6 Ways to Create Lifelong Customers

Retain customers for life with these six tips.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Gasaway

The ATA’s consumer marketing campaign is underway. The campaign aims to send more customers to ATA-member stores by introducing newcomers to archery and bowhunting. As more people learn about archery, they’ll likely visit your shop to try the sports.

Use these six tips to win them over and convert them from first-time participants to lifelong customers.

Make sure your store is clean and your products are displayed neatly. Photo Credit: ATA

Make a Good First Impression

People are perceptive and quick to judge. If you want them to return to your business, you must make a good first impression.

Focus on how you engage and communicate with customers. When greeting customers, store employees should smile, exude confidence, stand up straight, speak in an uplifting, positive tone, and listen carefully to their needs. These interactions build the foundation for future communications and healthy customer-employee relationships.

Your store or physical location must make a good first impression. To impress customers, boost your in-store merchandising techniques. Clean your floors and aisles, dust your shelves and products, and neatly stack or hang your merchandise. You can also improve your store’s outside appearance by cleaning storefront windows and repainting faded or chipped surfaces.


Make Customers Feel Wanted

Customers have the power to shop online, visit your competitors’ stores, or keep returning to your business. Those decisions are much easier if they feel welcome in your shop.

Kurt Smith, ATA’s director of industry relations, said it’s important to ask customers to come and shoot.

“Beginners are often intimidated by new people and experiences,” Smith said. “If you extend a personal invitation and offer to teach them about equipment and shooting form, you’ll make them feel welcome, and more likely to return. Ask them to join group classes and events. Invite them to be part of your archery community.”

Group classes or leagues also give you opportunities to introduce newcomers to other customers. Those connections help them feel like they belong. As they make new friends, they can learn from each other, hold each other accountable, provide advice or moral support, and recognize another friendly face in your shop.

Offer fun events or tournaments at your range to keep customers engaged. Photo Credit: Gotham Archery

Entertain Customers

Many people enjoy shooting targets on the range, but they might enjoy other archery disciplines just as much, such as 3D, competition, bowhunting and bowfishing. Beginners might not know about these activities, so introducing them to archery’s many options can keep them engaged, entertained and craving more.

If possible, offer lessons, teach classes and host events so customers can keep experiencing new things. These opportunities provide safe, welcoming places for people to learn and ask questions, and create long-term relationships.


Meet Customer Needs

If someone enters your store, they’re looking for something. Whether it’s equipment, knowledge, or an experience, you need to learn what they want and help them get it. If they have an archery-related problem, you must solve it or they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Take every opportunity to please your customers and beyond. When customers buy a product, don’t just make the sale and send them along. Offer to explain how it works and when to use it. Meeting – and exceeding – customer needs will build your customer base.


Create Customer-Rewards Programs

Another way to create lifelong customers is to reward them for buying products, taking lessons, or shooting on the range. Create a customer-rewards program that offers exciting incentives that entice customers to return. Read the ATA’s article “Create a Profitable Customer-Rewards Program” for more information.

That’s not the only way you can reward customers. Offer giveaways, free coffee, or archery-themed parties. Friendly gestures build customer trust and appreciation, which builds loyalty to your business.


Ask and Listen to Feedback

People aren’t perfect and neither are businesses. If you ask customers what you can do to improve, and then you make the improvements, you’ll show you care. That boosts customer satisfaction and increases retention. You’ll also improve your business for future customers.

Bottom line: By treating customers with respect, and listening to their needs and feedback, you’ll make them want to come back.

Watch the ATA video “Welcoming New Archers” for additional tips to turn prospective archers into lifelong enthusiasts.

If you have questions or want more suggestions, contact the ATA’s business, membership and Trade Show office toll-free at (866) 266-2776.

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