It’s no secret: the most successful companies today get the lion’s share of their business from repeat customers. And for obvious reasons. Loyal customers, after all, buy more, spend more and refer others to your business. And it is much easier to sell products and services to someone who’s already had an experience with your company—and it costs far less than chasing after an entirely new prospect. That’s just Marketing 101. But how do you nurture your best customers to keep them coming back?
Technology has helped, certainly—through the emergence of CRM tools, e-mail marketing, Web development innovations and social media, for example. But it takes more than technology to transform a buyer into a lifetime customer. It requires a mind-set genuinely focused on the customer, and much time spent putting oneself in her shoes. Here are a few tips to get you started.
#1. Say “Thanks.”
Sounds simple, huh? But you’d be surprised how many marketers fail to express any gratitude or appreciation to their customers, without whom, there would be no business, no paycheck, nor products or services to sell. In doing so, they miss a significant loyalty-building opportunity. In the digital marketing industry, we spend much of our time talking about how to leverage the latest technologies to build better relationships with customers. But I continue to be dumbfounded by the number of companies that miss the most basic step in the foundation of building a customer relationship: expressing gratitude. This need not be a complicated endeavor. Just a simple follow-up e-mail with a sincere, “Thank you for your order.” Or a note with the shipment: “We appreciate your business.” Better yet? Personalize your gesture. Address the buyer by name. Include a personal signature. You can never thank a customer too much. And one simple, genuine “thanks” goes a long way in building a good experience with your company and influencing a customer to return.