Recently we were speaking at an event + an audience member came up after our keynote. They were struggling with an issue where their customers weren’t coming back to buy from them again, + they didn’t know why. We get this question quite often, so we thought we’d share our thoughts in case you’re struggling too.
Focusing on the wrong things.
In the scramble to run our businesses, we often focus on the pursuit of new customers.
Why? Because for many years, we’ve been taught that customer acquisition is the key to good business. + that marketing is the answer to all problems.
How many times have you been an existing customer of a company – be it a telco, internet service provider or bank – + seen marketing campaigns with special offers for new customers?
We’d hassle a guess that it’s a lot! Because we have too.
Whilst these promotions might win over some new customers, they make existing customers pretty peeved off. + rightly so.
Times have changed + so have customers.
The thing is, when these antics made us mad in the past, we’d talk about how much it annoyed us, but it didn’t mean we’d do anything about it. Either the information wasn’t easily found, switching may have been hard, or we simply couldn’t be bothered.
But today, with the plethora of options available + the ease of switching suppliers, we’re not just talking anymore, we’re walking… that’s right, today we have the options available, we have the means to research + we have the will to shift to a company that we think will treat us better.
Simple fact, as customers, we don’t want to be forgotten or discarded, we want to be valued, engaged + feel like we matter to the businesses we engage with.
But I’m not doing that to my customers, so why are they still walking?
So, if you’re not peeving off your existing customers by treating new customers better + you’re not ignoring them, then why aren’t they coming back?
Well, there’s likely a few reasons, a few of which we share below. Warning, you might not like them, but one thing we’re renowned for at CF is bringing awareness to the things we often forget as business leaders + owners. So, you’re welcome. 🙂
1. The customer experience was ‘meh’
Simply put, the experience of being a customer of your business is ordinary. Now, it might not seem that way to you, but that’s how your customer feels. + how they feel impacts their reality. + their reality, is your reality.
Simple fact: If your customer feels invisible, mistreated, ignored, or simply ‘meh’, then they’re not going to come back.
There are plenty of other suppliers who will treat them better or help them fulfil their need or solve their problem, so any of the above are not an option.
Ask yourself: Do you have a transaction or a relationship mindset when it comes to your customer interactions? There’s a big difference + can make or break your customer experience.
2. Your product or service didn’t stand out or wasn’t ‘special enough’
If your customer experience is special but your product is fairly standard, then you’ll likely do ok. But if you’re missing the first element AND your product is run-of-the-mill, then you’re likely in trouble.
Run-of-the-mill doesn’t mean that your product isn’t great, it means it lacks the story behind it to give it a profile in the customer’s mind, to give it meaning beyond the basic purpose it fulfils. It fails to wow.
If your customer doesn’t see the value in your product/service, doesn’t feel like it enriches their lives or it doesn’t have meaning to them, then there’s a chance they won’t come back. When a product is commoditised, it becomes about price + if your offering is both standard + on par or more expensive than competitors’, you’ll also likely find yourself in trouble.
Ask yourself: Does my offering serve my customers’ needs + solve their problems, or is it more about me + what I want to sell? Does it have a story + meaning, does it matter to the customer?
3. You forgot to keep in touch with them
Believe it or not but your customer may love what you do + how you do it, but you’ve forgotten one simple thing – to keep in touch with them.
Often-times, business owners leave it up to the customer to remember them, to re-engage, to come back + buy again. When in reality, that’s not really the customer’s role.
It’s our role to remind them why they should choose us over others.
If your customer doesn’t hear from you again, isn’t thanked for their custom, or doesn’t see your messaging in their daily life, they’re likely going to forget you. They’ll probably have that moment of ‘where WAS that place we really loved for coffee?’ or ‘I can’t remember where I got these earrings but I loved that place!’ or ‘Where WAS that hotel we stayed at on the coast?’. You get our drift.
Ask yourself: Do we leave it up to the customer to come back to us or do we (in line with their preferences + needs), remind them with stories, offers + thank you’s? Remember our question in number 1 – is it a transaction or a relationship mindset you hold? Answer this simple question + you’ll find your answer.
The key is in customer connection
If you’re wondering why your customers aren’t buying again, we’ll let you in on a secret.
The key to getting them to come back is this: creating connection.
By creating a connection with your customers – + we don’t mean a daily or weekly email in their inbox selling them stuff – you can continue to be a presence in their lives + therefore, be top of mind when they’re ready to buy again.
+ even if they’re not buying again, they’ll tell others they know about you so that they’ll buy.
Create customer connection + you’ll have a stronger salesforce than any marketing or sales team can buy you. Trust us, try it – you’ll be surprised.
What do you do to create customer connection? Tell us in the comments below.