HOW TO RETAIN CUSTOMERS FOR IMPROVED PROFIT IN 2022
Acquiring new customers requires a lot of marketing and can cost you a lot of money. Studies show that obtaining new clients is more expensive than retaining existing ones. So, your top priority as a business owner is to build long-term consumer relations.
Your recurring customers are key to business success because they are 5 times more likely to purchase more from you than first-time clients. They don’t need a lot of convincing because they trust your product or service.
Use these tips to retain your customers for life and grow your business.
PROVIDE EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE
The best way to retain your customers is to provide great service. So, make it your goal to exceed expectations and get clients to favor your business over the competition.
People need to know that they can rely on you and that you can cater to their needs. So, treat every client like they were your last. Do exceptional work, meet deadlines, and over-deliver.
If you offer a certain service and agree to get the job done in a month, finish the task a day or so earlier. If you sell particular products and do home deliveries, use the right packaging, make sure all items arrive in one piece, and always deliver on time. You can also take it a step further and offer free shipping. Doing this shows that you are not only concerned about making money but care about your customers as well.
Look for ways to outshine the competition and prevent clients from seeking business elsewhere. Offer unique services that customers won’t find anywhere else. For instance, let’s say you own a digital marketing agency, offer free SEO services for a year to clients who continue in business with you for 3 to 5 years. If you sell merchandise, offer a 50 percent discount to loyal customers or first-time customers who order in bulk to ensure they return.
Know your competitors to identify their weaknesses, improve where they lack and provide the best service to your clients.
Be dependable and transparent. Your consumers need to know that they can trust and depend on you. So, present the right image on your marketing material and don’t mislead prospects. Make sure you do everything that your promotional content says you will when someone engages in business with you. If you write on your website that your customer support is available 24/7 and will respond to inquiries within 24 hours make sure you do precisely that.
It is better not to make any promises at all than to give the wrong impression because that is how you lose trust.
OFFER A ONE-STOP SOLUTION
This is by far one of the most effective ways to hold on to your buyers. Offer a one-stop solution and provide complete services to clients. For example, if you offer web design and development services provide hosting as well. Tell your customers that they don’t have to go elsewhere to register their domain names or pay for web and email hosting because you offer the ultimate solution.
If you own a clothing store and sell women’s clothes, start a departmental store. Sell men’s clothes and infant clothes as well. If you sell sporting goods, consider offering exercising equipment as well. If you own a bookstore, cover all genres and make sure you have the latest books and ones from the olden days. The goal is to provide the ultimate solution to your target market.
Look for ways to diversify your offer and make it more appealing to consumers. If buyers know that you can meet their needs, they will stick with you and not even look at the competition.
Use giveaways or free 30-day trials to attract first-time customers and get them to buy. Upsell existing clients and attach freebies or discounts to inspire action and retain them. For example, let’s say you have different packages for a specific service and want a client to upgrade to a higher plan. Offer a 30 percent discount for the entire year when they upgrade.
Cross-sell and get people to buy more from you. For example, when a customer walks into your store and buys something, recommend a similar product. Mention what and how they will benefit from it. If the customer shows interest, highlight all the benefits, talk about the most interesting features, and convince them to buy. If they don’t show any interest, don’t persist. Thank the customer for engaging in business with you and ask them to return. Hand over your brochure or anything else that has your promotional content on it.
If you have an online store, cross-sell via email. Ask customers to subscribe to your mailing list. Recommend products based on recent purchases.
SEEK CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
One of the main reasons why businesses lose clients is that they don’t seek or listen to customer feedback. You want to know what customers think about your business and how they feel about your service so you can evaluate their overall experience. So, seek customer feedback and listen to it.
Ask each customer you get to rate and review your product or service. Ask them to share their opinions on relevant social media pages or your website.
If no one responds or you get fewer responses than expected, run a 2-minute survey. Go through your mailing list and ask customers to review and rate your service. Keep your questions short and to the point to ensure everyone completes the survey.
Some of the questions to ask are; “How long have you been in business with us?” “Which product or service did you recently pay for?” “What is your experience with our service?” “What is one thing you love about our brand/service/product?” And “Would you consider engaging in business with us shortly?” If yes, why? If no, why?
Use the information you gather to improve your offer and the customer experience.
Establish effective communication channels to keep up with client inquiries. Improve your customer support system to strengthen relations and provide the best overall experience to clients. For example, add live chat to your website or blog. Offer email support or make it easy for customers to reach you via calls. Choose what’s best for you.
Be easy to reach and send timely responses. Choose the right people to deliver customer support services. Select people who are passionate about your brand, understand your business and enjoy working with people.
Make it easy for customers to find your contact information. Add your contact details on your website and relevant social media platforms.
FORM MEANINGFUL RELATIONS
Nurture existing relationships and focus on forming meaningful relations with customers to build trust and loyalty. Use content marketing to connect with prospects, first-time clients, and long-term customers at a personal level.
Share free and valuable information around your niche to boost engagement and strengthen relations. Launch a blog and use it to curate and publish high-quality content. Doing this helps you build industry authority, attract the right audience, convert leads into buyers, nurture existing relationships, bring extra value to clients, build trust, and retain each customer you get.
So, come up with an effective content strategy and use it to connect with your customers. Identify common problems and offer solutions. Identify customer pain points or needs and cater to them. Use your content to add value to their lives and keep them coming back.
Share content they are interested in to boost engagement and encourage ‘shares’ and ‘likes.’
Pick a niche and become the ultimate source for specific information. Share the latest industry trends, updates, and news.
Upload different content formats to attract attention and keep your audience engaging with your content. Upload complete guides, how-to guides, listicles, comparison articles, infographics, and so on.
Add images and videos on your content to pique interest and get more clicks.
Upload educational content to help your customers understand your product or service better. Ask them about their challenges with your product, service, or website, and create content that helps them meet those specific challenges.
Create a FAQ or frequently asked questions and answers section on your website to make it easy for customers to find the information they need.
Share promotional content and advertise your new offers, upcoming promotions, available discounts, new product launches, and so on.
Leverage email marketing. Build a mailing list to form meaningful relations and constantly stay in touch with customers. Email them educational and promotional content. This way, you don’t have to worry about customers who didn’t read your latest blog article or ones failing to keep up with uploads.
Create interactive emails to retain attention and inspire action. Add calls-to-action to take subscribers to desired pages and encourage them to engage with the rest of your content. For example, if you are sharing promotional content and want your readers to purchase your new product, add a ‘Learn More’ or ‘Buy Now’ button on your email. Add your website or store URL as your link.
Personalize your email for the best overall experience. Use the subscriber’s name when writing your emails. Find out what they recently purchased from you and thank them for it. Doing this shows that you care about your customers.
BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The best way to identify and keep up with customer demands is to constantly engage with them. So, use social media to achieve that. Create business pages on different social media channels and be active on all of them.
Monitor and respond to every comment or question you get. Send timely responses to show your customers you value them.
There is a lot you can achieve through your social media pages. For example, you can form meaningful relations with prospects, strengthen existing relationships, help consumers connect with your brand easily, and identify recent customer needs or challenges.
Use your profiles to study customer behavior and promote offers that cater to their needs. Use built-in monitoring tools or third-party software like Snaplytics, Reputology, Keyhole, Google Analytics, Mentionlytics, and HubSpot.
Pay attention to customer needs, recent challenges, and complaints. Address concerns and provide practical solutions. Show that you are concerned about helping your customers mitigate challenges, solve problems, and receive the best experience.
Consumers prefer sharing their experiences with your brand on social media. So, use that to your advantage. Go to the comments section on each account to learn how clients feel about your brand, a recent purchase, or your customer service.
Focus on positive comments and negative ones. Build on the positive. Use negative comments to improve your offer and cater to customer needs.
Appreciate all positive comments and address negative but constructive ones. If a client complains about a certain order or product, apologize for the inconvenience, offer a solution, and assure them it won’t happen again. The goal is to show buyers that you appreciate and value them.
Don’t be defensive when you receive offensive comments. Think about other people who may want to do business with you in the future and remain professional. Respond politely or ignore the comments.
The best thing about being active on social media networks is that it ensures customers don’t forget about you and makes it easy for you to retain them.
BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY
One of the most effective ways to retain customers is to build loyalty and encourage them to do repeat business with you. Customer loyalty is key to reaching your sales goals and growing your business.
Recurring customers are your greatest brand ambassadors. If they are happy with your service, they will not only seek more business from you but recommend your services to their networks.
Start a customer loyalty program and reward buyers based on specific actions they take. For example, reward every client who remains in business with you for 4 years or one who buys your most expensive product or package. Offer discounts or free service for a certain period to influence buying decisions and inspire action.
Advertise your rewards program on various social media channels. Talk to your YouTube subscribers about it. Mention it in your promotional emails. Blog about it and feature it on your website.
Be creative. Offer interesting rewards to pique interest and get people excited about joining the program.
A great way to get people to join your rewards program is to offer cashback. For example, give $100 to every customer that spends $800 in 30 days or 60 days.
Celebrate your recurring customers to build loyalty. Feature them on your social media pages, website, or blog. Talk about their journey, how long they’ve been your customer, their experience with your brand, and how your business has benefitted them.
Share accurate information. Approach 4 or so happy clients and ask them to talk about their overall experience. Make sure you mention that it’s for marketing purposes. They will be happy to help.
Once you get the information you need, post it on various platforms.
Celebrate your customers to show how valuable they are to you and encourage them to continue doing business with you.
Send Thank You notes, gift cards, or personalized emails to first-time clients to ensure they don’t forget about your brand and encourage them to seek more business in the future.
Start an affiliate program to hold on to existing clientele and also grow your client base. Ask loyal customers to join. Offer exciting and valuable rewards to pique interest and get them talking about your brand. Pay them on commission or every time they bring in a new client.
CREATE A SUBSCRIPTION BUSINESS MODEL
Start a subscription-based business to offer convenience to your buyers, retain customers, and also ensure steady cash flow. Subscription business models allow you to sell a service or product and receive monthly or yearly recurring revenue.
Create a subscription-based business or offer to add value to your customer’s lives and strengthen relations.
The best thing about subscription models is that they cater to various needs, are low-cost, and allow buyers to pay small amounts of money over a certain period instead of a large sum at once. That alone brings convenience to customers and guarantees sales.
The best way to succeed is to set goals. So, determine why you want to start a subscription business in the first place and let it guide you in creating an effective pricing strategy. Do you want to acquire more revenue? Do you want to attract prospects and retain existing ones? Perhaps you want to ensure faster growth? Whatever your goal, specify it and use it to create attractive offers.
Next, determine how you are going to structure your subscription service. Are subscribers going to pay you monthly, every 6 months, or yearly? Consider your offer, your audience, and your goals.
Focus on the billing process and decide how you are going to receive payments. Offer different payment methods to give customers the flexibility they need.
Start a client retention program to build loyalty, strengthen customer relations, and grow your customer base. Some of the best client retention programs to consider are loyalty programs and customer onboarding programs.
Best of luck!