6 Steps To Build Returning Customers

Growing a business is all about gaining customers and getting sales. And far easier and less expensive than attracting new customers is turning existing customers into regular, returning customers. 

CX expert Shep Hyken says the key to building return customers is to discover the typical pattern of return customers and then replicate that experience for new customers. All companies should get people into the cadence of doing business with them regularly, but the timeline of that regularity—be it weekly, monthly or annually—changes based on the industry and type of business. 

In his new book, I’ll Be Back: How To Get Customers To Come Back Again and Again, Hyken lays out a six-step process for finding that pattern and building return customers and strong experiences: 

  1. Ask why someone would do business with your company and not with the competition. Figure out what makes your company unique from others and what makes customers interested in your products and services. 
  2. Ask why someone would do business with the competition instead of your company. This requires digging into your competition’s offerings and customer service to discover their competitive advantages.
  3. Keep pace with what the competition is doing. If there is something the competition is doing, bring it into your company and make it your own.
  4. Look outside your industry. Ask all types of people what their favorite companies are to do business with and why. Look at why people are drawn to these companies that are outside your industry and may not be considered direct competition.
  5. Ask what those companies are doing to draw in customers. This step also requires digging deep to understand why certain companies resonate with customers. Think about what you could be doing that works for companies in other industries. 
  6. Come back and ask the original question—Now, why would someone do business with your company and not the competition?

 Hyken recommends going through this process every six months to find little ways to improve. Taking these small steps can create amazing experiences that customers love and help distance you from the competition.  

All companies, no matter their size or industry, can find ways to stand out from the competition. Playing to your strengths creates unique experiences that will make customers return. Hyken says even small companies can compete against e-commerce giants like Amazon by highlighting what makes them unique, such as by offering personalized human experiences and local events.  

By continually improving and playing to your strengths, you can create a company where customers want to come back again and again.


Blake Morgan is the bestselling author of The Customer of the Future. Join the waitlist now for the new Customer Experience Community here. 

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