We don’t need to tell you that businesses do not survive without a continuous supply of customers. However, these days, with intense competition, rising costs, and increased customer expectations, retaining a loyal customer base is no easy feat.
In this e-PA: Just the Facts entry, we want to share with you 11 effective ways you can improve your customer retention, and keep them coming back time and time again.
Why is it Important to Improve Customer Retention?
There are several reasons why client retention is essential to businesses. So many, in fact, that it is hard to pick just a few. We’ve had a go, though, and given you 3, below:
- It costs less to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones.
- Loyal customers spend more frequently, and in larger amounts, increasing your revenue.
- Satisfied customers can become brand advocates, spreading the word about your company and encouraging others to give your products a try.
Effective Tips to Improve Customer Retention
Create a Product or Service That Addresses a “Pain Point”
To retain clients, you must first attract them. Before developing a product, ascertain the ‘pain points’ of your target market and work from there. Develop a product or service that addresses their genuine concerns, troubles, and annoyances, not just something gimmicky or temporary, designed that doesn’t encourage repeat purchase/usage.
Prioritise Inbound Marketing & Customer Services
The days of aggressive outbound marketing are over. With easy access to information on the internet, customers are less influenced by marketing hype and advertisements. If you have spent time making your brand, product, or service fresh, relevant and in-keeping with your customers expectations, they will come to you. Create useful content to entice today’s buyers who start their buying journey online. Topics may include product information and how these products can meet specific needs. Customers will trust you more if they see value in the content you produce.
Build Trust & Rapport
Given multiple choices, customers will always purchase from someone they trust and have an established rapport with. If they feel your company truly understands them, they will consistently choose you, over your competitors, because of that healthy and well-established relationship.
Listen & Engage
Customers are always vocal about their needs, so hear them out and consider their input – you’d be surprised how many new ideas for your business they come up with. Engage with your base through any platform. It’s essential to be present at all times and make them feel you’re ready to help them. As you gain your customers’ trust and favour, they’ll eventually decide to stick around. Most customers appreciate the opportunity to decide at their own pace, instead of feeling pressured.
Offer the Best Value
If you want to learn how to keep customers for life, you have to give them a better product or service, and ensure it is worth its price. Research your market competitors, to understand how you can edge them out by adding value. Also remember that delivering value doesn’t always end with a purchase, and it must be present at every stage of the sales and after-sales process, to encourage customers to buy again.
Provide Top-Notch Customer Service
Customer service should never be an afterthought. It should be at the centre of your mindset. When you treat your clients well from pre to post-sales, dealing with your company becomes a pleasant encounter they’re willing to experience again.
Be Proactive in Fixing Mistakes
Oversights and mistakes happen – It’s a fact of life. No matter the steps you have implemented to mitigate them, unfortunately, some things slip through the cracks. That doesn’t mean you and your customers should simply accept them and move on from the bad experience. Instead, take the opportunity to retain dissatisfied clients by going the extra mile to correct the mistake. If they’re impressed with how you handled the problem, expect their loyalty and repeat purchases. Remember, it costs far less to retain existing customers, than to seek out new ones.
Rewarding your customers is an excellent way to keep them. Think about your supermarket loyalty cards, or the stamps you can get for your morning coffee. However, your incentives must be valuable enough for them to stay with your company. Rather than the usual loyalty programs, create one your clients truly want and benefit from to feel rewarded.
Keep in Touch with Customers
Don’t make your regular and repeat customers feel neglected. Just because they keep coming back, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated with the same (or even more) care and respect as new customers. After all, without looking after them, you may lose them to your competition. Stay in contact through phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media. Treat your regulars like VIPs by inviting them to join giveaways and surveys—they are your business’ stable source of sales, so take care of them with constant communication.
Ask for Feedback Regularly
Know where you stand with your customers by asking for their feedback. If they give you a less than perfect rating, follow up by asking how you can do better next time. Knowing this essential information lets you adjust your strategies for keeping customers, going forward.
Complacency and a lack of development can cause you to lose customers quickly. Strive to improve your processes and offerings to keep clients satisfied and happy every time they interact with your business. If they’re pleased, they’re more likely to recommend your company to others.
So, there you have it – Definitely some food for thought, wouldn’t you agree?
If you haven’t realised by now, here at e-PA, our passion is supporting and improving businesses and, passing on information like this is our pleasure. If even one business owner can implement some of the advice served up here, and that leads to an improvement in their customer retention, we consider our endeavour a success.
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