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“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if I ever get back…” Whether you’re a baseball-loving American or not, you probably know that line from the infamous song Take Me Out to the Ball Game. If you’re a business owner, though, you never, ever want to actually hear the words, “I don’t care if I ever get back”—at least not from a customer’s mouth! What you want are customers for LIFE.

How do you achieve that? What does it take to convert loyal customers into customers for life? And what the heck does customer loyalty have to do with baseball?!

Let me share the golden moment of inspiration I had about what baseball and building repeat business have in common. To win a customer for life, four things have to happen—four things that take a customer around the bases and back to home plate where you can SCORE big and land a dedicated customer who loves, loves, loves to talk about your brand and refers new business like crazy. Moving customers around the bases and scoring repeated home runs is the KEY to becoming an Iconic Brand.

So what are those four magical steps that can turn buyers into believers? The answer lies in what customers really want out of an ideal retail or service experience. To be truly turned on by your brand—enough to come back for seconds, thirds, or the whole kettle ‘o fish—customers have to move through these “bases”:

  1. Customers have to like what you’re selling.
  2. They have to like what they buy from you.
  3. They have to enjoy their experience with your business.
  4. They have to feel both engaged and elevated by the experience—enough so that they want to come back again and again, and bring their friends.

If your business doesn’t hit a home run with customers and move them through all four bases, the experience you offer won’t transcend the four walls of your business, whether those walls are physical or virtual. Customers have to take something intangible away with them after purchasing a product or service from you. They have to feel so uplifted by the experience that it has a ripple effect. When someone feels better about themselves for having done business with you, their overall attitude will be better, and that positivity will impact how they interact with other people, including family and friends. How you engage with your customers can literally change their lives for the better!

Like many business owners, you may feel like you never quite get past 3rd base. Your customers seem happy enough while they’re shopping and might engage with your brand online to a degree, but they just aren’t becoming diehard customers for life. If this rings true for you, it could be that you don’t yet have the systems in place that you need to turn 2nd and 3rd base customers into full-on home runs for your business.

My Customer Loyalty Is Like Baseball infographic illustrates the goal of landing customers for life and provides basic steps to get there, but the devil is in the details. If the infographic intrigues you and you’re ready to take action, let’s explore practical ways you can deepen customer relationships, increase repeat and referral business, and start building Your Iconic Brand.

10 Tips to Improve Customer Retention

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