In order for you to know how much you should spend on keeping customers coming back you must determine the life time value of a client. Calculate how much a customer is worth to your business throughout your entire relationship with them.
It’s important to plan out your whole interaction with the client from the very start to the end.
Related: Increase your number of clients
In this way each interaction and value-contribution can build on the next. This will increase your relationship strength and customer loyalty.
According to Jay Abraham, marketing genius, these customers will become repeat buyers and regularly come to you for information, because they see you as an authority in your field.
What is a back-end and do I need one?
A back-end is a marketing strategy for increasing profits. It’s when you make another sale after the first sale. The first sale is called the front-end sale. The back-end is vital to your business, because it can induce customers to buy a similar product from you. This doubles the value of your customer.
Killer strategies for back-end selling in South Africa
According to digitalfire.co.za 77% of customers prefer to receive permission-based communication through email. Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s 2.9 billion people worldwide who use e-mail.
Email is essentially the electronic version of writing a personalised letter to your customer. The more names in your database or email list, the more money you’ll make.
How to grow your email database for free(see resources for extensive list):
- Create remarkable content
- Encourage email subscribers to share and forward your emails
- Promote an online contest
- Run a promotion
- Email coupons
- Personalise your message
- Add videos to your email
Upselling and Cross selling
When you close a sale it is the perfect opportunity to make an additional sale. This is called Upselling, otherwise known as upgrades, and should always be done with a customer’s best interest at heart.
The purpose of upgrading is to offer the client a better end result, after you’ve already established trust and respect with the client.
The ideal way to upsell a customer is to let them complete their first purchase and then offer a few options, right after. Better features, better specification or more volume. Your job is to help clients decide on the best quantity and quality option.
The key is to offer products that add value and improve your customer’s life. Just giving people a structured offer with volume choice is usually enough to boost the future business you’ll do with a client.
Cross selling includes additional products or services that will add or increase the end results. You’re giving the customer the best products/services to solve their problem. Give your customers the opportunity to purchase combinations or packages of goods and services. Help them better achieve the satisfying end result they want.
A well-executed upselling and cross-selling technique will lead to increased revenues by selling more to the same customer. The benefits must however extend to the customer’s experience as well. Give them the end result they desire. Add-ons usually do best when they are offered in a price advantageous way.
How to come up with valuable add-ons. By Jay Abraham.
- Observe what clients do before they buy. Most people gather a lot of information before making a purchase. Provide them with valuable, relevant information through your social media marketing strategy.
- Watch what people dowith your product/service in pursuit of their end result. Make that available for them.
- See what people buy with your productor service to help solve their problem or need and make it available to them.
- Ask yourself: How can I make my client’s end result more complete?
Remind customers of your existence
Your main focus should always be to meet the needs and wants of your customers.
- Sustain your client’s interest by publishing relevant and useful articles on your website. Consistently and frequently interact with your clients via Twitter and Facebook.
- Freebies. Prove your expertise and authority by giving away free newsletters, seminars and consultations.
- Offer promotions. Offer your range of affordable products and services that let your customers know you care about them.
- Educate clients on how your services can benefit their lives.
- Remove barriers to repurchase. Make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you.
- Keep your ‘opt in’ forms short and simple. Don’t ask for too much user info. Use checkboxes, lists and scroll menus to make data entry easier. Focus on the goal, and get rid of the fields that distract from the goal.
How to market for business growth in South Africa: Extraordinary customer experience
Retain and nurture your customers by consistently providing positive experiences at every critical moment. Businesses that provide extraordinary customer experiences are more profitable, have increased customer loyalty and will succeed where others have failed.
The quality of your customer experience must connect to what your customer considers important.
Related: Win customer loyalty with an unexpected experience
Several thousand research studies have concluded that the top three relationship building experiences that drive customer satisfaction include: Feeling appreciated, convenience and perceived value. These three strategies have a direct impact on sales, profits and the overall market position.
Strategies for building more profitable customer relationships include:
1. Understand your customers
Understanding your customers and emotionally connecting with them is key to giving them great service. You will not be able to persuade customers to buy from you unless you clearly understand what it is your customers really want and need. Regularly ask customers what’s on their minds by inviting feedback at multiple contact points – via email, online surveys, on your website and especially through social media.
Social media communication encourages social sharing and acts as additional channels for your customers to communicate with you.
2. Increase the convenience factor
Remove barriers to buying. Embrace transparency and inform prospects why you are doing the things you’re doing. Be trustworthy. Identify and communicate all of the details of your product/service to your clients; what they will get, how they will receive it and what results they should expect.
3. Show customer appreciation with rewards
Reward customers with coupons, freebies or valuable information. This shows your appreciation, while exceeding their expectations. Loyal customers buy more, readily share experiences with friends and family and help generate referrals on social and professional networks.
Having a customer-loyalty programme can help you increase repeat customers. Loyalty programmes focus on improving customer satisfaction and their overall experience with your business. Loyal customers buy more and are often willing to pay more.
Customer loyalty programmes not only improve customer retention and drive repeat business, it they are also a great way to collect customer experience interactions from targeted audiences.
This information could then be used for developing and implementing valuable tool sets for customer experience management. Reward customers for their loyalty and support by using a rewards programme. Make earning and redeeming points effortless. See how to start a customer rewards program in the resources section of this article.
“By providing loyalty programmes for current customers, small business owners are not only saying thank you but are also motivating them to continue to be their brand ambassadors. They can easily spread the word about a business to their professional, personal and social networks, helping small-business owners increase their customer base even more”. Entrepreneur.com
4. Strategic partnerships
To enhance the customer experience you might consider combining forces with like-minded businesses to provide the most convenient, efficient and technologically advanced services. In such a partnership it is important that the customer’s interest always come first and both parties gain mutual benefits from sharing each other’s strengths and expertise.
Related: How to calculate the lifetime value of a customer
The key to customer experience management is to never lose sight of the central aim of business, which is to provide more and better services. It is this goal that has more and more companies partnering up, to provide a convenient and customer-centric experience.
5. Be good
By giving back and getting involved with a non-profit or charity, companies show customers that they truly care. These businesses use newsletter and social media to tell customers about the cause they support. This helps develop a loyal customer fan base.
Apply Robert Cialdini’s 6 Persuasive Selling Techniques to ensure customer return
Robert Cialdini wrote about the “click,whirr” effect in which he stated that people have certain fixed patterns of action. “Behaviours occurring in virtually the same fashion and order every time”.
In order to increase your business growth you must identify the triggers that elicit the customer behaviours you want. Below are six techniques to increase your sales.
- Reciprocation: People generally feel the need to pay back, in kind, what another person provided. This usually produces “yes” responses Eg. give users a free trial or sample, this will stimulate the “yes” response when you start selling. A free sample or gift will trigger the reciprocity rule. How do I use the reciprocity rule to keep customers coming back? First make a large request you know will be rejected. Then make a smaller second request. This is viewed as a concession and the client feels inclined to respond with compliance.
- Social proof: Include customer testimonials and reviews on your website and marketing materials to act as endorsements for your product/service. This will encourage trustworthiness and increase your business’s credibility by verifying your claims.
- Commitment and Consistency: Human beings are obsessed with appearing consistent with what they have already done. They simply convince themselves they’ve made the right choice. Stimulate this response by sending users an email, after their purchase, commending them on their choice. Reinforcing that they’ve made the right decision. Get commitment in writing by using an email opt in form.
- Liking: We prefer to say yes to requests from people similar to us, people we know and like. This is where buyer personas are very important. Use endorsements to increase your business’s likeability.
- Authority: People have a deep seated sense of duty toward authority; they want to follow the lead of real experts. Ensure your business content positions you as a thought leader and expert in your field.
- Scarcity: Things become more attractive when it seems it would soon become unavailable:
- Limited offers
- You will never again have this chance
- Limited number of. . . .
- Exclusive information.
Even more tips to keep your customers coming back to your small business
- Say thank you.Customers want to feel appreciated. Send an email thank you letter or mail a thank you card or a free coupon as a sign of your gratitude.
- Respond to customer queries immediately. Respond to customer comments, positive and negative.
- Get customer feedbackand act on it.
- Consistently communicate.
- Acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake and know when to apologise.
Getting new customers for your business is costly and often time consuming. Retaining customers is far more profitable and effective.
Related: Sales tip from the trainer: Like the customer – win the customer
Build long term relationships with your customers. Improve every experience they have with your business and always offer extras to help them reach their desired end result. Loyal customers are worth keeping.