Many entrepreneurs sometimes feel like their business is like a roller coaster, despite the fact that they are delivering excellent products or services and have satisfied customers. Often, this is because they’re behaving like employees. In other words, they’re working in the business and not on the business. Entrepreneurs should focus their attention on ensuring clients repeat business more regularly.
I find it strange that more entrepreneurs don’t take the time to invite customers back, instead of sitting back and waiting for them to return on their own. For example, I’m amazed when I look at the number of restaurants I eat at that make no effort to capture my details and communicate with me to get me to come back. And yet it’s such an easy thing to do!
Strategies for Repeat Business
Turn clients into Raving Fans
Raving Fans are those loyal clients who think you’re fabulous and can’t stop telling everyone about your business. They also send friends and family your way, meaning you not only benefit from their repeat business, but from their referrals too.
By making clients who give you business for the second time members, gives them a sense of belonging and moves them one rung up the loyalty ladder. Membership might mean a loyalty card system or being added to your newsletter mailing list to receive special offers.
The next step is taking people from being members to advocates. Being advocates means they start selling you to others and bringing you referrals. Advocates are one step away from being raving fans, who are like extensions of your sales team.
Getting people to be raving fans requires delivering a “wow” experience to them every time they interact with you. It’s about going far beyond what they expect from you and getting better all the time.
Create enticing offers
To get people coming back to you, you need to put together great offers that they can’t resist while ensuring that their business is still profitable for you. The best place to start is by thinking about the types of offers you’ve seen that make you want to respond.
You also need to be prepared to take a smaller profit in the short term to get your customers’ long-term loyalty.
Closed Door Sales
Another option to consider in encouraging repeat business is to host closed-door sales (sales that are not open to the general public, but only to members). Edgars, The Body Shop and other retailers do this very successfully, but the idea is applicable to other businesses too.
Also think about whether it makes sense to have a loyalty programme. Again, this has proven successful for big organisations like the airlines, hotels and even health insurance companies (for example, Discovery’s Vitality programme), and it may work for your business too.
Success relies on how strong your offer is, whether or not you’re providing satisfaction to clients continually, how convenient it is for customers (think of Clicks, which mails loyalty vouchers directly to customers) and exposure. By that, I mean that your programme will flop if you and all your staff don’t take it seriously. Make sure that customers are continually made aware of it, and that it comes into play during every sale.
To ensure you keep getting repeat business, you need to keep working at it. There are many ways to solidify repeat business. Test, measure, adjust, and above all, keep taking action.