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The Value of Repeat Customers

14th July 2008

The Value of Repeat Customers

The online store that EnMart currently uses has a nice feature that tells us if a customer has ordered with us before when they place a new order. I always smile when I see the notation that a customer has ordered from us again. That little notation lets me know that we’re doing the right things in the right order. After all, people don’t place repeat orders with companies that didn’t provide good product and service the first time around.

Studies have shown that the cost of attracting a new customer can be up to eight times greater than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Despite this fact, many companies spend a lot of their time and money trying to get new customers in the door. While it is true that every business needs a steady stream of new customers if it is going to keep afloat, where businesses really need to concentrate their time and effort is on keeping the customers they already have, and on getting those customers to place orders again and again.

The value of repeat customers isn’t only in the fact that they may place multiple orders. Repeat customers come back to your business because they are happy with your products and services. They are also more likely to recommend your business to others or to speak favorably about your business in conversation. Repeat customers may be the best advertisement your business can have.

So, now that you know how valuable repeat customers can be, the question is this: how do you turn a first time customer into a repeat customer? Here are a few tips that will help keep your customers coming back for more.

  1. Respond to customer feedback. Every business makes the occasional mistake or rubs a customer the wrong way. Make sure you respond quickly when a customer tells you they are unhappy or dissatisfied.
  2. Keep in contact with your customers. Use a blog, a web site or a monthly postcard to keep in contact with customers. This will help keep your name at the top of the customer’s mind.
  3. Make refunds and exchanges a simple process. Again, every business screws up once in a while. Make the process of setting things right as easy and painless for your customers as possible.
  4. Hire happy, positive people and treat them well. Your sales staff as the only representatives of your company that your customers may ever see. Hiring happy, positive people and maintaining a positive work environment will help make sure your customers are greeted by happy, positive smiles every time they walk in the door.
  5. Walk Your Talk. Now days it is practically required for businesses to say they value their customers or they provide the best customer service. Before you make any claim about your business, make sure you can live up to what you say. If you want customers to keep coming back you have to meet their expectations, and their expectations will be influenced by what you tell them to expect from your business.

posted in Making Your Business Grow | 2 Comments

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