Joe Rawlinson at Return Customer put together a quick and easy list of steps companies can take to retain customers. I call them "reminders" here because these are things we probably all know already, but may have lost focus on over time.
- Deliver what you promise. Give the customer exactly what they want. Rawlinson mentions the old marketing adage "Under-promise and over-deliver," which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, under-promising gives you some wiggle room should something go wrong in the course of your customer's experience, and lets you blow you customers away with how much more you give them should things go great. But on the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to be the type of company that customers expect to offer a phenomenal service every time, rather than one where exceptional service is an anomaly?
- Support the customer. The transaction isn't over when your customer hands you their credit card and you hand them your product. You need to follow through after the customer goes home by helping them use your product successfully and answering any questions they may have. This is another way you can go above and beyond any ho-hum expectations, by continuing to be an organization on which customers can rely even after the sale.
- Ask for more. Give your customers the opportunity to come back. Follow up with them and see if they need any accessories, refills, or upgrades. Rawlinson has an interesting point: "You’ll never get a repeat purchase unless you ask for it." Here, asking for customers to return doesn't necessarily need to be literal. Sending them personalized mailers with coupons for products you think they'd like can also draw them back to your company.
These tips seem pretty common-sense, right? But if you take the time to really consider them, are you actually putting them into practice on a regular basis? And even then, how do you know you're doing them right?
Customer feedback surveys will go a long way here. Knowing what they want can tell you what their expectations of you are, and therefore how to meet and exceed those expectations. Continual contact will help you figure out how to best support their needs, and knowing their shopping habits can help deliver tailored purchasing opportunities to encourage repeat customers. Let Cvent help you learn more about your customers and hopefully turn those one-time buyers into regulars.