Retaining your customers is just like retaining your friends, the longer your friend list the happier you will be (Virtual friends doesn’t counts here unless of course you know each other well). The only difference is that your bank balance increases because of your customers and when it comes to friends it’s the other way around.
To be more specific, let’s talk numbers here: If you and your friend both have 100 friends each, and you succeed to retain 70 of them and your friend 80, then at the end of a year provided the number of new friends that you both make is equal. Your friend is bound to have more friends. If the number is large then it will amount to much and over the years the difference is going to be huge.
There are many steps that you can take to retain your customers. Some of them are listed below:
Get in touch
Treat your customers like you would treat your family, get in touch with them. Greet them on special occasions like their birthday or anniversary etc. Let them know that you actually care.
Special care should be taken not to annoy them by spamming their inbox with messages that they are not going to be very happy about.
Surprise and delight your customers by throwing in complimentary dishes and offering special discounts.
Offer free dishes for them on their birthday on any other special occasion. There’s no need to make the whole menu free, even offering a small beverage for free will do. This will not only make them happier but will also result in bringing in more business as it is highly unlikely that a person would be visiting a restaurant alone on special occasions. He/she will be accompanied by friends/family members.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Thank them and make your customers believe that they made the right decision of buying stuff from you by reaching out to them in the form of feedback forms or coupon codes towards the next purchase.
The key is to make them believe that they have made the right choice by choosing you over your competitors.
Get feedback from your customers, as it not only helps in identifying how your customers feel but also helps in identifying the issues that are bugging them.
Collecting feedbacks helps you to take informed decisions and shows that you’re engaged in the business and are looking for ways to improve.
As important as it is to collect feedbacks, responding to feedbacks is equally important.
Collect and highlight testimonials to show that you actually care. It also helps to generate a sense of trust among your customer base.
Extraordinary customer service
With instant help, make your customers feel that you will be there to help anytime they need you.
The key is to make them feel that you actually care.
Almost every single person has different needs and behaves in a particular way. So, it’s important to tailor your offerings based on your customers as one might love chocolates and the other might not.
Train your staffs in customer service skills to prevent jeopardizing the reputation of your restaurant. As word of mouth is still one of the greatest forms of advertising and a bad review is definitely going to spread like fire.
Don’t just train your staffs, treat them well and also reward them well for their performance. This small step will go a long way towards retaining your staffs as well.
You can also try forwarding personalized video to your customers to add a personal touch. It shows that you took time out of your busy schedule just for them and as a result they are bound to think that your business does really gives importance to your customers.
Analyze the reviews posted online about your restaurant and respond to them.
For positive reviews, thank your customers and offer a discount coupon or something else to show that you value their business.
For negative ones, reach out to them and try to find out the root cause of the problem. Work out a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.
Customer retention is often neglected as businesses focus on bringing in new customers at the expense of old customers.
Don’t make this mistake.
Focus instead on building your customer base by retaining your old customers along with bringing in new customers, and you’ll likely be rewarded with higher returns.
Do you have anything extra to add? Please drop your comments and suggestions down below.