesses. It also costs a business much less to keep existing customers than to attain new ones. As the saying goes, it costs about five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.
While turning one-time customers into lifetime buyers can be a lot of work, the return on this investment can be significant. Having a reliable base of customers not only contributes to your bottom line; it also gives you the freedom to develop more strategies and tactics to keep those customers and add new customers to your base.
6 Ways to Turn One-Time Customers Into Long-Term Brand Loyalists
Follow these six tips to ensure you keep loyal customers coming back and turn one-time shoppers into lifetime buyers.
- Highlight your best customers online. You will make them feel good, and you will inspire others to take a new look at your company, products and services. How do you do this? You can feature your customers on your website, share their Facebook posts and tweets, and blog about them. Your appreciation will cement their loyalty.
- Send them appreciation gifts. This requires a little research, but it’s also well worth it. Figure out what engages your top customers. Look at their social media accounts. Are they cat lovers? Readers? New moms? Fishermen? Then identify the product or service they might like. Remember, it’s not the price that matters here, but the thoughtfulness behind it.
- Give customers credit when you adopt one of their ideas or requests. Survey your customers about potential changes you’d like to make and ask for input and suggestions. Then choose your favorite amongst the responses. Share the winner on social media channels and send a thank-you gift for participating. Identify your customers by first name and location, if possible, and summarize the change you made based on their input.
- Upgrade the customer at no charge. If your business has a premium service, upgrade them to this level free of charge. Have a sale that is limited to the most frequent buyers. Offer them free shipping or other perks. The upfront cost to you here is tiny compared to the loyalty it will generate.
- Focus on customer service. If you are unresponsive, even the best products will not help you build your brand and reputation. Focus on the basics: Don’t leave people on hold; do try to help them at the first touchpoint; and, don’t send them back to a customer service page on your website. Having a great customer experience will keep them coming back, and your investment of time and technology will be returned many times over.
- Follow your customers’ leads when supporting charities. Instead of choosing one charitable organization and supporting only that one, allow your customers to pick the charities. Invite them to name and describe the work they are doing for a particular organization, pick one, and contribute. Highlight the customer whose support inspired you to donate or sponsor on your site or Facebook page.
Get Help Building Brand Loyalty and Lifetime Customers
All of these tactics require you to understand your customer. Specialists at our agency can help you determine the best way to learn about your customers and then create tactics to help you create lifetime brand loyalty among your customer base. Contact us to learn more.