While we are out there looking for new customers it’s a good idea to retain the existing ones. Research has shown that these set of customers account for about thirty percent of a company’s total revenue. You can see how much customer retention can impact a business. The following tips will help you retain and maintain your existing customers especially the profitable ones.
1. Pay attention and follow up
The most obvious way to ensure customer retention is to prevent a customer from leaving.
And if you pay attention, you can always see the signals of your customers impending departure. All you have to do is to identify the key variables such as purchase patterns, product usage and service calls – Capture the signals and then put specific actions in place to stop your customers before they leave.
Let’s say you want to know how many of your old customers have not purchased anything in the last 6 months, which might be a sign of them considering your service or even bringing their money to your competitors.
First, create a list of all of your old customers, and then create a list of all sales made within the last six months or one year depending on which will work better for you. You can use a CRM software for this. By combining both of these lists, you end up with a list of old customers who haven’t purchased from you in more than half a year.
You can now follow up with these customers and find out the reasons why they were not purchasing and take steps to prevent them leaving your business.
2. Create high points in the customer experience
A few unique, low-cost initiatives can go a long way to delighting your customers and building loyalty. Think of the last time you received a welcome surprise, it is probably easier to recall than its unwelcome counterpart. Find milestones in the customer relationship and find ways to reward customers that they won’t expect. For example, imagine a customer orders their third shirt. Days later, they receive a tie of that match with a note thanking them for their business. These type of unexpected gestures of appreciation could go a long way to improve customer experience and offsetting the cost of the item many times over.
3. Target customers with special offers and time-limited promotions
The more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor your approach to each individual.
CRM software lets you view a customer’s purchase history so that you can determine what kind of offer will be most appealing to each individual and increase relevancy, which will keep your brand on your customers’ minds.
Let’s say you want to follow-up on the customers who showed their interest in your product, but haven’t bought anything from you. Identify ways to convert their interest into an actual purchase by offering them special discounts or some additional value to your product.
Top brands often present banners highlighting a time-limited promotion — visitors must complete the purchase within a preset amount of time, determined by the audience segment they belong to. In addition, you can automatically add the promotional gift card to the visitor’s cart and highlight the promotion during the checkout process.
4. Be transparent and honest with your customers
As a business, don’t hold anything back from our clients and work hard to establish a relationship built on transparency. Work out your customers’ accounts so they’re always able to look into the work being done and will always own the data. Find it important to have healthy, unambiguous conversations about ideas and strategies brought to the table. For most brands this translates to being open and upfront about everything from payment and return policies to any causes you support through your sales. In return your customers will appreciate you willing to do more business with you.
5. Reward your most profitable customers
Information gathered in CRM software can reveal which of your accounts are responsible for the most revenue. This information lets you budget your time accordingly and allocate resources where they will have the most return.
Let’s say you have a number of incentives to give away, so you would like to reward your most profitable customers to further increase their loyalty. Identifying these accounts can also help you develop strategies for cross-selling.
First, create a list of your most profitable customers. Again, a CRM software can help you here. Now, you can start to follow up and let them know about the rewards and incentives in order to make them feel special, so they continue being as valuable.
6. Scheduling time with your customers
The scheduling features in CRM software allow you to schedule follow-up calls or emails for you or let you assign follow-ups to your team. By doing this, it will help you to keep track of your appointments, and complete any future tasks exactly when you need to perform them.Since you are already reminded of the schedules, you will readily make efforts to keep them. Let’s say you have a list of customers that you promise to catch up with and update them with required information. You check your schedule and you see that you won’t be able to keep your promises to the customer on time. You can always assign some of your colleagues to follow-up on these customers and generate follow-ups to appear in their diaries.
7. Manage Expectations
Align expectations with your customers regularly. Keep in mind that they only know what you tell them. Over-promising and under-delivering is an easy way to lose credibility. Improving customer trust goes a long way towards getting customers to love your brand — so keep everything from product descriptions to promotional offers as accurate as possible. It’s even better to deliver beyond their expectation. This usually results in more loyalty.
We are all customers and love it when we are being chased by brands. The average human mind is wired to return favors done to them. That’s what we get with customer loyalty. These “little things” might just be what will keep you a while longer in business.