Repeat customers are the bread and butter of any business operation, but depending on your market, creating something worth coming back for can be tricky. So often core products, particularly software or web design offerings, seem like one-time purchases. You need to engineer reasons for customers to return – and signal that you’re committed to your customers and expect to hear from them.
What does it take to create such repeat business? In many ways, your product line is the least important factor. Instead, focus on those points of contact that you can build into your website; use them to automatically reach out to customers to boost return business with minimal effort on your end.
Subscription services used to be reserved for magazines and the odd mail-order program, but subscriptions are now the trendy way to do business. Whether you’re thinking about Amazon Prime or Netflix, the ability to set your pet food order to repeat on Chewy.com, or the new ubiquitous subscription boxes, creating a subscription program for support, upgrades, or your SaaS program ensures you’ll have return customers.
One of the benefits of subscription services is that you can easily keep the income flowing by setting up recurring invoices using a program like Billdu’s invoice maker. Since subscription services typically cost the same amount every month, these automatically generated invoices are a stable source of income, predictable from month to month.
Make It Simple
One of the best ways to make sure that your customers come back is by providing efficient, quality service during the first interaction and then making future interactions simple by keeping customer data on file. CRM programs make this easy, recording all relevant customer data, including past purchases, and even allowing you to establish a timeline for follow-up. The less hassle involved in secondary purchases, the more likely customers are to make them.
When it comes to encouraging repeat business versus generating new business, it’s important to consider whether or not you can easily scale up your business model. For new companies, especially those with limited staff power or production ability, growth needs to be carefully controlled.
What does this look like in practice? Some subscription boxes only roll out a limited number of boxes each month, especially during the early months. Or if you offer web design services, maybe you only have enough staff to handle a specific number of projects per month. You need to grow at a manageable pace and that might not always match demand. If you’re going to seek return customers, make sure you can keep up with your own appeals.
Focus On Messaging
Finally, one of the best ways to attract repeat customers is by carefully tailoring your messaging to their needs. That means sending promotional information, contacting customers about great new opportunities, and automating these messages. Triggered emails that contact prior customers based on their on-site activity are especially beneficial, as they tie communications to independent shows of interest.
Don’t just focus on email, though, when designing your messaging campaign. Emails have a fairly low open rate but texts not only get opened, they also convince the recipient to act. Many CRM systems now let you run SMS campaigns because that’s how we communicate in today’s world. No one wants to sit down and navigate from an email, but a well-designed text link can close a sale time and time again.
Repeat customers are the ones who have already had a good experience with your brand, but that doesn’t mean they’ll come back on their own. You need to keep yourself at the forefront of their mind. Make it easy, make it welcoming, and offer loyal customers the inside scoop. They’re the ones who will keep you riding high.