How To Get A New Customer To Return To Your Business

It’s a problem most business owners experience.  You run a big sale, holiday event, or annual promotion and experience an influx of new customers.  It’s great while it lasts, but then you notice you don’t ever see those new customers again.  Without building a repeat customer base, businesses begin to rely heavily on major sales events to bring in the majority of their revenue.  This is a risky business, and one slow holiday season could be all it takes to put your business under.

So how do you get customers to return to your store or e-commerce site?  In practice, there are numerous methods to retain customers and keep them coming back.  Below we will highlight some of the common tactics that have been proven successful if done right.

Open an Ongoing Channel of Communication

After a customer leaves your business’s storefront or website, it’s essential you have a way to reach out to them in the future.  Whether it be getting them to subscribe to your email list, connect with you on social media, or provide their phone number – you NEED a way to reach back out to them.   Displaying an iPad app to let customers sign up for your email list, Like your Facebook Page, or Follow you on Twitter is an effective way to develop this follow up channel.

Loyalty Programs

Even if it’s as simple as providing customers with a stamp card where they buy 5 coffees and get one free, a loyalty program provides an incentive for customers to return numerous times.  When a customer joins your loyalty program, they feel like they are part of the club and it leaves an impression.  Although you may need to give away free products/services, the costs are often outweighed by the benefits of a new regular customer.

In-store Handouts

Another approach to turning a first time customer into a regular is providing them with something of value for free.  Spend a few hundred dollars on handouts branded for your business such as coffee mugs, pens, calendars, etc.  “Swag” doesn’t only belong in trade shows, many businesses can benefit from this tactic if done right.  If a consumer sees your business’s logo & name on a regular basis on a coffee mug or whatever you go with, they are more likely to return to your business the next time they need the product/service you sell.

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Old Fashioned Good Customer Service

This may seem obvious, but many businesses today rely heavily on automated checkout systems and other computer based customer service terminals.  Employee to customer contact falls in these cases and as a result there are less chances to communicate with customers.  Consider launching a new customer service campaign with your employees where they personally greet each customer.  Encourage your employees to converse with customers regularly and mention upcoming sales events or reasons to return to your business.

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