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Published On: Sat, Apr 28th, 2018

Why Returning Customers Are Better Than New Customers

It might take some work to gain a new customer, but the real challenge begins when you’re attempting to retain clients. Chances are, whatever you’re selling is awful similar to another product that’s also on the market. When someone decided to do business with you it is because you won them over. You might have had a lower price point, or your sales copy may have just been more convincing.

The fact of the matter is that it is better to maintain the customers that have already made a purchase from you personally than spend more of your energy on gaining new ones. All you have to do to hang onto them is remain consistent. Here are the reasons why it is always best to market with existing customers in mind first and foremost.

photo/ Stock Snap

What It Means If a Consumer Does Business with You

When you look at business from the perspective of a consumer, you have to be fairly unbiased and really disconnected from your company. Looking at things logically can help you with understanding the true motives of customers. If you are a consumer who needs to buy new t-shirts, the main question you should be asking is ‘why?’ Does the consumer want to buy new t-shirts because the seasons are changing, or do they already have t-shirts and are looking to upgrade their wardrobe? Next up would be comparing different t-shirt brands and prices, and then seeing which merchant offers the best terms. A consumer in the market to buy new t-shirts online might be most concerned with fast shipping, moneyback guarantees, and quality over price as t-shirts aren’t usually a high-priced item. If you are looking to figure out why a consumer continuously comes back to your company, you should first understand how they found you and why they were attracted to your company to begin with.

It’s Cheaper to Keep Them

Advertising isn’t cheap but it is so effective that many businesses are willing to invest almost as much as they make in profits just to get a few new customers. Eventually, you are going to have to do some calculations and determine if it is better to focus your business’s advertising efforts on the masses or if you should be targeting consumers who have already purchased from you and have a positive view of your company. In most instances, it really is cheaper just to hold onto the consumers you have already worked with before and see if you can interest them in making future purchases. This is why many companies offer exclusive sales to consumers on their email lists and customer databases. When you know what products appeal to a consumer, you can send personalized offers or even offer incentives when they spend a certain amount of money. Although it is important to promote your brand, you need to be spending a lot of time catering to return customers as they will be your company’s bread and butter.

Keeping Repeat Customers Happy

What is it that makes a consumer so satisfied that he or she continues to do business with a single company for a particular need? Well, first of all, very few companies sell everything that an individual consumer requires. For instance, Walmart might be considered a big box store that sells everything from fresh produce and toiletries to houseware and shoes, but they still don’t have every single product produced in the world in stock.

Secondly, a customer will most definitely drive a little further or spend a little extra on the merchandise that they really want if they are certain that they are going to be satisfied. So, what is really driving repeat customers is the ability to predict the customer experience. You yourself might have a favorite deli that you go to when you want to treat yourself to an exceptionally good lunch. This deli might be inconvenient to drive to, but if the staff know you by name and begin preparing your order as soon as you come, the experience itself in totality might have you convinced that the extra effort is worth the trouble that you go to.

As well as this, a big part of why repeat customers are happy with the site, and keep coming back is due to the way they are greeted once they are on the site. Because of tools such as OptinMonster’s on site retargeting software, customers are being shown personalized, customized promotions, that keep them interested in the site. Repeat customers appreciate a personal touch, but, not every company has the time to write personalized messages or develop their own campaign, which is why these retargeting tools have become so popular as a helping hand in this process.

Balancing the Need to Find and Retain Customers

Of course, there is still a need for thriving businesses with large amounts of returning customers to find additional clients. The nature of business itself requires you to constantly replace customers that you might lose as well as continuously grow. One week you might have special deals that are completely dedicated to returning consumers while the next week there might be storewide sales that are advertised everywhere from on social media to the radio. This is a careful balancing act that business owners would do well to get right, especially if they don’t want their returning customers to be lured off and begin shopping somewhere else. In short, you can keep your profit margins up and still bring in newer customers by devoting just the right amount of energy to catering to your repeat shoppers.

Existing Customers Offer Valuable Information

If you have gained and kept a customer it means that you are doing something right. A customer who makes repeat purchases is expressing not only contentment but also a willingness to come back again. From this situation, you can extract a whole lot of information that will be beneficial when you deal with newer customers. For instance, if you deal in a market that requires you to have exemplary customer service skills, existing customers can show you how you are meeting their needs. Do you have a toll-free number that is operational 24/7? Do you have an internal policy of replying to all tickets and emails within a 24-hour window? Then you can safely say that your customer service protocols are superior to those of your competitors, and you can use this knowledge to keep the customers that you already have.

Returning Customers Believe in Your Products

A customer that makes a purchase from you on two or three separate occasions not only knows what he or she wants but has also found it. If you sell handmade sweaters, a consumer who buys from you repeatedly feels that you have been able to get the size, color, cut, and overall quality right. A business with returning customers knows that their branding is on point and that their advertising efforts are also highly effective. There are no big changes that you have to make when you are dealing with repeat customers as they believe in your company vision. Not only can this be great for your company as far as growth goes, it should also give you a little ego boost.

Look at your repeat customers who spend money with you month after month, year after year. Could your business stay afloat only with them patronizing you? Maybe not, but your company would likely be in hot water if your repeat customers suddenly went somewhere else. Return customers may or may not be better than new customers, but they are certainly easier to keep content. Dealing with them requires less time and effort in general. They can offer suggestions and feedback for free that you would normally spend years trying to get from people unfamiliar with your brand. More than anything else, return customers are nearly as invested in your business moving forward as you.

Author: Zoe Price

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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