It can be fairly easy to land sales when you offer a product or service that fills a common need. What is difficult is getting repeat customers. What is even harder than that is the almost-completely loyal customer, the one who comes to you first for their needs to be filled.
There are ways to build that relationship and you should be engaging in those methods to ensure business for the long-term. Here are 3 of our top recommendations on how you can turn those repeat customers into loyal ones who seek you out first.
One of the easiest ways to ensure a customer return is to offer them a freebie with their purchase. If you were a cell phone retailer with a big sale on Samsung phones. With each purchase of a specific phone there could be an accessory offered for free. A Galaxy S7 screen protector or a car charger for the Galaxy S8 would encourage a specific purchase and they get a freebie out of it, making them feel like they scored a little bit better than somewhere else.
Another way to offer freebies are to do a special free gift for those who sign up for your newsletter for the first time. Or you can do the ever-popular birthday gift. Some shops offer VIP groups that have loyalty cards and special sales hours for those folks that sign up (for free) and will offer free gifts on the anniversary of their joining the group.
The VIP Group
As I mentioned above, there are VIP groups offered by shops for various reasons. Sephora has a very popular program that is based on how much a person buys in a year. There is a basic program everyone can join for free and get coupons and a free birthday gift. When a customer spends a certain amount, they can achieve the next level which features extra gifts, extra coupons, access to sales earlier, and even free events to attend. Then they employ a 3rd level when you spend even more that gives you the most access to freebies and major discounts. It is one of the more successful ways to encourage shopping and making your customers feel extra special.
Send Them Snail Mail
If you really want to make a big impression, send a personal note or card in the mail. No, not an email but actual postage on an envelope and sent through the postal service. We are a fast-paced world and when people get a note in the mail, it means a lot more. There is a popular story around here about a woman who went to the same grocery store each week and paid for her groceries by check (it’s a slightly older story!). The manager of that store got her address from the check and proceeded to send her a holiday card every year. She felt so touched by the gesture, she refused to shop anywhere else. Several small businesses also take it upon themselves to send cards for birthdays if they have that information on file. Even a quick handwritten thank you note for a recent purchase will be well received. Find those unique moments!
You have a busy day running your business but those extra touches you take to let your customer know how important they are to you. It will be well worth your time and energy to engage in a personal way that goes the extra mile. At the end of your year, you will see a difference!