We live in highly competitive times when consumers have options – lots of them.  So, while they were thrilled to be back doesn’t mean they will always stay with you. Here are what business studies are identifying you must have in place to ensure their return:

  1. Stay in touch: 

After your first successful transaction with your client, it is important to devote resources to continuing to build the relationship instead of merely setting your sights on the next transaction. Opportunities can include being active on social media, sending clients a special incentive and regular communication such as email newsletters. However, there is a fine line between keeping in touch and becoming a nuisance. Your communication should be meaningful and have a purpose.

2. Assume they won’t remember you

A client may have hired you once, but that doesn’t guarantee they will think of you the next time they need the services you offer. You are competing for their attention amidst a million other distractions every day (this is true with both retail and service-based industries).

3. Keep the experience fresh and relevant

Give your clients new reasons to shop with you again or access your services. Continue to hone and improve your offerings – and remember to articulate to your existing clients what’s new. Changes and updates are more reasons to interact with your client base.

4. Surprise them

When someone does something above and beyond our expectations, we leave feeling delighted and excited, and will likely tell others. This can be as simple as remembering a customer’s name or as special as offering a gift on their birthday or another milestone. Reward them for their business by giving them loyalty discounts or extras when they use your services repeatedly.

5. Collaborate

Do good things together in the community. Whether it’s donating a portion of every sale to a noteworthy charity, or support a special interest group, consumers will appreciate that their transaction with you will also contribute to a worthy cause.  This is called cause-related marketing.

6. Have the right people on the front-line

You can have the best product in the world, but if the person your clients interact with is not engaging or even worse, downright unpleasant to deal with, you will drive people away. Make sure you have qualified people on your team. Friendly, efficient, and personalised service should be to a standard.  Invest in training your team to maintain the right standard of communication.

7. Make it easy for clients to reach you

Don’t send them through a lengthy chain of menu options before they are able to get a person on the line. Make a point of responding to social media comments, emails, and voicemail messages promptly.

This requires two steps: paying attention when they share feedback and also proactively asking them what they think of your business. Send surveys to customers regarding their opinion about your product and the service they received, and then take the information to heart.

8. Show your appreciation As with showing gratitude to your staff, don’t forget to show your appreciation and gratitude to your clients. Keep it simple, such as a heartfelt thank you sometimes is all that is needed. Take it a step further by sending a thank you note or a special reward for a referral. Building strong relationships takes time, but the payoff is worth the energy.  APAN has a selection of amazing, high-quality Thank You cards that you can access at bulk rates. 

Here is the link to these and other ‘industry-specific’ themed cards https://apanetwork.com/resources/gift-cards/