If you have repeat customers knocking at your door, then you’re probably doing something right. But there’s always room for improvement, especially when it comes to maintaining a loyal customer base.
You want to strengthen customer relationships so they keep coming back ... and shout your business name from the rooftops for referrals (of course). To that end, here are six proven business practices that accomplish just that:
- Store customer cards on file – As the old saying goes, time is money. Respect your customers’ time by offering the convenience of recharging their cards on file, saving them the trip. Use a secure system to offer simple and quick re-billing for your repeat customers.
- Make refunds a breeze – Avoid a refund process that requires your customers to come back into your business for a refund or, even worse, end up in a game of phone tag just to get their card information. With a system that allows you to look up transaction histories and issue refunds with the click of a button, you’re saving yourself and your customers a whole lot of grief.
- Email receipts – Nowadays, faxes are as ancient as dinosaurs. So when it comes to receipts, use a billing system that allows you to digitally email receipts to customers. Don’t send faxes or require them to come to you for paperwork. Simplify the paperwork process — your customers relationships will grow accordingly.
- Respect customers' data and security – Customers are constantly reminded of fraud and identity theft. Ensure your business respects and cares about their privacy by working with a provider that has high security credentials and applies best practices to securely store cardholder data (e.g., cloud storage and encrypt card info). If your business holds your customers’ information to the highest standard, you’ll build trust and gain repeat business.
- Offer automated recurring payments – Convenience is huge for customer relationships. Offer automated payment plans with the flexibility to fit your customers’ needs so they know you’re willing to work with them. By leveraging a system with this option, you’re saving your customers time while you consistently have money flowing in.
- Have customer billing history at your fingertips – There’s nothing more frustrating than a business that’s unable to quickly locate customers' histories. Use a system that logs the history of all transactions, receipts and signatures so — when customers call in with questions — you’re equipped with the knowledge base to quickly assist them.
Keep Your Customer Relationships Active
The key to a successful business is repeat business. Having respect for your customers’ time, money and privacy is a large component when it comes to gaining repeat customers. You must give respect to get respect. Harness the power of these six techniques, and you’ll build a positive relationship with your customer base that fosters repeat business and a successful future.
Struggling to develop your customer relationships? Tell us how you think your business would benefit from these techniques in the comments section below.