Repeat business is great for any store – but it is easy to let focus on getting new customers take over. By focusing on your existing customers you can grow your business without spending your entire budget. So how do you make sure your customers come back to you? We’ve put together 9 of our best tips to improving your customer retention rate.

  1. Focus on what you know – and do that to the best of your abilities. Don’t feel like you have to have an enormous selection or variety. Keep your focus and do that to perfection before you consider branching out or broadening your offering.
  2. Don’t compromise on quality – don’t settle for anything less than you can proudly stand for and make sure you know your own products really well. Quality sells itself and gives you regular business.
  3. Don’t compromise on service – the way you treat customers means everything. A good customer experience will give you new business as well as repeat business. 
  4. Train you staff – provide proper training to guarantee a uniformly good customer experience. Make sure there is a shared ethos and that you are available for any questions. Remember, your staff is a reflection of you and your business – investing in them is important. 
  5. Provide value – exceed customer expectations. Many independents cannot afford to compete on price – but you can make up for it through service, attitude and follow-up. Aim to make each customer feel  special. It needn’t take more than a genuine smile and a ‘how are you today?’. This is clichéd advice for a reason! Customers are often shy creatures – be friendly and approachable without being pushy.
  6. Listen to your customers needs. As much as is appropriate – ask to find out what the customer wants and for what purpose. If they have a specific request, great – fulfil this to the best of your abilities or offer alternatives if you can’t provide exactly what they are looking for. If they are unsure, be generous with suggestions and tips. Always be honest.
  7. Be generous. If you sell food items – offer samples of the daily special or if a customer looks indecisive. Get customers engaged in your product. If you sell a service – be generous with your knowledge and your time. Make sure you know your products well.
  8. Offer a loyalty program. It is another way of providing value and it gives the message that you appreciate your customers because you are giving something back. You can afford to be generous in this way – a loyalty card is popular with customers and the benefits great; people love to share their good experiences with their friends.
  9. Be engaging – it is important to get your customers to engage with you and your brand – but to make this happen it is equally important that you engage with them. By being empathetic you are more likely to provide the right service – you are more likely to give a good, lasting impression and you are more likely to serve each customer based on his her needs. Engage to be engaged with.

Do you have anything to add? Or any of these you find particularly useful? We’d love your feedback in the comments.

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