It amazes me how many businesses are actually in business despite how they treat their clients. This past week, my husband and I took our boys on a pontoon ride on a local lake. We rented a pontoon from a marina, not sure if we’ll ever go back.

First, the establishment, was a dump. It was messy, on the outside and inside. Honestly looked like an abandoned building with junk laying all over. A little scary to say the least, and the employees weren’t too impressive either. So, my first tip to keep customers coming back is:

1) Make sure your building or showroom is inviting, along with your employees. You want people to feel good when walking into your showroom or building. You don’t want them tripping over things. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to remodel or spend a lot of money on it. Just make sure it’s clean, in order and you are sending out good vibes, a warm welcome. As far as your employees, make sure they are also clean and dressed for success.

The other day I walked into Office Depot, and was welcomed immediately upon entering. As I began to shop I was pleasantly surprised at how many associates asked me if I needed help finding anything. It was a great feeling. They weren’t pushy, yet if I needed anything I knew they were there for me. My second tip for keeping clients coming back:

2) Greet your clients with a smile and excitement and a “how can I help you” attitude. It creates the sense of belonging, and the fact they appreciate you as a customer. Being helpful goes a long way too. Going back to the family pontoon ride, the fellow that helped us, honestly wasn’t too helpful. I told him that this was our first experience and was there anything special we needed to know about it. He basically told us to stay about 300 yards away from the islands, and that was it. To me, he really didn’t take the time, or have the time to show us much.  It wasn’t the “wow” experience that I wanted to have.

Finally, when your customer has given you a little business you need to thank them. So, tip number three;

3) Thank them for their business. Whether you thank them with a promotional gift, or you just say “thank you” for your business. To me, this doesn’t cost a lot, and quite frankly could mean everything to having your client come back. When we brought the pontoon back into the marina, I don’t think the employee said one word. He tied out boat to the dock, and not a peep was uttered. Really? yes really. Gratitude is the attitude you must have especially in business, or if you’d like to remain in business.

And there you have it, tips to help you keep your client coming back, and to keep you in business. Remember, studies have shown that the cost to obtain new clients is much more expensive than retaining the clients you already have. So, let’s keep you in business, practice these tips routinely, and have your employees practice these tips. Believe me, you will not only survive, but you will thrive!