Attracting new customers is a never-ending preoccupation for most small businesses. Your marketplace might be tough to break into; the fight for attention and new business consume your focus, making you feel like you can’t stop actively acquiring new customers. While there are many places where a small business could turn to generate leads, like Angie’s List, Yelp, and Home Advisor, what will you do with the customer once they are no longer new? As great as lead generating services can be, small businesses often report high levels of frustration and lack of sustaining return after a customer sale. You’re paying for those leads, are you really getting the most out of them?
Finding new customers and earning their initial business will always be a crucial part of staying relevant and competitive. But until new customers turn into repeat customers, it’s a never-ending treadmill; the exhaustion can kill your business. Instead of constantly trying to grab new customers, it’s time to start actively and consistently market to your existing customer base.
Here’s why retaining your customers is so important:
- Many small businesses report a majority portion of their monthly business can be attributed to repeat customers.
- A repeat customer indicates your business is trustworthy and reputable to others.
- A repeat and satisfied customer is more likely to refer your business to family and friends
- A repeat customer is more likely to leave a positive online review (read about the benefits of online reviews here).
- A repeat customer is more likely to post about your business on their own social media accounts, increasing your exposure free of cost.
- Loyalty is king, loyal customers have personally invested in your company.
Attracting new leads and new customers will always be important, but the biggest idea you’re probably not leveraging is turning a new customer into a lifetime customer. What good does a single sale do to building your business if you have to work so hard all the time to get new single sales. Retain those leads, make the most of them.
Our tips for retaining customers:
- Build a database of your customers
- Keep in touch with your customers through newsletters, social media, emails
- Actively market seasonal and regular services
- Find ways to reach out when you are in their geographic area to offer on-the-spot services
- Address complaints and feedback with honesty and strive to make it right
- Ask for their business and for referrals
- Make your customers a priority and they will make you their priority
Multiply your customers and your sales by actively working to market and serve the customers you already have. Remember: a repeat customer is a loyal customer, the kind of customer who will refer your business to their friends and family and act as an unpaid brand ambassador, spreading the good word to those in need of your services.