“Keeping a customer is cheaper than looking for a new customer” is a statement that we often hear in the business world. While it holds true especially for newly opened ventures that operate in a highly competitive market, many business owners still struggle to achieve a high customer retention rate. In fact, a statistic says that the average small business loses half of its customers.
If you want your business to succeed in the long run, customer retention is something that you should work on. When done right, customer retention can improve your revenue, referrals, and more importantly your employees and you as the owner. Otherwise, failing to execute a strategic customer retention plan will only make your business operate on a treadmill – trying to win new customers because you are constantly losing so many existing ones.
In this post, we are going to take a look at different ways you can implement to improve brand loyalty and customer within your business.
1. Figure Out Why Customers Are Leaving Your Business
Statistics says that for every customer complaint, there are, on average, 26 who remain silent regarding the same issue. As a business owner, you must not only discover the needs and wants of your customers, but also see the variables that may lead them leaving your business.
If you pay attention, you can always notice the actions which signal your customer’s imminent exit. What you need to do is to focus on key variables related to your customers such as purchase patterns, product usage, and service calls.
Another way is to do a more direct approach: obtaining customer feedback from those who already leave your business. As soon as customers decide to terminate their account, you can send them an email, asking them why they decided to end their business with you. Whatever the reason they may have, it’s important to acknowledge them all, especially if it can improve your customer satisfaction and your business as a whole.
2. Provide Special Offers
In order to improve your customer retention, you need to use technology to your advantage. With the help of CRM, you will be able to know more about your customer, allowing you to tailor your approach to each of them.
Let’s say you want to pursue existing customers who have shown interest in your product recently but made their last purchase long time ago. Using your CRM software, you can easily find these customers, see their past purchases, and learn the about their interest and buying motives. This knowledge will allow you to convert their interest into the actual purchase by offering them special discounts or some additional perks to your product.
3. Develop Reward Programs
While a well-crafted loyalty program requires resources, it’s one of the surest ways to keep your customer coming back for more. Not only it will help boost your business growth, it can boost your reputation as well.
By creating a loyalty program, you not only improve customer appreciation of your business, but you also increase the chances that existing clients will share this delight with their friends and family. The more customers are delighted, the more they are likely to support and recommend it to others.
4. Add the Element of Surprise
Giving a special gift or freebie to your most loyal customers is great, but this actually works better if you can use the element of surprise to your advantage. Often, people are more likely to remember someone when the latter surprised them in a good way, creating a lasting impression.
However, it’s important to take note that giving an unexpected reward to your customers should not be driven by an ulterior motive such as trying to upsell, bringing them back to your business, etc. Instead, this method should only be used for the sake of itself: surprise your customers. It will surely make them happy and will increase their fondness toward your business.
5. Take Advantage of Content Marketing
Many people these days browse the internet first in order to get enough information prior to making a purchase decision. And when it comes to choosing a product or service, people usually go for the ones which they have already heard of from their friends or stumbled across while surfing the internet. This is where content marketing come s into play.
According to SEO expert Rand Fishkin, content marketing not only helps you “reach a wider audience of potential customers” but also provides an opportunity to “remain at the top of mind of your existing customers who are then more likely be retained.”
By producing relevant and insightful content, and distributing it on the right marketing channel, you will be able to retain the interest of your existing customers for a longer period.
6. Don’t Forget Engagement
Lastly, it is very important that your business is engaging and responding as much as possible with your customers. That could be through your business’s social media network, the comment section of your blogs, email, or direct mail. Conversing with them regularly helps you form a powerful connection with them that is very critical for first interactions.
Here are the other tips that will help you go the extra mile:
Write a thank you letter for each first-time customer.
Follow your customers on social media.
Record all customer feedback, complaint, and social media communication and use this information for engagement opportunities.
Reward your customers who have referred their friends to your business.
Follow-up on all complaints, even those that are resolved quickly.
These are just some of the many ways you can do to keep your customers within your business. If you think these tips can overwhelm you, you can just pick one from the list and work on it progressively. This will help build a momentum and allow you to build a customer retention plan more effectively.