As a business owner, you’ve likely already heard the saying, “It’s much more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one.” And this isn’t just an old saying; multiple studies have proven that customer acquisition takes a bigger piece of the revenue than customer retention. Unfortunately, not many people focus enough on customer retention. According to Harvard Business Review, the average business loses half of their customer base within five years. By focusing on retention, you can prevent your business from falling prey to dismal statistics. Here are five ways you can add to your customer retention strategy:
Have Great Customer Service Protocols
Businesses should have multiple points of contact for their customer. You should be available online and via phone. And most importantly, you should have a detailed, comprehensive FAQ online to make it easy for customers to figure things out on their own. By making it easy for customers to make independent decisions, you save money on your end, and will make the customer happy. On average, customers won’t spend more than 15 minutes looking for a solution online before they take additional action, and this just further frustrates the customer.
It’s important to ensure that you have sufficient staff to support your customers in a timely manner. Once you notice you’re getting more orders, build out your customer team, and be sure to use software like Reed Group leave management to ensure your entire team, from department to department, is accounted for and customer service efforts don’t fall to the wayside.
Ask for Feedback
When dealing with customers, it’s important to be collecting feedback. Finding the reasons why a customer stops engaging with your business is even more important than collecting great reviews. Request constructive feedback from your customers to hone in on what you can to do improve. Customers will also appreciate your concern for their experience, and simply be appreciating their feedback, you can retain customers you would have otherwise lost.
Make the Customer Feel Valued
Every customer that makes a purchase should feel valued. As you grow, you’ll notice it’s more difficult to add a personal touch to emails and other materials, but there’s always a way. Early on, you can send personalized emails that demonstrate that you value their business. Simple, underused strategies a long way towards making your customer feel appreciated. For example, any comment, inquiry, or complaint should be answered right away. Smaller businesses can also go as far as sending snail mail. Discounts and special offers, delivered straight to their inbox, are also helpful.
It should be noted that you should have a great CRM system in place to help you keep track of every customer that you interact with. CRMs make it easy to keep track of different segments of customers and better address them during sales calls or email discussions. With a full history of everything that customer has ordered or complained about, you can serve them much better.
Start a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program can go a long way towards retaining customers through incentivisation. A standard loyalty program is built in a way that it benefits both the business and the customers. First and foremost, a loyalty program can help differentiate your business from others. If you take a look at some of the best loyalty programs, you can easily see why customers engage with them. They’re easy to earn points and user-friendly.
Don’t Forget Your Employees
Many businesses focus so much on their customers that they forget the core of the customer service experience: the employees. Your employees are the brand ambassadors for your business. When they’re happy, it shows and seeps throughout every customer interaction, as well as the work your team produces. Employees that are passionate and engaged are willing to go above and beyond for the organization. They can deliver customer service experience that increase brand loyalty, and can better execute the strategies you come up with for customer retention.
According to one Gallop study, just 30% of employees are actively engaged in their work, and disengagement in the American economy costs up to $550 billion annually. Define your mission and values and give your employees a reason to care. Create a company culture that makes people excited to come into work each day, and you’ll be one step closer to cultivating a workplace where employees are invested in customer retention, as well as other areas of the business.