Businesses looking to increase their profits will often turn to campaigns to raise awareness and attract new customers.
However, common business knowledge dictates that current customers are more likely to open up their wallets than new customers, and cost much less to bring into the store. It takes an ample amount of marketing and resources to recruit a new customer, but existing customers are easier to get back through the door and spending more. Businesses looking to amp up their sales targets for the month will have a better return on their investment by prioritizing and attracting existing customers to spend more money.
In order to identify what strategies will most effectively get current customers to spend more generously, take a look at your current base and figure out if you’ve taken all the steps you can to incentivize them to spend a little more. Here are five tips to make more from your customers.
1. Use a loyalty program
Customers like loyalty programs. They feel as though it’s a tit-for-tat, a small token of appreciation from the company that can gently reward customers for coming back. Although not every business is well-suited to a loyalty card (grocery stores are working with too-thin margins to implement one, according to Forbes), businesses that do implement a modest loyalty program will see an uptick in customers returning.
The trick to a loyalty program is ensuring that it gives customers something that suits what your base desires. For example, Ulta, a low-to-mid end makeup retail store, offers a loyalty rewards program that includes price cuts, coupons and regular discounts. Sephora, a competing makeup retail store that carries mid-to-high-end makeup and appeals to a wealthier clientele, offers very few sales as part of its loyalty program but does offer points to redeem samples and personalized customer service.
2. Recommend complementary products
When customers are browsing for particular products, such as gynectrol, it is an excellent opportunity to recommend a similar or complementary product that might go along with their current purchase. For example, on Amazon, customers who browse through a handful of products will begin to see recommended items based on what products they’ve looked at before. Brick and mortar businesses can do a similar thing by having salespeople track what customers are shopping for and offer relevant products, either as customers browse or when they’re checking out. If someone is purchasing soap, point out sales on shampoo, conditioner or loofahs.
3. Work with customers on an individual basis
Businesses that develop a personal relationship with different clients do a better job of encouraging them to spend. A frequent shopper who develops a familiar, working relationship with your employees can learn to come in for help, receive answers and assistance, and possibly walk away with a new purchase. By asking your customers to develop and maintain a caring relationship with customers - including offering them free assistance when they need it - customers learn to associate your store with trustworthy and useful help, which encourages them to come to you for all future assistance and gives you the chance to recommend even more relevant products.
4. Ask for customer feedback on product choice
An effective way to encourage customers to spend more at your business is to make sure you’re offering them things they want to spend money on. Sometimes businesses can lose touch with their customers and find that product sales stagnate as a result. Companies that seek customer feedback on what they’re doing wrong, what they’re not offering or what they need more of can both ingratiate themselves to customers, who feel heard and part of the process, and encourage customers, who now know a store is offering a product they want, to shop.
5. Use every interaction as a selling opportunity
When you’re trying to amp up a customer’s purchases, every interaction counts. When you greet customers at the door, ask them if there’s anything they’re looking for your employees can help with. When employees spot confused or concerned-looking customers, they should approach, ask what the customer needs and try to recommend products based on that. When customers are checking out, a staff member should offer to obtain for them any final products they forgot and ask them if they found everything easily. And after the customer has made their purchase, a good company should reach out to them later and recommend possibly related products. For example, if a customer purchases a bike, in several weeks consider sending them an email recommendation for a bike air pump.
When you’re trying to encourage a customer to buy, you want to look for any angle that could turn over an unaddressed need. Listen to your customer base and look for ways products you sell could improve their lives.
Recognized globally as a leading authority on the subject of generational diversity in the workplace, Chip Espinoza is trusted by Fortune 100 to family owned businesses to help them create environments in which all generations thrive.
He was recently named a top 15 global thought leader on the future of work by the Economic Times. Chip co-authored Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce, [email protected]: The 7 Skills Every Twenty-Something Needs To Achieve Greatness At Work, and Millennials Who Manage: How To Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become A Great Leader.