The best way to keep customers is to give them a product they want or need, can use, and that they can get help with when they need it. Treat them well and they will remember your name, ask for you when they shop at your business, and choose your place over your competitors’ places because they love to deal with you. But customer retention does not come automatically, just as you aren’t automatically respected the day you are born. It needs to be earned.
People need to feel they are remembered, important, and appreciated. And the harder times get, the more urgently they need to feel that they are getting “a good deal.” There are many different ways to do this. A small business might send birthday cards to their customers, which tells them they have been remembered and also reminds the customer that that business is still around and looking forward to seeing them again.
Promotions that offer some kind of prize to get people in to their showroom, of even just offering coffee, water and soft drinks while they are examining their wares will make shopping a pleasant experience for them, and therefore one to be remembered. Having a small playroom to keep children entertained can make your store far more fun to return to than one without it.
Offering discounts on their “next” purchase is a great tool for customer retention. All the benefits depend on a return visit! The object here is to help them make a habit of stopping by to see what’s new. They may eventually move on, but not before they have recommended you to others.
It never hurts to ask your customers for suggestions about ways to make shopping, dining, or using their services more convenient to them. It might be something as simple as offering smaller portions for light eaters in your restaurant, or having a place to hang your coat when you are shopping at a furniture store. Listen, and if their suggestions are feasible, practical, and affordable, try it. There is no better form of flattery, and you will have retained this customer and probably some of their friends by doing so.
Stay in touch with your customers and try to remember small details about them. Knowing you cared enough to remember helps. Check with them for feedback on your product or services. Whenever possible, refer other customers to their own businesses. They will remember, and you will have gained loyalty.