Winning customers is an important step in growing your business. However, you need to continue to impress your current customers so they keep coming back. It is much cheaper to retain current customers than it is to find new customers. Here are the top 5 customer retention strategies for business owners.
Get To Know Your Customers
You must communicate with your customers openly and frequently. If you operate a brick-and-mortar business, make sure you are available and approachable. Chat with your customers to get to know them. Being personable is great. Remembering details about your clients will set you apart, impressing them and fostering loyalty. Customers want to do business with people they know. If you operate a business online, give customers a chance to enter their birthday when creating an account. Set up an automatic happy birthday email, perhaps with a coupon. The more data you can get from your customers online, the better you can market your business to them. Getting to know your customers is one of the top customer retention strategies that all business owners should be using today.
During your initial business planning, you should have examined your customer demographics and the marketplace. Use this data to create a product or service that is relevant to your customers’ needs. Make sure you have what your customers want by offering alternative solutions. A “one size fits all” business model rarely works well in a competitive market. Use the appropriate channels to communicate with your customers. While the use of social media is highly encouraged, many customers still prefer email and phone communication. Be sure this contact information is highly visible on your website. The exception to this might be the growing millennials generation, who adopt social media platforms rapidly. Keep this in mind if that is your target audience. Being relevant is one of the most important customer retention strategies.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service is one of the most important components when customers are asked about whether or not they would return to a business. An exceptional experience could result in some low cost, word-of-mouth advertising to your customers’ friends and family. It is best to under-promise but over-deliver in customer service. Keep in mind that speed is not always considered a plus. Some customers find it rude to be rushed through a transaction. Make sure your employees are offering exceptional customer service as part of your customer retention strategy.
Respond To Customer Feedback
In business, we want all customer interactions to be positive. The truth is, no matter how hard we try, we cannot always please everyone. Do not shy away from complaints. Instead, solicit them from your customers. Think of them as gifts. Only 4% of customers that have a bad experience actually complain. Most decide never to shop at your business again and you will never know why. If someone is wiling to complain, let them – so you know what you can do to improve. Most importantly, make sure you act on these complaints. Responding to customer feedback in a positive manner to improve their experience should be part of your customer retention strategy.
Know What Your Competition Is Doing And Do It Better
One of the most important customer retention strategies is having the best product or service available to keep your clients coming back for more. However, if you are not the market leader, find out what your competition is doing so you can improve. There is little worse than being told by a customer, “I am going elsewhere because your competitor does it better.” You might still lose a few customers along the way if someone else is outperforming you, but at least have an idea what they are doing. This way you will be better able to respond to customer feedback. If you have already wowed them with your customer service, letting a customer know you are launching a new product soon might be enough to convince them to stay. Knowing what your competition is doing and doing it better should be one of many customer retention strategies for a growing company.
Customer retention strategies are just as, if not more important than marketing plans for new customers. It is cheaper to retain customers than it is to attract new ones. This post details a number of highly effective customer retention strategies that all business owners should consider implementing.
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