You’ve closed the sale and delivered on your products or services, and you might think your work is done, but that’s not the case at all. If you want to spend less time and money in the future making sales, you’ve still got some work to do.
Repeat customers  are your ticket to continually boosting revenue without putting in a ton of work. In fact, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent  can increase your profits 25 to 95 percent.
Where Most Companies Fail
Despite the numbers for customer retention being in every business’ favor, many companies drop the ball as soon as that initial sale is made. Customers, even if they’re happy with the product or service, have no reason to continue the relationship with a brand if that brand doesn’t make an effort to nurture that relationship.
Most small businesses don’t realize how incredibly simple it is to remain relevant to those customers: a simple post-sale email marketing campaign can keep the brand at the forefront of a customer’s mind. When she’s ready to buy, she’ll be more likely to do so if she’s got a special offer in her inbox.
Another way companies fail to connect with customers is by neglecting to ask for feedback. Sending a simple survey after a purchase can help your brand understand how well (or not) you met customers’ expectations . If you failed in that aspect, you have the opportunity to remedy the situation, make the customer happy and inspire loyalty to your brand. If you don’t bother, she has no sense that you care about her at all, and she’ll be happy to go to the competition.
How to Retain Customers with Long-Term Relationships
The simplest solution here is to just care about your customers. Make sure you’ve lived up to your brand promises by talking to your customers and inquiring how you could do better in the future.
Beyond that, you need to stay relevant. Gear your blog content, your emails, and the interactions you have with customers to capture their attention and make them feel like they couldn’t do without you.
Remember that marketing to someone who has purchased from you in the past isn’t the same as marketing to a new customer. You’ll get better results if you speak to that “audience of one” and make her feel like you acknowledge her as a customer and look forward to serving her in the future. Make recommendations for products that complement what she’s already bought from you. Call her personally to see how she likes her purchase. Make her feel like a person and not a sale.
With just a little bit of upfront effort to bridge the gap from the first sale to subsequent ones, you’ll set up a relationship with a customer that will last for years. Just keep her needs and interests at the core of all you do, and she’ll become a brand ambassador for you.
Customer  Photo via Shutterstock