12 Customer Retention Strategies That Changed My Business
What is your customer retention rate?
While a lot of small businesses focus a huge portion of their resources on getting new customers, it has become even more important to keep our old friends.
Customers can be compared to web traffic. As much as you would like to have new people visiting your blog, you can’t afford to lose your old traffic sources.
Customer retention is an integral part of the most successful businesses in history.
A lack of customer retention strategies can be compared to fetching water in a leaking basket; there is no net increase.
Although it is important to increase your customer base, it is even more important to keep existing customers.
So, once a customer makes their first buy or comes in contact with your business, the next target should be how to turn that one-time customer into a customer for life. Successful businesses understand and follow this marketing principle and that has made all the difference.
Here are 12 customer retention strategies that will help you build customer loyalty and generate more profit:
12 Tips For Boosting Customer Retention
1) Don’t compromise on quality.
Your customers expect that you will deliver on the promises made. They want value for their money.
It is, therefore, very crucial that you never offer anything below the industry standard in terms of product and service delivery.
Make the best products in your niche and let your customers see that you are still trying to improve the product despite the outstanding qualities.
Always ask the question: “what can I do to today that will make my product better than it was yesterday?”
2) Wow you customers from day one.
Make the first time count. Sweep them off their feet.
Figure out a way to make the first encounter with your product memorable.
In case you run a walk-in service, let your customers have a sense of fresh air as soon as they step into your office space.
3) Offer something extra.
Infinix mobility entered the smartphone market in 2013, and within that period, they have colonized the African market.
They don’t just sell phones, they add an extra power bank, phone pouch or headset to their products. The result is amazing.
Customers buy Infinix phones in their numbers because they believe that buying Infinix phones will save the extra cost of buying a phone pouch or power bank.
4) Have a loyalty program in place.
Reward your loyal customers. Show them how grateful you are to have them around you.
Loyalty programs have proved very effective when utilized appropriately. They have the potential to increase loyalty levels of customers and bring in new customers.
For example, a customer that knows a certain reward awaits her after making a certain number of purchases will strive to reach that number; so long as the reward is attractive.
5) Treat you customers like shareholders.
Foster a working relationship with your customers. Treat them like they are your business partners.
It is crucial to understand that your customers are not just numbers, but people. They want to feel special.
They want to know that they give their money to a company that respects and cares about their opinions.
A simple way to accomplish this fit is to them customers well informed about any new product or upgrade to an existing product. A customer retention strategy that is sure to keep them happy and prefer you ahead of the competition.
Solicit ideas from your customers and let them know you have taken them into consideration while creating a product.
6) Find out why your old clients aren’t returning, then fix it.
They are leaving for a reason and it is up to you to know why.
You have to know why they are leaving in the first place. This way, you are digging into the root of the problem.
The problem may be cost, customer service, better alternatives or even distance.
Once you get a hold of the problem, fix it.
7) Be consistent and predictable.
You might have heard that great companies are unpredictable and would pull out a rabbit out of their hats, unexpectedly. That is totally untrue.
The whole essence of having a brand culture is predictability. Your customers know what you will do at any point in time. They understand that you are a consumer-centric business and you will do everything to keep them satisfied.
So, create a good customer experience, that’s consistent and predictable, and you have a shot at customer retention.
8) Make your customer’s life easier.
Do your best to eliminate the entire rigorous and difficult processes that customers go through at different stages of the purchase cycle.
Make it easier to pay. Make it easier to contact customer service. Make it easier to operate your product. Make it easier to request a refund or replacement.
The much easier the process, the easier it is for them to come back.
9) Keep in touch.
Hopefully, you already have a database of your customers including their names, contact information and special dates.
Use this database to keep in touch. Build engagement with your customers in deep and meaningful ways.
Social media is another great avenue to build a community around your business. The longer you stay in their memory, the likelier it is that they will keep doing business with you.
Listen to your customers. Listen to their complaints, praises, and recommendations.
A good listening attribute will keep your customers satisfied and ensure that their voice is heard.
Evaluate carefully the remarks of your customers and always swiftly attend to potential problems, while at the same time retaining the quality of those areas that keep them satisfied.
This is why you need a customer feedback system that will give you insight into user reviews and assessments.
11) Keep your employees satisfied.
Treat your employees with respect and they will do the same to your customers.
It is not only your customers that you should keep happy but your employees as well.
A happy employee will be more productive and will invest more personal effort into the general well-being of any company because he feels he is an integral part of it.
Acknowledging how your employees are doing something right is a far more successful path to work excellence, than pointing out what they are doing wrong
12) Offer unparalleled customer service.
Small businesses should strive to create a highly effective and refined customer service system.
An efficient customer service unit should always be quick, efficient and helpful.
Moreover, the burden of keeping customers satisfied should not be placed on the customer service team alone, everyone should be fully involved.
A company whose employees are dedicated to the customer’s satisfaction is sure to have only positive results in terms of customer retention.
13) Spy on your competitors.
Constantly update yourself on what your competitors are doing to stay ahead of you.
Also, find out what your competitors aren’t doing and try to integrate it into your service delivery.
We’re not talking discounts here. We’re talking features, services, resources, or whatever else your customers will place some value on.
It is time for you to be proactive rather than responsive. Set out to satisfy your clients and they will remain committed to you all the way.