Acquiring a new customer is just one part of your business strategy; turning them into a regular customer is quite another. Although new customers buying on a one-off basis have their place, the customers you retain for a long period will become advocates of your business; they will tell others and leave positive reviews. Customer loyalty only happens when you give them value for their money. Otherwise, they are likely to go to a competitor.
Here are some killer customer retention strategies you can consider for your business to reduce churn.
The most important customer retention strategy is to offer exceptional service to your customers. If your customers feel that they are getting real value from your company, they will return to you time and again. This includes responding promptly to their queries, ensuring you are always courteous to them, and that you deal with any issues they have. Exceptional service is one in which you go the extra mile for the customer. Ensure your staff are trained in providing customer service, and that training is ongoing. Customers should be able to reach you quickly; they should not be stuck on the phone for hours waiting for their call to be answered. Your website also should have a live chat facility and DM or comments on social media should be responded to quickly.
A loyalty programme involves offering the customer extras, every time they make a purchase. For instance, an extra drink after six purchases, or a cheaper deal for taking out a subscription. It is common for coffee shops to offer loyalty programmes. You might also find personal trainers offering a discount for buying 10 classes, as opposed to one. These are examples of offering the customer a benefit in return for their loyalty. Starbucks offers quite an extensive loyalty programme, where you can collect stars in exchange for free coffee.
Who doesn’t love a gift? Not enough companies offer things like this, even mobile phone companies who are charging you a lot of money throughout their contract. If you do surprise your customers with a gift, you will be ahead of your competitors and well on the way to improving your customer retention. It doesn’t need to be anything lavish; it can even be some company merchandise or stock you aren’t about to sell.
Everyone likes to feel that they are part of a group, and what better way to increase your customer retention than to invite your customers to be part of a community. You have probably seen a lot of gyms and personal trainers that have Facebook groups, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a community, no matter what type of business you are running. Communities are a good place to provide valuable content, give your customers a safe space to talk, and also an opportunity to sell your products or services.
Although automating some of your processes is vital to providing a quicker, more efficient service to customers, a personable approach should also be added to your process. Ensuring your email marketing campaign contains the name of the customer is a good start and having a general chat with your customers when they phone you can be beneficial. You may also want to consider sending them a small gift on their birthday or at least saying ‘happy birthday’ via email. You can automate these processes so that even though they seem personable, you won’t need to remember any dates. Your content should also be aimed at your target market. For instance, if you are selling products for young children, your target market is parents, so make sure your blogs and articles are aimed at this demographic.
Customers want to feel that you care about their experience with you. They will be more likely to stay with you if they feel that you value them and you want to improve what you offer. Asking customers what they think of your products or services when they make a purchase will go a long way to help you to build customer retention.
Discounts and special offers
Don’t just keep your discounts and special offers for your new customers, make sure these apply to your current customers too. Businesses tend to focus only on enticing new customers when actually, those customers you retain are much more likely to buy more from you. If you have a customer that has been using your services or buying products from you for a while, offer them something to reward them for their loyalty. Money off vouchers here and there will increase loyalty with your customer base. It is something most businesses fail to do, so if you do it, you’ll already be ahead of the game!