Here are the top customer retention strategies that are sure to help your business meet goals and hit targets.
A lot of businesses are losing customers lately and people are searching for the best customer retention strategies to help their small businesses stay afloat.
The importance of customer retention strategies and how they help a small business cannot be talked of enough, especially for business models that were hit badly by the COVID-19 empowered recession.
Granted, there are customers who should leave if your business would survive.
You know those customers who always want something to gain at the end of every transaction and would always point to error that would make them not to complete agreed payments after you complete a transaction of a project?
While it is true that some customers should be allowed to “knock on the next door”, it is of a great importance to carefully understand which customer is plainly dissatisfied and approach them carefully because they may just turn out to be deep pocket or high-ticket customers.
As your business grow, so should your understanding of a customer’s lifetime value increase so you would know how best to approach a set of customers and what different products or services to offer them.
To make sure we do not lose all our customers, this article has become important but first, let us try to understand (in simple terms) what customer retention strategies are and how we should make the most of them.
What are Customer Retention Strategies?
Customer retention strategies are a series of activities businesses use or employ to make sure their customers continue to patronize them so they can even profit more from them while serving them in the best possible ways.
The next step to business growth after product or service creation and acquisition is customer retention. Your ability to retain your customers always make the difference between a successful business and a failing business.
How do you retain your customers after getting them through the door for the first time?
The things you do or the strategies you employ to make sure those customers stay back with you is what defines customer retention strategies.
Why Do Customers Leave and Not Come Back?
The reason customers leave a business and never come back divides opinion as they vary from industry to industry and individual to individual.
However, there are some basic reasons why a customer may be compelled to quit your products or services for your competitor’s and this is also one of the strongest reasons why businesses never expand successfully.
Some of those reasons may be your (unnoticed) carelessness, bad customer service, bad or below-standard products, customer ego, and so many other reasons that may be peculiar to your industry.
Are your customers leaving gradually? Have you noticed that some of your notable customers are no longer patronizing you?
It usually is a painful experience when that happens but finding out why they left is a great step to retaining new customers or even to bring them back to you.
Customer Retention Strategies to Help Your Business
Have you noticed how some businesses you thought were going under suddenly survived and do well over a long period?
Customers are intelligent and sensitive people; they sense mediocre services and products from a distance.
About 50% of customers agree that if any business or brand they know offers the best quality products or services, they will purchase again. (Source: The Deloitte Consumer Review, 2017).
Let us consider in detail, the top 6 customer retention strategies your business should employ to make sure your customers remain with your business.
1. Keep Customer Acquisition Promises
How do you reach out to your customers?
This has become increasingly obvious these days but not many businesses give a careful consideration to this strategy.
Customers always keep in mind the promises you dish out in your marketing materials.
A huge percentage of your new customers walk through the door because of the benefits you outline in your marketing materials or advertorials.
What do you promise your prospective customers just to get them in?
It is never a good idea for a budding business like yours to make promises you cannot fulfil. This is one of the customer retention strategies you must keep in mind any time you are crafting a message for your business.
When you fulfil your customer acquisition promises, they build trust with you and as you consistently offer them the value they expect, they become your foot soldiers and ‘spread your word”.
2. Understand Customer Behavior
Understanding a customer’s behavior and buying journey with your business is one of the top customer retention strategies to employ these days with customers’ buying behavior constantly changing.
There are customers who believe they would always be right at whatever transaction stage they are with you as they interface with your business.
Your customer relationship staff should be appropriately trained to watch out for customers who always want to rip your business off.
Now, getting to know those customers gives you an edge that would help you interface with them better. This understanding would help you open them up to some of the reasons why your prices and business procedures are set the way they are.
A profitable communication with such customers would disarm them completely,
3. Personalize Your Follow-Up Messages
I do like the sound of my name! Don’t you?
One of the best ways to acquire new customers for your business is to create awareness and while doing that, always seek opportunities to personalize those messages.
A great example is the Coca-Cola campaign where they wrote some popular names on the containers of their soft drinks.
You’d always want to buy a product with your name boldly written on it, wouldn’t you?
In retention, always seek to personalize the text messages and email you send out to them; this accounts for the strongest ways to increase your email open rate by at least 10%.
As it is a great practice to reach out to customers, seek ways to integrate their names in such messages. If you can, personalize the seasonal messages you send to them, even birthday messages.
Such strategy makes a customer feel loved and remembered.
4. Always Appreciate Customers
Your customers are humans who thrive on appreciation; appreciate them!
If you can, give out bonuses, gifts, vouchers, or hampers seasonally. A simple handwritten “thank you note” would do so much magic when sending the products they purchased across to them.
Appreciation goes a long way to make a customer feel in control and that feeling of control would make them stay a little longer with you.
If done well, you can upsell or cross sell other products to them. This strategy works for every industry!
Without this, they would walk out of the door to your competitors where they would be appreciated.
5. Build Strategic Relationships with Customers
Gainfully networking with your customers is one of the best customer retention strategies for small businesses if the business must remain in play for long.
It is a good relationship with clients that would make them leave good reviews for your business even when they seem unsatisfied. A customer who knows that they have a somewhat beneficial relationship with your business would always tell good stories about your business and such testimonials would bring you more clients.
A strategic business relationship with your customers when ignored would make them walk out of the door any time without any sense or remorse.
6. Listen Attentively to Customer Feedbacks
Customers leave feedbacks; always!
Yours is to listen attentively with the aim to respond positively.
It is through feedbacks that a customer would tell you what they think you should pay a better attention to. It is through a feedback or complaint that customers would tell you what products do not meet expectations.
Sometimes, feedbacks can come in the shape of products not frequently bough or services not often subscribed.
In whatever form the feedback or complaint comes, always seek to act on it if you must allow your small business to hit the home run.
Final Thoughts on Using Customer Retention Strategies to Help Your Business
In order to remain longer in business and hit your financial goals, you must figure out the best ways to not only get in new customers but to retain them with the best customer retention strategies that can help your kind of business.
It make no proper sense to spend a fortune acquiring new customers only to let them leave without your notice.
Customer acquisition and retention strategies should be taken seriously to help small businesses grow and expand.
A customer would always love to be listened to, cared for, and appreciated.
The best ways to make your customers stay and not bother checking your customer out is to offer the best kind of services that are tailored to them in the best possible ways such that even if they try your competition, they would always come back to you.