When you’re an organization with a globally recognizable brand, getting customers to return to your stores or website time and time again isn’t usually an issue.
The business has been built up over a number of years, investment has been made into every aspect from product quality to customer communication and the awareness of the brand is now at such level that people will head straight to the store or website without first wondering where they can buy the product they are looking for.
When you’re a small business, however, getting repeat customers can be a difficult process, as you have no history, little brand awareness and customers are, to all intents and purposes, taking a risk when buying a product from you.
It’s therefore imperative that you give the customer the best experience possible when they first make a purchase and do what you can to ensure they return, with the following three points providing a great base guide to abide by.
1. Smile, chat, be helpful
No one likes to enter a store and be greeted by staff who look like they don’t want to be there, don’t talk at all and who are completely unhelpful.
You need to ensure that you find the right ground between being reserved and over obtrusive, but by going by the basic principles of smiling, chatting and generally making yourself helpful to your customers, you can be certain that each customer will have the best experience possible when in your store.
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2. Include branded items
Imagery is one of the best ways to remember something and it’s therefore strongly recommended that wherever you can get your company name and / or logo on something that is handed over to the customer, you get it on there.
Receipts, shopping bags, flyers, vouchers – whatever it is, brand it properly and whenever it’s looked at, the customer will instantly remember their purchase, where they made the purchase from and the experience that they had.
3. Be accessible
It may seem like a simple point, but accessibility is essential to ensuring that customers return to make a purchase.
Is your store in an obvious location? If not, is it well-sign posted?
Is your website URL the same as your company name? If it isn’t, is it something that people would instinctively type in?
Ask a friend or relative who doesn’t know where your store is exactly or what your website name is to try and find it – if they can’t, you know that something needs to be done.
All businesses need customers – that’s the simple aspect that every organization understands.
However, all businesses need customers who are happy to return and while that’s not necessarily the most obvious point to some small business owners, once they start to implement the above three points, they soon start to understand just how much of a necessity it is.
This post was originally featured on October 7, 2011.