Why No Repeat Business?

July 21, 2022

Every business owner, manager, and salesperson should ask this question after every sale, “Am I going to get repeat business from this customer?” Long-term growth and success for a small business or SME is not just based on current sales but repeat sales, as well, that build upon new, current sales. A foundation must be built enabling sales to increase rather than remaining stagnant. Sales growth is a result of repeat business while stagnant sales are a result of a continuous cycle of customers in and customers out...a revolving door of customers with many never returning after an initial purchase.

Customer Retention

It is a well-known fact that retaining customers is far less expensive and more profitable than the process of prospecting to acquire new customers. It makes sense then that every current customer should also be turned into a future customer. Unfortunately, the retention process is frequently given a lower priority than making a current sale. While current sales might present a positive financial picture, future sales can still remain stagnant. This is the reason that every employee involved in sales should be asking the question, “Am I going to get repeat business from this customer?”

Why No Repeat Business?

There are a number of possible reasons for a lack of repeat business. When small businesses and SMEs are aware of the possible reasons, they can then work to correct deficiencies within their businesses that are a cause of the problem areas.

Quality Products and Services

Businesses must concentrate on providing quality products and services. Customers expect quality for money spent. Whether a purchaser is a business or individual consumer, customers have levels of expectations for what they should be receiving. When quality expectations are not met, customers have little incentive to repeat a disappointing buying experience.

Lack of Communication

Communication can run the gamut from pre-sales to post-sales depending on the product or service, cost, project, etc. Customers do not want to be left in the dark not knowing (1) the details of their purchase, (2) when a product will arrive, (3) when a project will start and stop, and (4) what to expect in the way of after-purchase customer service. A short email or text message can provide quick and necessary information to a customer alleviating purchase anxiety. If a business does not communicate with a customer, this certainly does not prompt a customer to engage in a repeat performance.  

Do As I Say

Customers want businesses to back up their words with actions. When deadlines are missed and products and services are not what was promised, credibility is lost in a real hurry. We’ve all heard the phrase, “under promise and over deliver.” In business, this makes sense. Customers want to be pleasantly surprised. Over promising and under delivering creates a disastrous situation. 

More Bad Business Practices

The list of bad business practices resulting in customers not returning can go on. 

·      Customers not pampered and nurtured.

·      Customers not remembering a business’s name.

·      Businesses not being flexibility when necessary.

·      Customers pressured into making a purchase.

·      Customers not understanding benefits that will be derived from their purchase or how a problem they have will be solved.

·      Customers not seeing anything unique about the business or its products or services.

·      Customers not feeling appreciated and having no reason to repeat a purchase.

Repeat Customers or Loyal Customers

Now for a thinking question. Are repeat customers the same as loyal customers? Some might think yes while others are not quite so sure. There is a difference, however, between repeat customers and loyal customers. Repeat customers, of course, are great for sales and every business wants repeat customers. These are customers who purchase again for a variety of reasons...maybe, a location that’s convenient or low prices, but there is no emotional connection to the business. Their loyalty only goes as far as the next competitor that has a more convenient location or a lower price.

Loyal customers, on the other hand, do have an emotional connection with the business. Maybe, it is the uniqueness of products or services, or a special bond with a particular salesperson, or the business contributing to a special community or charitable project. So, yes, repeat customers are wonderful and every business wants repeat customers; however, loyal customers are even better.

Keep Asking the Same Important Question

Although the repetition might become boring, the outcome to the same question can produce positive results. After a customer leaves your business, gets off the phone, completes an online order, be sure to ask, “Am I going to get repeat business from this customer?”

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