Growing a successful business leans heavily on customer service/retention success rates. According to Harvard University, customer retention is a set statistic reflecting how well a company keeps its paying customers over time. New customers are great, but maintaining paying customers keeps business flowing, and is essential for the success of every company.
1. Understand What You Stand For
Your brand is important, but does it have any backing? What holds it up, and makes your company successful every day? Customers will ignore companies that either stand for nothing, or don’t prove what they stand for on a consistent basis. Customers identify with a company that shares their values, such as the company that values kindness proven through excellent customer service. Create real-life connections with customers to connect with them on a personal basis, and customer retention has begun.
2. Prove “Before” and “After” for Your Customers
The most powerful marketing scheme is to show customers how their lives will change with your product. Show them what’s going on before your product, and how life improves after the product. Speak to the customer’s pain and frame a solution by understanding your customers, where they are currently, and where your product or service will take them.
3. Be Sure to Educate
Education is the forerunner of every product. Consider your own personal spending habits – do you purchase a product before understanding everything about it, its competition, and how it will improve your life? Your customers crave education, not only about a specific product, but also about the brand. For example, if you sell solar panels, hosting an educational class once a month for consumers to understand a part of the renewable energy market will push your company above others. Customers tend to return to a company that gives more information, because customers love to know as much as possible about how their money is being spent, and why they are spending it. Begin some sort of education module, from a simple blog, videos, or actual on-site classes, to cultivate customer retention.
4. Use Reciprocity
Return on investment reaches well beyond the warehouse. In this case, the investment is a discount or little surprise for the paying customer, and the return is customer retention. Reach beyond coupons with thank you notes, email offers, and personal attention to individual customers. You’ll build a relationship between business and customer, and create a devoted customer who comes back every time.
5. Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
Make sure your company is only delivering surprises that will retain customers – never unpleasant ones, such as running out of a product with no way to offer another product, refund, or other method of service for the customer. Additionally, make sure you have a proven method to solve problems that will deliver a fast solution to create happy customers. Problems happen; safeguard yourself against unpleasant surprises by having a backup plan.
6. Do Platform Research
Consider your demographic. What type of communication platform do you think they prefer? Some demographics prefer phone, others want 24-hour access to email. Still others prefer a direct chat line. If you’re unsure, consider using as many avenues as possible for a month, then monitor which is used the most. Focus efforts on that communication path for marketing and customer retention.
7. Get It Started
Retention programs, such as loyalty cards, are proven to work best when they are loaded upon acceptance. This means that the business has provided points on the card as soon as it’s presented to the customer. Even a simple hole punch on a points card as soon as the card is presented will create repeat customers.
Retaining customers takes effort at the start, but it’s easy once the programs get rolling. Keep customers coming back to keep your business moving seamlessly. If you’d like help to develop a powerful customer relationship strategy contact us today.