Customer retention is the key to a successful business and to remain profitable, there are several strategies you should implement to keep them coming back for more.
Did you know that selling to your existing customer base is 6-7 times less expensive than gaining new customers? And although your business may be the best around (or at least you think so), customers will take their spending elsewhere if that they believe you don’t care about them. In this post we will discuss a few ways that you really can be the best at retaining customers.
Nurture your customers
Customers leave for a variety of reasons but the undisputed top 3 are:
- Poor treatment. Customers remain loyal as long as they feel they are being treated fairly. Because everyone’s idea of “fair” is different, a company should be versed in dealing with all different types of personalities.
- Price. Money always tops the list of reasons customers will go elsewhere but if the price difference is minimal and they feel comfortable with a business, many will pay the extra few dollars to be treated well.
- Human interaction. People don’t want to deal with recordings or chatbots. If they have an issue they want a person to talk to. Be available and open to real and personal discussions with your customers.
Invest in a good CRM
Your Customer relationship management tool not only keeps you organized, it also allows you to identify all types of data you can use to manage the customer experience. Keep notes, analyze data, and market accordingly. The more information you have, the better off you are. Teach all staff (not just salespeople) how to use the platform and how to input all relevant information.
Consistency is Key
People talk, and this is especially true if they feel they are being slighted by a company or are not getting the same treatment as other people. A well-thought-out plan that every person on your staff can follow when working with customers ensures that they feel comfortable continuing a business relationship with you.
The same holds true when it comes to the customer level – meaning how much they spend. Treating the customer that spends a couple of hundred dollars with the same enthusiasm that you treat the ones who spend thousands shows them you appreciate their business. Remember, you catch more bees with honey than you do vinegar and the small spender one time may be a big spender the next.
If you want to really know how you’re doing, just ask. If your CRM is being used efficiently you have the information you need to get answers to the important questions. Send surveys, make follow-up calls, and keep detailed notes. You can even segment your audience so that you can get different information from different groups of people. Your past customers for instance may be asked why they no longer purchase from you and ask current customers if they’d like to see any changes in the way you operate. Knowing the answers can help you retain your customer base.
Make the experience personal
Are you sending thank you notes? Do you follow up with a phone call to see how everything is going? If not you should start. You should also be aware of your customer’s shopping habits, what they like, what they need, and market to them based on those things.
And let’s not forget that a simple holiday greeting or birthday message shows you’re there to be a part of their “family.” It’s the little things that matter that in the end bring big benefits.
If you’re doing things right, gaining new customers will come naturally. It’s the ones who already know you that should be the main focus of your future growth.