Customers and Loyalty!
How many times have you changed your mind on buying a product or a service because you didn’t feel as well treated by the company’s customer services? The same happens to your own company’s customers.
So, what is customer retention and what does it mean for your business?
For an already grown business, customer retention refers to how long your company is able to keep an existing customer. If you’ve heard that it’s much easier and cost-effective to focus on retaining your existing customers rather than marketing and finding new ones, that’s because it is. While for a new business, your two main goals are to acquire customers and retain those customers. These two goals remain constant as your organization evolves and grows because every business strives to build a loyal customer base. As you continue to grow, you need to make sure that your customers are happy with the service they receive from your business.
Therefore, both kinds of businesses (new and grown ones), the first step is to identify who your best customers are—the ones who buy from you most often or those who spend the most money with you—and determine what makes them different from other groups of people. What do they like? What do they dislike? How can you make them feel special?
Once you know what makes your best customers tick, it’s time to create targeted strategies that appeal specifically to their needs and wants (and make sure you’re also doing this for existing customers who aren’t considered “best”). After these strategies have been created, start implementing them immediately! Don’t wait until everything is perfect; instead focus on getting them off the ground as quickly as possible so that when things do go wrong during implementation, nothing major has been lost yet.
To that end, let’s take a look at which strategies will keep your existing customers happy.
1. Incorporate Customer Surveys
A customer survey is a great way to learn what your customers are thinking. In fact, it’s critical to stay on top of customer feedback so you can fine-tune and tweak your products, services, and customer processes. A great way to accomplish these things is to incorporate customer surveys on a regular basis. Surveys can be sent through the mail or emailed to new and existing customers. Don’t forget to include an area for customer suggestions and incorporate the good ideas accordingly.
2. Turn Customer Services to a Priority
Customer service is the most important aspect of your business. It’s what makes customers return and refer their friends to you.
Make sure all of your employees understand this concept, and let them know that customer service should be a priority at all times. When your customers receive the highest caliber customer service, they won’t even think of going anywhere else.
3. Use of Social Media
It’s time to get serious about your social media presence.
If you don’t have one already, create a Facebook and Twitter account and adopt a firm policy that no customer comments or direct messages will be ignored. Post daily and be sure to respond to people’s comments and messages promptly. If you don’t have a social media manager or someone who’s handling the social accounts, be sure that whoever’s handling your PR and marketing takes care of it.
4. Make sure communication lines are open
You should strive to create an environment that encourages customer satisfaction and feedback. Invite your customers to call or email whenever they have a question or concern, and try to respond quickly when you do receive a customer communication. In your response, aim to resolve the customer’s issue or find the best possible solution.
5. Incorporate a business blog
Content marketing is the best way to create a loyal customer base. It’s also one of the most effective ways to build your authority and increase brand awareness.
By incorporating content marketing strategies into your business, you not only become an industry influencer, but you also solve your customers’ problems. A business blog is a great place to start!
6. Stay on top of the industry trends
Keeping tabs on the latest industry trends is an important part of staying at the top of your game. To do this, you’ll want to attend industry conventions, read relevant articles and blogs, search the internet for the latest online articles on your industry, and subscribe to trade magazines. The idea is to be constantly learning and keeping your finger on the pulse. As technology evolves, don’t forget to blog about it and update your customers on the latest trends.
7. Pick up the phone
When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your company and lose sight of what matters most: your customers.
It doesn’t matter if they’re thrilled with your services or dissatisfied – it works in both scenarios. Use this as an opportunity to see if they’re happy and if there’s anything you can do to improve your product or service. You will receive useful customer feedback and they will feel like the valued customers that they are.
As a business owner, you know that there are countless ways to acknowledge and reward your customers. Whether it’s a small business or a large corporation, you can show your loyal customers how much you appreciate their loyalty by sending them a hand-written note, buying their office lunch, sending over a gift basket, or offering them a free product or service. Even without huge resources, there’s a lot that you can say and do to show your loyal customers how much you care.
9. Always deliver more than is expected
We believe in going the extra mile for our customers. You should always try to deliver more extras.
It’s a simple formula: when you go above and beyond what’s expected of you, it creates an emotional connection between you and your customer. It builds trust, loyalty, and rapport—and it makes people want to do business with you again.
10. Take each complain seriously and resolve them quickly
Customer complaints are inevitable. However, they can be an opportunity to improve your business and build your reputation. A business cannot ignore customer complaints because if they do, bad word of mouth can spread rapidly, and at the cost of existing and future business. It’s far more cost-effective to resolve a customer complaint swiftly than it is to allow a disgruntled customer situation to go unhandled.Customer satisfaction is the key to long-term success for business organizations.