Three Reasons Your Business Needs A Customer Retention Strategy
There any many reasons your business needs a customer retention strategy. Three reasons are: increased sales, customer loyalty and business growth. Read more.
It has been proven many times that it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer so it should come as no surprise that a retention strategy that focuses on getting your current customers to return to do business with you again will save you money in marketing and increase your sales.
Your retention strategy is how you keep your existing customers happy and coming back. There are many ways that you can keep your existing customers happy and make it so they want to come back to you to conduct their business.
Some ways that you can keep your existing customers happy are:
- outstanding customer service
- over delivering on their expectations
- customer only specials
- loyalty programs
- and more
Before you can truly serve your customers at the highest level, you need to:
- Understand them. Your customers’ expectations are constantly evolving just as you and your business are constantly evolving. If you don’t use some type of feedback system to get a feel for what your customers expect and want from you and your business, how can you hope to understand them well enough to serve their current needs and more importantly keep them coming back?
- Teach them how to get the most out of your product or service. Your customers will value your business more than your competitors business if you take the time to show them how to get the most value out of the product or service that they are buying to solve a problem in their life.
- Make it easy and effortless to do business with you. Today’s consumers are always in a hurry and they do not like to wait for anything so make sure your website and your physical storefront keeps the hassles to a minimum, present a smooth buying experience and that support is quick and easy to find.
- Include them in your success. People will care more about you and your business when you share the wealth. Find ways to make the customer feel like they are a partner in your success. (In a way, they are simply by being a customer.)
A customer loyalty program is one of the easiest ways that you can keep customers coming back time and time again.
Many fast food restaurants have rewards programs were every time you make a purchase you gain points toward some type of free product.
You can take this one step further by offering customer only specials that are delivered either by email or SMS. Some bars and restaurants use this to a great advantage by setting up these customer specials so that they are good on days of the week at specific times when business is traditionally slow.
Contests that are only open to customers that have made a purchase within a set timeframe is another way to keep your customers coming back. (This works especially well when each purchase provides them with another entry into the contest.)
Happy customers that are loyal to you will naturally share your business if someone they know is seeking products or services such as yours. This is commonly called word-of-mouth advertising or referral marketing and you probably relied heavily on this type of marketing when you first started your business.
Two of the biggest problems with referral marketing are that they are one-on-one and that they are finite.
You need to start thinking of online reviews as referral marketing on steroids because they are:
- one to many
- a business asset
When a friend or family member is given a referral to a local business, the majority of them have to go online to look up the address and phone number for the business.
Your business’s online reputation is shown right along with your company name, address and phone number so if your reputation does not show that you deliver a five star experience you will most likely lose that referral to a local competitor that has a better online reputation.
Customer feedback and getting customers to leave online reviews should be a part of your customer retention and business growth strategies.
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