As a business owner, it is important to garner new customers to generate growth. It is equally important, however, to keep the customers you have.
According to Forbes, customer loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Many people who frequent a business once will never come back due to a variety of reasons. But what can be done to get customers to buy from you?
There are at least 12 non-shady ways to influence customer spending and keep them coming back to do business with you.
1. Give Them Attention
Give your customers a few minutes to get in the door before you approach them. Otherwise you risk leading them to think you are pushy. I don’t know about you, but as a customer, pushiness is one thing that turns me off the fastest.
But don’t make the mistake of waiting for your customers to come to you either. If they feel ignored, you could lose their business. Sometimes there is a fine line between overwhelming customers with attention or not helping them enough.
The trick is to let them know you are available to help them while still giving them some space and breathing room. Remember, you want them to shop and look around at the great products you have to offer. In addition, learn who they are so you can greet them by name when they frequent your store. It makes them feel like you care and that they matter to you. In fact, it could be the very thing that brings them back to spend their money at your business instead of the competition.
2. Make Your Product Available
I once went into a restaurant for lunch with friends. The problem was, this restaurant was out of everything from straws to menus and more. And the problems and excuses didn’t end there. Worst of all, this business was not brand new. In fact, they had already been open for over six months! After receiving several more excuses for each request I had, I left and didn’t ever return. Several of my friends told me they had similar experiences. Needless to say, that business didn’t remain open very long.
The point of story is that if you want your business to be successful, you have to make your product available for customers to buy. Keep your physical, or virtual, shelves stocked in a visible area. Let your customers know you have more available in the back or have it available in other colors. Doing these things will influence your customers to spend money on your products.
3.Use Word of Mouth
Going back to the story above, you may have noticed I mentioned talking to others about the terrible experience I had at a local business. What I learned was that other people in my small town had the same unfortunate experience at that business. In addition, we all agreed that none of us were ever going to waste our time or money going back there. But just as news of a bad experience travels like wildfire, news of a good one can too.
Customers talk to each other. When your customers give positive feedback to others about their experience at your business, whether in person or online, they will let other people know. These positive experiences can promote your business and increases sales from new customers.
Another way you can get customers to spend their money with your store is through pricing. If your product is a little bit more than the competition, but you offer great service, it may be worth the extra dollar or two. But if what you are selling is exactly the same as what another stores sells at a much cheaper price, you may not sell many. At this point you have a choice of changing your price to beat your competitor, or including something the competition doesn’t in order to justify the extra expense.
5. Create a Customer Loyalty List
When you have loyal customers who do repeat business with you, add them to a list. Then, when you have a sale, give them the opportunity to shop earlier than everyone else to reward their loyalty.
In addition, keep track of what they like so you can let them know about new products you plan to have in the near future that may interest them. If availability is limited, make sure they are aware of it.
These tactics are great ways to entice them to buy more from you while making them feel valued at the same time. Naturally you should treat all patrons well, but keeping repeat customers informed helps ensure they continue coming back.
6. Give Them Options
Often, customers may be looking for a specific item when shopping for merchandise from your store or online business. Sometimes the item or service comes only one way, but other times there may be optional features that affect the price. Whenever possible, let them know about any additional options available. It may result in them increasing the amount of their purchase in order to get the additional items.
7. Build Trust
Always try to help your customers save money if you can. I have seen far too many customers find out after the fact they were deceived. Once they realize it, they lose all trust in the store and many will never return. Instead, help them with honesty and integrity. You may end up with a customer who is more than happy to return to you and do more business in the future.
8. Offer Free Shipping
If possible, offer free shipping to all of your customers. When that isn’t an option you can afford, extend free shipping for orders above a certain amount. This can increase sales while offering your customers a good deal.
Advertise you are having a buy one get one half off sale instead of a 25% off sale. People love BOGO’s even though they actually have to buy more to get the sale price.
10. Help Customers Relax
There’s nothing wrong with making your customers feel welcome and relaxed. Put on some slow music to help them feel at ease. You can also create a pleasing environment for shopping by keeping your store clean, neat, and smelling nice. Light a candle if it is allowed, or use a diffuser. Studies show that when you give customers a pleasant atmosphere to shop in, they spend more.
11. Don’t Forget About Add-On Items
Often, customers are on the look-out for unique gifts or packaged items. Put together some gift baskets or packages that have everything they need in one bundle. Customers love the convenience as well as the time and money savings from these types of pre-packaged deals. You can also put some add-on items near the register to help customers spend a little bit more while waiting to check out.
If you’re business operates online, don’t be afraid to offer your customers or clients some extra services or ideas they may also need.
12. Make Shopping Easy
The easier you make it for your customers to buy from you, the more they will spend. Does it seem like your store needs some baskets or carts for large items? If so, you should invest in some. When customers can easily load a basket or cart instead of asking for help from someone, they are more likely to buy from you. Conversely, if they have to come and find you so you can get a cart or dolly for them, they may not bother.
It is possible to influence customer spending without being shady or deceitful and ensure your business is profitable and successful.