In any business, repeat customers are key. Brad Sugars, contributing writer for Entrepreneur, reported that its costs around six to eight times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to simply sell to an existing costumer. The stats don't end there. The probability of selling to a new customer is as low as 5 to 20 percent where with an existing customer that number rises to 60 to 70 percent., Beyond Philosophy's Colin Shaw stated via LinkedIn Pulse. Moreover, Shaw stated that the authors of Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet and Mark Murphy found a "2 percent increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10 percent.

Obviously fostering repeat business is vital to a company's success but it takes more than just cinching the initial sale. A business must work during after and before every sale to keep customers coming back.

How to generate and retain repeat customers
1. Invest in your customer database: Above all else, this is one of the most important aspects of customer retention. According to Entrepreneur writer Lisbeth McNabb, from your first transaction you will have a handful of information about your client: name, address, purchasing desire. Make sure this data is updated constantly. Through this database you can track consumer spending habits and strategize about what to emphasize and how to sell new products to your client.

2. Follow up!: Patrick Hull, contributing writer for Forbes, found that  customers are more likely to disappear than report that they are having issues with a service or product. Just because a customer has been returning to your business for a while does not mean there is no potential for error. Author Ruby Newell-Legner found that "it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience," Beyond Philosophy's Shaw reported. So, make sure you check and ensure everything is working as intended.

3. Make it easy to keep on buying: Everyone likes easy. So, make sure it is a simple process to order from your business again, especially with exact repeat orders. Sugars suggested going on your website yourself and attempting to re-order something. What would you change as a consumer? Client feedback can also help improve these processes.

4. Stay in touch and be personal: Despite what the digital boom may suggest, there is still value in interpersonal interactions. Customers like to know they are in good hands. Stay in touch with your customers and try and keep future communication personal and friendly. When selling new products, emails can include lines like "we though this item would be perfect for you!" or even friendly banter depending on the depth of your relationship. Maintaining this level of personal connection with a client is the best way to ensure a customer keeps coming back to your company. McKinsey & Company in a study on customer experience, found that 85 percent of clients purchased more from a business after a positive experience with customer service.

Repeat business in the print industry
Clearly, repeat business is great for any industry but the print industry specifically has some major gains to be made with repeat customers. Products like business forms, checks or even business cards have a very high level of repeatability. A print company that lands a client for any of these types of products can generally count on steady repeated orders from the same customers. Forms, checks and business cards are always needed and thus always need to be replenished. Fostering relationships with repeat customers is a key skill for anyone working within the print industry as it almost completely assures relatively effortless revenue.