£10,800 – Keep the number in mind, we’ll come back to it shortly.
We’re creatures of habit, we have habits that we follow every day. Wake up, get out of bed, bathroom, shower, breakfast, get dressed, go to work.
You did it this morning, probably the same way you did it last week and more than likely the same way you’ll do it next week. You’ll do the grocery shopping at some point this week, probably at the same supermarket on the same day as you usually do. The car will need fuel, probably from the same filling station you use all the time. You’ll have a haircut at your usual hair dresser, the dry cleaning will get done at the same dry cleaner you always use.
At some point during today you’ll get lunch from somewhere. Some of you may make your own and take it to work, others will pop out and buy something. You will probably go to the same place to get your lunch that you normally do, or maybe a small selection of different places, but you’ll know which ones you prefer and will keep on going back. Someone will ask where you got your lunch from and you’ll tell them, possibly rave about how good their salads are or how tasty the sandwich selection is, maybe jump to their defence if someone has a something that doesn’t meet their expectations.
Customer loyalty is everything, it creates a band of supporters, customers who will buy from you frequently, promote your business and defend it for you if something goes wrong. We want to keep our customers coming back, again and again.
But it’s not just about loyal customers defending our brand, these customers also have a value, they will buy from your business week in, week out. Contributing to your bottom line, you can rely on them to spend money with you and as a bonus, their recommendation might mean someone else because a regular and loyal customer too.
How much will they spend? That depends on your business, if you’re a big-ticket retailer, for example a TV shop, they may well only buy a new TV every couple of years. They’ll probably shop around for the best deal, they may even come straight to you knowing that you’ll offer the best advice and best service as well as free delivery and installation, some people (over 86% of customers, will pay up to 25% more for better service*) But think about the margin on the TV and what that repeat business will do for your bottom line over the years?
Small ticket retailers can also feel the benefit of these regular customers too, and to some extent will rely on them. Let’s have a look at the sandwich shop example.
We’ll make a few assumptions, the customer will buy from the same shop every day, they take 4 weeks off a year and they always spend the same amount.
The customer will be buying a sandwich and a drink, total cost £4.50, they do this five times a week, that’s a total spend of £22.50 a week. Over the course of the year that amounts to £1,080 – Not an inconsiderable amount, 10 of these customers a day? Well they’re going to spend £10,800 a year. That may not sound like a lot, but extrapolate it to the number of customers you have a day, week, month and the value of your regular, loyal customers soon becomes apparent.
So, how do you keep these customers? Simple, by offering great service, great product, consistently. Listen to your customers, what are they telling you? What are they posting on social media? If they follow your Instagram page, follow them back so you can see what they like, get to know them and connect with them.
Do they give you feedback when they buy from you? What do you do with that feedback? Are they telling your they want more choice? Different product? Don’t like the layout of your store?
What about cost v value v service? Being the cheapest won’t guarantee you customers anymore. You need to give your customers a great product and positive experience they won’t forget, and importantly, will tell their friends about.
If you want to find out more about delivering exceptional customer service, measuring and acting on customer feedback, mystery shopping or customer service training, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Like my page on Facebook – @busyguernseybee follow me on Twitter @busyguernseybee or connect with me on Linkedin – marksmithguernsey
* CEI Survey – Rightnow – Harris Interactive