Turning One-Time Customers into Lifetime Customers

While it’s important to attract new customers, retaining your repeat purchasers and building a loyal customer base has to be at the top of your list!

Your most loyal customers will not only support your business financially, but will be your best referral sources as well - so giving them a VIP experience helps both of you.

Loyalty Programs

Reward-based programs such as punch cards, buy x get y free promos, or cards that identify a certain number of points are all ways that loyal customers get the benefits of being a “regular.” These perk programs allow your best customers to get a special experience or a small treat for always coming to you for a product they seek.

How? These programs take on a variety of forms. Think of how your customers would like to be rewarded based on your offerings. Is it a discount? A free item? A photo on the wall?

Say you own a coffee shop - a punch card that allows customers to get a free drink after 9 coffee purchases is a powerful tool to keep people coming back for more. You can print your own, go through a local printing company, or order them online through a medium like Vistaprint for around $10.

Successful Use: Speaking of coffee, Starbucks uses its coveted Gold Card to encourage and reward repeat customers by sending customers who have earned 30+ stars (made 30+ purchases) a special Gold Card. This car earns rewards like free drinks, special offers, and a customized card with your name on it so the barista knows your name as soon as it’s handed over. It’s a VIP experience that makes the customer feel special and part of the company’s inner circle.

Offer a Great Product Every Time

Product inconsistency is a red flag for your customers. If the quality isn’t consistent, you lose trust from your buyers, which isn’t good news for your business. Guidelines, training, and a clear set of standards ensure every customer gets the same fantastic experience each time.

Provide Great Customer Service

Each and every customer deserves to be provided with a high level of customer service because it’s just as important as the product itself. Going above and beyond should be leveraged from the local perspective, as this personal touch is something you can provide in greater quality and quantity than a big box store.

So much of exceptional day-to-day service comes down to tone – ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’ and ‘What else do you want?’ are in essence, asking the same thing, but are wildly different in terms of tone. In other words, great service not only depends on execution (that you asked in the first place), it also depends on perception, or how you communicated with the customer. Getting that right is the first step in building a business people love interacting with. – Gregory Ciotti, Help Scout

If you doubt the power of great service, keep these stats in mind:

How to do it? A few foolproof tips:

Having a Solid Presentation

This one seems like a no-brainer, but keeping your business clean, visually appealing, and in tip-top shape is extremely important. Your business’s presentation is a reflection of the products being offered, the staff, and the owner.

If your business can convert first-time customers into forever customers, you’re golden. These loyal supporters will be a referral engine, and your high standards for the products, service, and presentation of your business will continue to impress new customers - keeping the traffic flow steady through your front door.