Two smiling women stand in a greenhouse next to rows of leafy potted plants. The woman on the right reaches across the tops of the plants, as if to grab something. She is wearing a yellow sweater under a black apron. The woman on the left is wearing a tan peacoat and carrying a red shopping basket that holds a couple of small plants. In the background are several industrial shelving units, also holding potted plants.
You can engage with routine customers by reaching out at the right time. To keep customers coming in on weekends, send them a sale announcement toward the end of the week. — Getty Images/Zorica Nastasic

Routines are repeated behaviors that people follow, usually at the same time on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. By becoming a part of your customers’ routines, you can earn repeat business, increase your revenue, and improve your bottom line.

A study by Eva Ascarza, a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, revealed that routine customers are more valuable than customers who haven’t made your service or product a part of their routines. This is because routine customers are less sensitive to price increases and may continue to be loyal, even after they experience issues or conflicts. Routine customers are easy to please because they’re less concerned about current trends and more likely to stick to what they know.

Procter & Gamble, McDonalds, and Adidas are a few examples of companies who are trying to take advantage of customer routines. They use artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the motives of these customers and how they differ from the motives of those who are casual consumers and only purchase from them every once in a while.

Ascarza joined forces with other professors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Columbia Business School to track the behaviors of nearly 2,000 customers of a ridesharing company. The researchers waited until the customers had been active on the ridesharing app for three weeks. Then, they looked at how and when these customers used the ridesharing service.

They then added service use times to a statistical model to create a “routineness score” to predict how often and when a customer might request a rideshare service as part of their routine. The model allowed the researchers to zero in on specific routine customers, such as “morning commuters” or “weekend users.”

By becoming a part of your customers’ routines, you can earn repeat business, increase your revenue, and improve your bottom line.

By being able to predict routines, you can improve the way you communicate with your most loyal customers and create marketing materials that align with their unique behaviors and preferences.

Here are a few tips for engaging with routine customers:

  • Reach them at the right times: If you know a group of customers orders food from you on the weekends, for example, it might make sense to send them a discount code on Thursday so they can use it on Saturday or Sunday and continue to include your business in their weekend routines.
  • Create loyalty programs: Loyalty programs and routine customers go hand in hand. With a loyalty program that offers exclusive perks, these customers will be more likely to choose you over your competitors.
  • Encourage positive reviews and referrals: There’s no such thing as too many routine customers. That’s why you should motivate the ones you have to share their positive experiences with others and potentially help you attract more customers who will make you a part of their routines.

If you’re not paying attention to routine customers, now is the time to start. By doing so, you can anticipate customer value, optimize delivery, and build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Read more: 6 Winning (and Adaptable) Customer Acquisition Strategies From Growing Brands]

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