Keeping your customers happy and coming back to do business with you is an essential part of business success. For this reason, you must make a concentrated effort to focus on customer retention.
Customer retention strategies allow you to figure out the best methods for keeping your customers on board and not losing their business to someone else. It goes beyond just listening to customer feedback and encompasses a complete plan of attack.
You should focus on developing these strategies and implementing them early in your business’ life. Once you have the strategies in place, they are fairly easy to maintain.
Keep reading for 9 strategies for improving customer retention.
When you have an online business, you have to set aside some time to retain existing customers. Online businesses often have less visibility than physical stores, so it can be difficult to entice a potential customer towards your website.
However, even physical businesses have difficulty gaining new customers. It can be five times more expensive for a business to gain a new customer than retain an old one.
When you have an online business, this statistic becomes even more crucial, as you’ll have to fight to gain traffic towards your website. But a loyal customer is a guarantee that you’ll have some continuous traffic. So, retaining an existing customer is doubly important, as it’s much more likely that a previous customer will spend money on your business than a potential customer would.
With this knowledge in mind, it’s vital to focus on customer retention from day one. When you convert a potential customer into a customer, you need to give them a reason to keep coming back. To accomplish such a feat, you’ll need a customer retention strategy.
A customer retention strategy will help you strengthen your customer relationships, so they know what to expect from you and can appreciate it. You can also use this strategy to relay your gratitude and make your customers feel like individuals instead of numbers on a page.
It can be five times more expensive for a business to gain a new customer than retain an old one.
To begin building a customer retention strategy, you can check out these nine options below.
You really cannot start working on customer retention strategies until you have some baseline to work from. There are many ways you can figure your rate, but the easiest and most universal is as follows:
((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100
The variables stand for the number of customers at the end (CE), number of new customers (CN), number of customers at the beginning (CS).
You will take a look at a specific period. You can choose a period however you wish, such as a month or three months.
The formula tells you the percentage of customers you were able to keep or retain. The actual percentage you want as your goal depends a lot on your industry and type of work. For some industries, a 60% retention is high, but for others, 90% is a better goal.
Customers value sincerity. They will also be more likely to become a returning customer if they can visualize the people behind your business. After all, connections are vital. If they feel like they know you and you know them, they’ll be more likely to come back.
You can become more transparent by offering up what your goals are, what you want your company to do for your customers, and also what your shortcomings are. People enjoy seeing you own up to your faults, as it makes you more human and more relatable.
For instance, if you say your company cares about the environment, you can point out how you’re not 100% eco-friendly yet, but are taking steps to get there. This promise to improve will make you look more honest and worth someone’s time.
While technology may be too overbearing in some areas of business, it is also incredibly useful. You can use it to connect with your customers and keep your business in the front of their minds. One of the best ways to do this is to use a subscription service.
You capture the customer‘s email and then send them notices about sales, announcements, and other information through an automated email system. You can use these emails to educate or to draw them in for a good deal. You can also maintain a connection by sending them something special on their birthday or using the platform to send out an annual message just for them.
The majority of people access the internet on their mobile devices. Being mobile-friendly means optimizing your website for use on mobile devices and customizing the mobile experience.
You can also develop an app, which some people prefer to use over getting on a website. Plus, it helps to keep your company front and center every time they look at their phone.
Customer feedback and reviews are highly valuable. You need to interact with reviewers. Address concerns and show appreciation for good reviews. Make sure you take time to read them, so you know what is going out to the masses about your business.
You can sometimes even turn someone who leaves reviews often into a brand advocate. This is someone who essentially spreads the word about your business through telling others. It is a position born out of loyalty to your company, which is priceless.
If you want to create loyal customers, you must do what you can to improve the whole customer experience from start to finish. This means providing easy-to-shop stores and websites, giving special perks that show you appreciate them, providing valuable customer service, and going above and beyond to ensure they are happy.
A good customer experience comes from understanding what they do and do not like about shopping with your business. Take some time to learn about their pain points.
Adjust your business as needed to conform to what your customers want. When you can create a good experience, you can keep them coming back.
If you are starting to understand the importance of customer loyalty, then you should have no problem seeing why a customer loyalty program is an obvious step in your customer retention plan. These programs provide rewards when a customer shops with you.
Make sure that whatever you do as part of your program provides something your customers will want or need.
One way you can’t go wrong is by giving them a large discount on a future purchase. Not only is this valuable to them as it saves them money, but also it ensures they will come back.
The onboarding process is the initial interaction you have with the customer. It involves the shopping experience, the process of making a purchase, and after-sales support. This first experience will always stand out in the mind of the customer, so it must be excellent.
If you tell a customer that you will do A, B, and C, then you need to do all three. Never promise something you cannot deliver.
Ensure you quality check your products, train employees properly, and give the best experience you can.
Handwritten notes can be an amazing way to enhance customer experience. Most companies have worked to digitize everything, which means there is a lack of human-to-human connections.
People crave those connections, so receiving a handwritten note from a company you did business with is a huge thing. Your customers will notice, and it will impact their buying decisions in the future.
You can send out these notes to loyal customers or even new ones. Use them to say, “Thank you for shopping with us”, or to celebrate something special, such as a birthday.
You may not see an immediate payoff because you won’t be there when they receive the note, but there will be a payoff in the long term because they will probably tell their friends and family about the note, which gives you some free word of mouth advertising.
A handwritten note is one of those marketing tips that remind customers of your gratitude for them. Something handwritten will have taken more time and care than a digitalized version, and your customers will feel more appreciation for receiving it.
The problem with sending handwritten notes is that they can create a very time-consuming and costly addition to your business. However, there is a way you can maintain efficiency while also giving your customers a personal and heartfelt experience.
Using a custom mobile app such as Handwrytten can help improve your outflow. Your customers will still receive your appreciation, but you will use a streamlined process to do it. Most businesses don’t spend very much time on customerretention. But even if you’re not willing to spend more time on the customer relationship, you can still give them a personable experience.
Custom apps can help them feel looked after and appreciated while also keeping your process simple and affordable.
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