Turn first time customers into regulars

Build a Customer Journey


Every business owner at one time or another asks themselves: How can I turn every customer’s first visit into a lifetime of business?

The answer? Create a customer journey. But only 12% of businesses admit to having mapped their customer experience; from their first meal or their first purchase to becoming a loyal customer.


Customers often decide if they're going to come back to your business within 10 seconds of walking through the door.


Here’s an example from Jon Taffer, famed for his show Bar Rescue outlined how he recommends restaurants create a journey:

Start strong and follow through

First impressions matter more than ever, but you also need to have a plan to turn a second visit into three, four and so on. The probability of a customer coming back goes up the more often they visit your business.

Creating a Customer Journey

Three Tips for Success

Tip #1 - Talk to your customers

Find out what got your customers hooked; what they like most about your business and what keeps them coming back. Ask your staff to do the same and compare notes.

Tip #2 - Segment your customers

Most businesses have a few types, or segments, of customers they serve - you need to understand and build a customer journey specific to each segment. Offer customized products and services to each segment.

  • Restaurants often have lunch clientele that differs from the evening crowd
  • Hair salons offer different services to their male and female clients

Tip #3 - Try new things, keep what works

You should regularly test ideas to make each customer visit memorable and see which ones are the best at getting customers to come back. Taking ideas from Jon Taffer’s video, a restaurant may:

  • First visit: Offer new customer a free dessert and propose they come for a free chicken dinner next time they visit.
  • Second visit: Come back with a coupon for a free chicken dinner. Recommend they return a third time to try the ribs.
  • Third visit: Customer returns to try the ribs at full price. It's now extremely likely this customer will return again.