There’s no denying that every business wants new prospects and new customers, but you need to hold on to your existing customers too.
Keeping your current customers happy will help you to develop insights into your clientele, and help to maintain and strengthen your customer relationships. By strengthening your relationships, you’ll encourage them to keep coming back to buy from you and therefore, help to increase your profits.
Holding on to your current customers doesn’t have to be a difficult task either. Here are 6 proven ways to make sure you’re holding on to and building your customer base:
1 – Repeating orders
There’s a chance that you are selling a product or service that customers are going to want to purchase again. Whilst your customers’ purchasing patterns may vary, it’s proven that once somebody has purchased a particular product from you, they’re likely to do so again. Use this to your advantage to secure more business!
Keep track of your customers’ buying habits, monitoring them until a clear pattern appears. Try and make a record of what customers have bought, and when. This way you can home in on them at the perfect time, contacting them to encourage re-orders when they need the product again.
2 – Upselling
The idea of upselling is to sell extra products or services to customers just before they complete a purchase, for example, when they’re at the checkout. We recommend using one of these three effective upselling techniques:
- Selling more products
- Selling complementary products
- Offering upgraded packages
We’ve all experienced upselling at some point; in a shop when we’re told about Mini Eggs being half price with our purchase, or when we’re shopping online and we can see what other customers bought along with the product in your basket.
Effective upselling is when people are made to feel as if they need a product or service, or ought to make the most of a special offer – but it can’t be too pushy. It’s all about the subtlety.
3 – Creating a loyalty club
If you have a group of customers that regularly buy from you, or if you have a product or service that is likely to be a repeated purchase, consider creating a loyalty club. The idea of a loyalty club is not only incredibly profitable, but it also provides you with an easy way to focus on and monitor your regular customers.
Loyalty clubs or continuity programmes can take one of two forms:
- A subscription programme: Customers either pay in advance for a fixed period of time or pay a regular subscription charge to ensure the continued delivery of a product or service, eg. a magazine subscription or gym membership
- A reward scheme: A record of purchases is made, perhaps with a stamp or an electronic card, which results in a free item or discount once enough purchases are made, eg. a Costa coffee card or a Boots card
You don’t always have to reduce your profit margin. Consider offering the members of your loyalty club special priority access to new products and services, or special offers and discounts on additional purchases perhaps.
4 – Renewing subscriptions
If your business does offer a subscription, one way to ensure your customers sign up again is to try and gain renewals. Your best bet is to do this before their subscription has expired.
‘Why before?’ we hear you ask. Well, research has shown that customers are more likely to be persuaded to stay on board whilst they’re still a customer. So keep up to date with your subscription lists and make sure you get them before they go!
5 – Reminding customers
If you’re wondering why a current customer has stopped purchasing from you, more often than not it’s because they’ve simply forgotten about you. Now, as a business, you don’t want that to happen. Whilst it can sometimes be difficult to get your business at the forefront of their minds and renew those relationships, it’s by no means impossible.
So, how do you regain and retain their interest? There are several things you can do, including:
- Making a personal phone call
- Offering them a discount or special offer
- Sending them an email or letter using information about past purchases, etc
- Sending an apology email or letter if you are aware of a specific problem
- Offering them a free service
Remind them how great you are as a business, and make them feel appreciated as your customer.
6 – Remarketing
Last but certainly not least: remarketing. Remarketing works as a reminder to your target audience, honing in on those you know are interested in your business and your product or service. You want to entice them to return to your site or to that basket, and turn any doubts or uncertainties into successful purchases.
You can use it to effectively promote the launch of a new product or let customers know about any seasonal sales or offers you’ve got coming up. By retargeting those customers that have shown previous interest in your site, a certain product category, or even a certain product type will increase your ROI with your advertising and reduce that ‘shopping cart abandonment’ rate.