Developing a loyal customer base of repeat shoppers gives your business resilience to weather economic cycles and periods of uncertainty. At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone, but you can certainly make changes to improve your chances.

Here are five simple tips on how to better engage with customers so they return to your store, whether it’s online or in person.

1. Create customer loyalty programs

Loyalty programs provide informative insights into your customers’ shopping habits so you can pinpoint ways to serve them better in the future.

If executed properly, loyalty programs help customers feel appreciated and offer rewards for frequent shopping.

A good example of a loyalty program is Telstra Plus – which has gained one million users in the past year by giving their members 10 points for every dollar spent within their monthly account. Points can be exchanged for discounts on devices and accessories in their stores.

You can also create loyalty programs through your membership or subscription portals. Australian cinema company Hoyts created three membership tiers at lower, middle and premium levels that all provide different benefits such as discounts on tickets, food and drink purchases and even earning Qantas Points.

Your customers can earn points, your business experiences profits when they redeem the offer. It’s win-win.

2. The obvious tip, better customer support

Communication between your employees and customers is integral to retaining future sales. Your staff are the human extension of your brand, every engagement should reflect how you want your brand to be perceived. Ideally aiming for friendly, engaging and supportive.

Simple standards such as warm greetings, friendly assistance, lighthearted conversations and appreciative thanks when they visit you will have customers returning and becoming brand advocates.

Ever wondered why chain restaurants welcome you with the same greeting no matter which country you visit? This authentic cookie-cutter experience allows brands to remain consistent in their communications strategies.

3. Engage with your community

COVID-19 has seen many retailers increase their digital presence to maintain their engagement with customers. Many Australian businesses have started selling online via eCommerce and increasing their posts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube.

By posting your plans, products, promotions, updates and behind-the-scenes activities, you can develop a relationship to customers and this transparency also builds trust. Now that retailers are starting to reopen across Australia, many are also hosting in-store community events encouraging patrons to return.

4. Become personalised

Personalisation is more accessible to retailers thanks to improvements in technology, both in-store and online. Modern POS systems can now track your customers’ purchase history and sync with loyalty programs.

Why is this important? It means your business can identify trends behind an increase in sales or highlight areas that need improvement. By having customer history and frequent purchase data stored and easily accessible, your engagement with returning customers can also be improved.

5. Post-purchase communications

Viewing and treating your customers as individuals rather than as a single sale goes a long way to having them return to your business. One way to improve these relationships is with post-purchase communications asking consumers about their shopping experience.

Surveys are a great way to gather information from your customers and improve their shopping experience with your business. You may have more success getting your customers to complete a survey by offering incentives such as gift cards or discounts of future purchases.

Below is the example we sent out to our customers.

We hope these simple tips will help to bring in more customers and retain those who are common visitors!