Strategies to Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Barbara Weltman Without customers, you have no sales. Throughout the year, focus your sales efforts on making customers – old and new – feel special and appreciated.

Cater to your good customers

It’s an old marketing rule of thumb that 80% of your sales come from the top 20% of your customers. Use the holiday period to solidity your connection with these favored customers. Let them know they’re special by:

  • Offering special discounts to your best customers.
  • Giving rewards for purchases, such as a free gift with every purchase over $25, $50 or whatever amount is appropriate to your business.
  • Hosting invitation – only events for their benefit – an evening event during the holidays with eggnog or cider can be an inexpensive, cozy affair for a select few.
  • Sending greeting cards and/or gifts where appropriate.

Bring in new customers

Attract new buyers to your business through special offers.

  • Ask for referrals. Offer an incentive to customers who make these referrals (e.g., $25 toward a future purchase).
  • Build a database during the holidays. Provide a “guest book” for visitors to sign, and contact signers to build a customer relationship.

Contact customers at least once every quarter to keep in touch. Offer sales promotions to bring in repeat business.

Repeat business

Aim for repeat business with “bounce-back” coupons that offer a discount on a future sale. Set an early expiration date on bounce-back coupons. For example, for purchases during the first two weeks of January, set coupon expiration dates for the end of January.

Service, service, service

Offer outstanding service and you’ll create a satisfied customer. It’s the little things that count, such as personal attention (but only when it’s wanted), free gift wrapping services and gift suggestions for all price categories.

Follow through on promises you make to customers – to ship on time, to make courteous exchanges in accordance with your exchange policy and to honor your offer of guaranteed satisfaction.

Category: Customer Care
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