The key to repeat business is not any one thing. You must look at the big picture and improve the customer experience.
When seeking to draw repeat business, the most important factor isn’t necessarily the quality of the service you provide or even the affordability. In a sense, it’s all of this and more. It’s the customer experience — the big picture, the way your customer ultimately feels after completing the transaction.
There are many factors that can impact customer experience, ranging from the courteousness of your service professionals to the timeliness of service, and anything you can do to make a better customer experience will ultimately boost the odds of a customer calling you again in the future — as well as recommending you to friends.
But how can you improve the customer experience? The answer may be different from one company to the next, but here are a few quick suggestions you might consider:
Empower your customers to help themselves. This is going to depend heavily on the quality of your website, which should enable your customers to find the answers they are looking for and make informed decisions about the products or services they need. An FAQ page and/or a live chat function are ideal, and informative blog posts, videos, or how-tos can also work well.
Set the right expectations. Do you return all client phone calls in under an hour’s time? Do you make service calls within a 24-hour span? Do you provide free estimates or consultations? Whatever perks or amenities you offer to clients, make sure you advertise them on your site, and then follow through with them. Condition the customer to expect greatness from you and to notice the things that make your business stand out.
Make it easy for customers to follow up with you. Provide receipts or business cards to each customer, providing them with some clear ways to get in touch with you with any further needs. Don’t hide from them, but encourage follow-ups.
Solicit customer feedback. Customers are impressed by businesses that strive to be better and take consumer suggestions to heart. Send customer surveys and really listen to what your customers are telling you. Implement changes when you can and show your customers that you really do care.
Make sure your service technicians are informed. Equip them with documentation and pamphlets they can provide to customers regarding related or follow-up products, as well as the paperwork they need to answer questions or deal with customer inquiries.
Keep good customer records. Make sure your service technicians always know the history of the customer they are helping — past service calls, etc. — so that customers do not have to repeat themselves any more than necessary.
The customer experience, in the end, is the difference between one-time and repeat customers — and it’s something you have a fair amount of control over. Take steps to improve the experience of your customers today and see how it translates into more repeat business and more referral customers. That’s the goal here, and with these steps, it’s a goal your company can attain.
About the Author
Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California, and Dublin, Ireland.
Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.