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Why are some organizations and leaders able to turn a customer into a regular customer and others are not? People don't become regulars just because you offer them something. It's more about why you are making the offer in the first place and how you present your offer.

Have you ever asked yourself why you do what you do? Why and how do you want to sell your services or products to customers? Spoiler: This is not about making money. Money is just a result and to some extent a byproduct.

In this article we explain how your customers become regular customers.

Developing regular customers - a brief overview

Table of Contents

Regular customer versus new customer

Who actually is the “regular customer” and why are they so sought-after?

Regular customers, unlike new customers or walk-in customers, are the foundation of any business. Such customers are usually loyal to the company and do not switch to another one without a reason. In the case of regular customers, therefore, the number of purchases, known in science as purchase frequency, is of particular importance. By the way, the so-called regular customer rate, i.e. the ratio of regular to walk-in customers, differs significantly depending on the industry. If you want to become our regular customer yourself, we recommend a multi-month subscription to our Customer Insights Suite 😉

The marketing target is mainly the regular customers. According to the Pareto principle, these customers account for 20% of the customer base, but at the same time for 80% of sales. Concentrating on regular customers has other advantages. For example, new customer acquisition statistically costs five times more on average than regular customer care. You can find out more about this in “The Information Revolution: Guide for Executives” by Ulrich Bode.

There are countless studies and articles on the subject of customer acquisition. What your perfect strategy for acquiring regular customers looks like depends, of course, to a large extent on the industry in which you operate. Often, however, it is even more important whether your work is customer-centric or product-oriented.

Regular Customer

Product-oriented or customer-centric?

Working product-oriented, you take care of your product first and foremost: you analyze market shares, work with suppliers and try to get your product to as many customers as possible. In other words; you make your customers aware of the main product.

Using a customer-centric approach, you are more responsible for your clientele. Instead of analyzing market share, you study your customers and define customer segments. You focus less on working with suppliers and more on connecting and working directly with customers. So you don’t bring the customer to the product, but the product to the customer.

That’ s right; here we are talking about mass marketing in the first case and individual marketing in the second.

The example of individual marketing is the best way to explain the term “regular customer”. Individual marketing allows you to integrate the clientele into your company. The customer takes over so to speak some tasks of your enterprise departments themselves. Among them for example:

a) The customer recruits other customers

b) The customer makes you attentive, which would still have to be improved at the product. In the end, a customer-based update of your product is created.

The regular customer is thus an integrated customer.

To illustrate this again with an example:

Picture a foreign language school. The school offers a wide range of language courses. Reasonable prices, professional and friendly teachers, generally good quality. The customer is satisfied. What more could the customer want?

Now, imagine a competing foreign language school. This school organizes summer camps where the students themselves become teachers. The exchange of opinions is encouraged in discussion groups or theme nights. For example, people sit together and discuss the respective motivation for learning the foreign language, learning languages in different age groups or different cultures and countries. This language school also sells not only language courses, but also textbooks on teaching foreign language online or offline. It offers summer camp trips for the students, but also for adults and older people. In short, the clientele is integrated, produces and improves your products themselves. The customer is happier here, because he is part of it.

Love versus fear

Let’s get back to the core question of why you do what you do. What is your purpose? Why does your company exist? What are your beliefs? Profit should not be your motivation, only a result. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

You basically do things for two reasons: for “love” or for “fear“. This concept is originally based on the principles of biology. If you look at a cross-section of the human brain, from top to bottom, you will see that the human brain consists of three main parts. Your youngest brain, your homo sapiens brain is responsible for all your rational and analytical thoughts and language. The middle two parts make up our limbic brain. And the limbic system of your brain is responsible for all your feelings like trust and loyalty. This is also where your behavior, your decisions are formed. This part does not contain language.

Love” comes from inside and is at the same time your belief in the best solution to inspire, attract and convince your customer.

Fear” originates from the outside, is often disguised as a practical approach. So some people choose a practical or profitable industry, ignoring their real calling and dreams. For example, people do this because of money worries or to pay loans on time.

Answering the question “Why?” starts from the inside out. Inspired leaders and inspired organizations, regardless of their size, regardless of their business, all think, act and communicate from the inside out, attracting customers.

However, why is it actually so important to attract new customers and convert them into repeat customers? This is answered by the so-called diffusion theory of innovation. According to this theory, the first two and a half percent of your customers are the innovators. The next thirteen and a half percent of your customers are your early adopters. The next 34 percent are your early majority, your late majority, and your latecomers. So your regular customers are your innovators.

"Why" or "How"

Now that you can answer the question “Why?” for yourself, we can move on to the next question: “How?

And how does the price determine if the client will be won over? This question is controversial. This is shown, for example, by the story of the intern who accidentally changed the price of an old vase incorrectly. At first, no one wanted to buy the vase. The boss then asked the intern to reduce the price. By mistake, the trainee then changed the planned price of 10 euros for the vase to 100 euros. To the astonishment of both, the vase was bought the next day!

So how do walk-in customers become regular customers? Here are the three cornerstones:

  • Find the needs of your customers: Don’t focus on your product, but on your customers. 
  • Turn customers into your employees. Integrate your customers into the company to further develop your product based on customer suggestions.
  • Search for specialists in big data analytics and data science, e.g. on Jooble. Mass data allows you to determine correlations that are not directly obvious. This way you will make market-driven and timely decisions and secure an edge in the market.

Concluded

It is a fact that regular customers are essential for every company. It is easier and more profitable to maintain regular customers than to acquire new ones. That is why we always try to convert new customers into regular customers. Behind this conversion are the key questions: “Why” and “How“.

If you only sell your product or service out of “fear” or some other wrong attitude, you are communicating with the clientele from the outside in. The customer sees the detailed information, like the special features and the benefits of the product, but this does not affect his behavior.

Fueled by “love” and conviction, you communicate from the inside out, directly addressing the part of the brain that controls behavior. This is how decisions are made from the gut.

So integrate your customer into your business! The customer is part of it!

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Gleb Zakharin

Gleb Zakharin

About Me

Gleb Zakharin is Business Development Manager at the job search engine Jooble. As a communications specialist, he has gained rich experience in attracting new customers and supporting existing ones.

In this article he shares his experience and vision in this area.

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