The perspective of the customer is at the heart of earning repeat business. Expectations are formed by the customer based on experiences in the relationship leading up to the purchase decision. Content sharing, interaction through social media and other inbound marketing efforts attract customers through relationship building. When the decision to purchase is made the customer has an image in their mind of what the results of the purchase will be. Understanding the customer’s perspective and reinforcing positive results will bring more repeat business. Following are keys to turning new customers into repeat customers:
- Understand Customer Expectations – A clearly defined target market will generally result in attraction of customers with similar expectations regarding quality, price and delivery. But every individual is different and any new customer will have inclinations borne of their circumstances. Identical expectations can be perceived differently due to differing points of view. So understanding customer perspective allows harmonious relationships between service and expectations.
- Ensure Expectations are Met or Exceeded – In the course of service sales and delivery understanding the customer’s perspective will allow expected results to be achieved in the eyes of the customer. At every step in the process, front line personnel should seek confirmation that the customer is satisfied.
- Don’t Assume Customer Satisfaction – After service has been delivered assuming that customer expectations have been met is a mistake. 9 out of 10 customers leave service providers due to perceived poor customer service. Every effort should be made to confirm that the customer is happy with the service in an un-intrusive friendly way.
- Recognize That Post Purchase Evaluation Will Occur – Every person will reflect on a purchase after the fact and compare the results with what they expected prior to the decision to buy. The outcome is compared to the image of what they believed would happen. This is a critical phase in the purchase decision cycle and is often overlooked by the service provider. Understanding that every customer will go through this phase will allow it to be dealt with positively.
- Reinforce Service Delivery and Expectations Met – Post service delivery communications can have a significant impact on customer retention. Drawing the connection between the customer’s image of what was to occur and the results of the engagement will support a positive evaluation of the circumstances in the mind of the customer. This can make the difference between a one-time versus a repeat customer.
- Earn the Business Again – For a customer to be a repeat customer they must be attracted again. The marketing for existing customers will differ in some respects but inbound marketing (content sharing, etc.) should continue and the value that made them a customer in the first place should continue to be provided.