Keeping customers makes a very good business case but it is not always that easy. The downfall for many businesses is that they do not know even the basics of keeping their own customers. But why bother? What are the real advantages of customer retention?
There had been studies across a number of industries reveal that the cost of keeping an existing customer is around 10% of the cost in acquiring a new one. Economically, it makes good sense. By putting together a good retention strategy will lead to increases customer profitability because the longer the relationship, the lower the account maintenance cost.
Spreading the word on your offer
There are other associated benefits in retaining customers and having a good, lasting relationship with them. This includes the fact that long-term customers are more likely to communicate to others your business through verbal reference. To many, they are more likely to purchase products from a business that was communicated verbally over some business product that they do not have an idea of.
If the business is maintaining good customer relationship and keeping loyal and satisfied, this creates a more than happy workforce, with increased job satisfaction. In a simpler perspective, if the customer has been loyal to the company for some time, he or she will require less help and have fewer problems to deal with.
Making promises that you can actually keep
There is no foolproof method in how to. If there was, everybody would be doing it. Great companies that can boast success in their customer retention campaigns often have one thing in common – they actually have a great customer service. It is not wise and good to promise a customer the world at the initial meeting only for them to know that you do not have the manpower or resources to pull it off. As a business owner, you should make promises only that you can keep and be able to provide what the customer demands.
As would the greats will tell you, the first thing you need to do is look within. In this case, that means within your business. By employing staff who are enthusiastic and who actually know what they’re talking about will do wonders for the reputation of your company. How many times have you walked into a shop and asked for some advice, only to be met with a blank stare from the shop assistant? It’s frustrating if the customer contact person has no clue about what they’re actually selling – so staff training is key.
Communication is a primary requirement in keeping customers satisfied. It is important to listen to your customers and do not just interject your own thoughts just you would think that you are right. Your customers know what they want. Make sure that you communicate well, phone calls or emails would do. An employee newsletter is also an effective way of keeping your own staff informed of new products, good practices and changes within your own organization.
The tried and tested methods of customer retention also involve rewarding people for their loyalty and giving them something tangible. A real reason why they should come back to your business. In incentives could include free add-ons, discount vouchers or cards, special pricing and gifts for ordering trough a website.
Above all, keeping customers happy should mean that actions speak louder than words. A proven rather than promised commitment will put you way ahead of the competition.