Repeat customers are the foundation of every successful business, helping generate the type of recurring income that keeps a company financially stable month after month. The first step toward winning repeat business is providing a product or service that customers want to keep buying. The second step is to offer a customer service experience that invites those customers back.
Most of today’s buying experiences happen so quickly, it’s difficult for brands to give top-quality customer service. Customers either buy online or rush in and out of a brick-and-mortar location, having little interaction with employees. However, there are ways brands can use technology to reach out to customers after the sale, and marketing can help to lead that charge.
Thank You Emails
Businesses with e-commerce sites or even free gated offers like e-Books have the perfect opportunity to capture email addresses and send thank you emails once a conversion is complete. This can be a short note and can even include an invitation to complete a survey, which will also bring an opportunity to identify any issues with the customer’s experience that can then be repaired. If the sale was made following a one-on-one presentation with someone from a business’s sales team, a hand-written note can be a great personal touch.
One great way to boost repeat business is to offer a discount on that customer’s next purchase. This can be done as part of the follow-up email or at the point of purchase. Each coupon should be good for a brief period of time immediately following the date that the purchase was made to encourage customers to come back, at which point they’ll receive another coupon. Not every customer will be enticed by a coupon, but those who can’t pass up a good deal will always be tempted to return.
Monitor Online Reviews
Today’s customers don’t pick up the phone or send an email when they have a problem. They use outlets like online review sites and social media to vent their frustrations and warn others. Unfortunately, one social media post can reach thousands of people before a business can take action on it. Failure to respond can make a brand look as though it doesn’t care about its customers. Social media monitoring tools can alert businesses of any online mentions to allow them to quickly respond and potentially turn an unhappy customer into repeat business.
Designate Post-Sale Staff
Businesses put a great deal of effort into choosing marketing teams that can get the word out about their brand and win new customers. However, repeat business means investing in marketing after the sale. Organizations should designate team members who will be responsible for handling any issues that come in after the sale is complete. This is often a combination of customer service and marketing employees. Automating the process through helpdesk software that captures requests from social media and email can reduce the risk of missed opportunities. These solutions can even be set up to automatically route incoming tickets to designated team members based on the request type.
Take Support Seriously
Even the best product or service will occasionally misfire. When customers need help, there should be multiple options for getting that help, whether it’s placing tickets via a website, live chatting with customer service representatives, emailing for assistance, or placing a phone call. The assistance a customer receives will make a big difference in whether that customer returns for more products or services in the future. It also will likely determine whether or not past purchasers recommend a business to friends and social media connections. Businesses should invest in skilled technical support staff that can give customers fast, friendly assistance when they’re having problems. Some businesses may find it’s more cost effective to place friendly customer service representatives on the front line, taking initial calls, with those calls escalated to senior technicians when issues are more complicated.
One of a business’s biggest marketing assets is the customer service it provides on a daily basis. By investing in post-sale customer experience, businesses can increase repeat business and improve monthly revenue.