For every business, customer retention is as important as customer acquisition. Analysis have shown over time that if you are able to retain up to 5% of your customers you are likely to increase your profits by over 50%. Similarly, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is between 60-70%, while it is about 5-20% for new prospect.
Without a doubt, customers are the bedrock of a business. Businesses exist for the people thus it cannot thrive without the people who are expected to be her target audience. If the existence of a business depends on the quantity and quality of her customers then ensuring the continuous return of these customers is necessary to grow beyond survival to establishing a long-lasting, profitable and significant brand.
Retaining customers starts with simple steps such as getting to know them, building trust through relationships and asking for feedback in order to understand and surpass their expectations. Other approaches that can be explored are discussed below.
- Service Delivery
Ensuring an amazing experience for every customer that connects with your brand either to make enquiries or an immediate purchase should be priority for every business owner. To achieve this, you need to make effort to deliver an excellent serve across the customer’s journey.
Customers often keep in mind the experience they have with an organisation especially when they are patronising that firm for the first time. Thus, to retain customers it is essential that you deliver first class customer experience.
Employees who have direct contact with customers should be trained and equipped with adequate resources required to engage customers. For instance, your customer service team should know all your products and services, be able to match them with customers’ needs and influence their purchase decision making process positively. You should also take advantage of technology to simplify your communication and consistently engage. This is where having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system becomes critical. It can be really tough to make up for a bad customer experience so try not to make one happen.
Personalisation is one way to treat existing customers differently from first time customers. With the integration of digital tools that facilitates the collection of customer data, you can segment your customers and easily retarget them using customised content aimed at getting them to return to your platform.
Introducing simple customed messaging elements such as using their names, showing appreciation, and matching your products with their interests are ways to build loyalty and create continued interest in your products & service offerings.
We are in a generation filled with people who are constantly in hurry and are impatient when they engage across multiple channels. In this digital age customers reward responsive brands because they expect and appreciate instant responses and solutions if possible, to their request. Any shortcomings in this area can stop consumers revisiting such business.
Adopting digital tools such as chatbots; an automated artificial intelligent software that is designed to particularly care for answering questions without active human intervention can be used to strengthen the business to customer relationship by driving quick and smooth communication and support between businesses and customers. This also enables you send personalized emails or notifications to commemorate their special milestones such as their birthday, wedding anniversary or even the first time they visited your platform.
- Keep your Customers Informed
Sometimes it is not only about selling your products, you need to enlighten your customers and keep them abreast of information around your industry. For instance, if you are in the food business, sharing health and nutrition tips can go a long way in making more of your customers drawn to you. Similarly, a financial services firm can keep customers informed with financial updates and financial planning tips, while a fashion designer can share simple do-it-yourself tricks or fashion hacks.
By keeping your customers informed and being consistent, your business remains top on their minds and aids easy brand recall whenever they need your product or service. It also makes these customers see that you value them thus helping to build their trust.
- Customer Loyalty Programs
Convenience and pricing are one of the major factors that influences customer’s buying decision. Both service providers and consumers always aim towards minimizing cost without giving up quality. As such people will engage more with small business owners who grant them special discounts after spending on the best offer for a considerable cost or introduce free delivery services.
Mistakes are bound to happen even as we strive for perfection in delivering the best service ever to our customers. Actively seeking feedback after engaging with customers is a good way to improve the business’s brand and better meet the expectations of the consumers. Creating printable question & answer sheets for customers to fill or sending electronic survey or forms via email to customers is an effective way to make seeking feedback easy.
In addition, feedbacks enable you identify what you did right or what you should do differently to continue to attract those customers. The value of customers’ opinion cannot be over-emphasised especially when it comes to loyal customers.
- Celebrate Your Customers
Felicitating with customers on special days and special events such as sending messages to wish them well on their birthdays, anniversaries and more speaks good of a brand and make customers feel cared for by the brand. This feeling alone is able to make customers profess their allegiance to a brand because they now feel connected with the brand.
A very good way to promote customer retention is to offer after service delivery support to customers. Simple activities such as calling customers to thank them for doing business with you or offering them services to help relief an inconvenience they may likely face in the course of setting up or using the purchased service gives room for a continuous relationship as they see such business as reliable and helpful.