How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer?
It’s typically way more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. If you can turn that new customer into a client and retain them, your marketing ROI will be huge.
Job One: Make sure you have a solid customer relationship management infrastructure in place. Once you do, customer retention and loyalty can come naturally. First time clients have to be convinced of many things. But once you’ve convinced them to buy from you once, the next purchase should be easier — provided you delivered what you promised and provided that they liked what they received.
Here are five tips for turning first time buyers into clients:
1. Deliver on all of your promises.
2. Say Thank You.
3. Seek feedback.
4. Deliver value.
5. Reward loyalty.
1. Delivering on promises:
If you convinced someone to buy from you, chances are that they had expectations based on the way you formed your proposition to them. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Deliver on time every single time and be available to swiftly address any problems that come up.
2. Say “Thanks”:
Basic pleasantries and good customer service skills sound rudimentary but they really do mean a lot. Consider following up after a purchase to thank someone for their order and take this as an opportunity to keep communication open.
3. Seek Feedback:
When you thank a customer for their business, ask if they are happy. If they are, this reinforces that you delivered on your promises. If they’re not, this is a chance to make things right and to try to salvage the relationship. Feedback won’t just help you improve this client relationship, it’ll help you mitigate risk with future clients, too. Listening to your customers helps you operate with continuous improvement principles and that can help you retain more longer-term clients.
4. Deliver Value:
Find out what is considered to be most valuable in the eyes of your customers and strive to give it to them. For some, it’s availability. For others, it’s flexibility. For most, it’s reliability, quality, and consistency. Good products, good pricing, great customer service = happy and loyal customers.
5. Reward Loyalty:
Loyalty programs get results. Not all companies have the resources to set up a sophisticated loyalty program but if you can demonstrate your appreciation of customer loyalty in some way, do so. Some people appreciate an extra discount or other product or service freebie. Others prefer to be taken out for lunch or for a game of golf. Some clients just want a thank you and to know you’re listening to their needs and working to continually help make their lives better. Get to know your clients and it will be easy to determine the type of loyalty reward they would appreciate.
Are you easy to do business with?
Being easy to do business with is second only to your product or service when it comes to repeat business. To turn first time buyers into clients you need to earn their trust. Again, did you deliver what you promised? Did it live up to (or exceed) expectations? If so, you’ve got a greater chance of turning new customers into long-term and profitable relationships.