Getting customers in the door is one of a business’s biggest struggles. You spend a lot of money on advertising to get them there, and once they’re inside, you may further entice them with great sales. These tactics cut into your margins, but you’ve budgeted for it and you deem it a worthy cost because they’ll be back. However, what if these customers you paid dearly for have zero intention of returning? Successful businesses realize the power of a metric called ‘intent to return.’
What is Intent to Return?
Everything you need to know is in the term itself. Loyal customers are a business’s biggest asset, and it’s far less expensive to keep current customers than to attract new ones. Concentration on intent to return helps you create loyal customers from the moment they first walk into or contact your business. It takes more than a sale or a bright sign to capture a person’s loyalty. Customers won’t always tell you outright whether they will be back or not, so many companies conduct research to discover their customers’ true intent to return.
Improving Your Chances of a Repeat Visit
Creating a high intent-to-return rate isn’t an exact science. No two people are alike. What may be a great draw for one customer may be insignificant to another. The most common way to find opportunities for improvement is through a customer satisfaction survey, which will allow you to discover weaknesses, as well as strengths, in your intent to return strategy. It’s dangerous to make broad assumptions about what will bring customers back. While lowering prices may seem like an obvious solution, many people perceive value in the price of your products and services. Is de-valuing your products and services worth it in the long run? It’s a common trap to assume what your customers want, so don’t join your competitors in that mistake.
Creating the Loyal Customer
Once you have returning customers, you can work on building customer loyalty. That can be done in only one way – by building trust. Trust is earned through repeated transactions with no incidents. Customers are smart, they know if you want them as a loyal customer. Tactics, such as repeated attempts at up-selling, will destroy trust and quickly send that customer to your competitor. Companies that worry about short term sales instead of long term customer relationships typically experience poor customer loyalty. While short term profits keep the lights on, long term customer relationships will help you distance yourself from the competition.
Our customer satisfaction surveys are an important part of understanding how to create a loyal customer base. You may be pumping money into finding new customers, when none of those new targets will ever walk back through your doors. Together with NBRI, we can create a plan that will help you keep your best customers and ensure that new customers return to your business over and over again. Contact us today to start building your loyal customer base.