Did you know that improving your customer retention rate by just 5% grows profits by a minimum of 25%? And you don’t have to complicate things to see results; a few simple tweaks to how you manage customer contact, service, and your brand’s reputation go a long way in increasing customer retention.
Set up a communication calendar
After the first purchase, consumers look at multiple variables to decide if they’ll continue doing business with you. While some of these factors exist outside of your control, you can still create an environment that keeps things in your favor with one simple tool: a calendar.
Scheduled communication, whether email, phone calls, or even personal visits, make customers feel valued, eliminate doubts they may have about your company, and keep them informed on how you can serve them. Set up a preliminary schedule to touch base with customers during various stages of the relationship, from an initial welcome message to checking in shortly after the first purchase, as well as personal, ‘just because’, messages and information on sales and new products and services. Then, adjust the schedule as you see what works and what doesn’t. The result is a personalized yet manageable series of interactions that keep customers on the hook.
Implement proactive, not reactive, customer service
No matter how diligent you are in developing products and services, training your staff to deliver exemplary customer experiences, and effectively managing customer engagement, sometimes things go off the rails. Anticipating these issues and getting ahead of them minimizes customer frustration, anger, and abandonment.
Small things work wonders: adding a banner to your site when you’re experiencing checkout issues, shooting customers an email when your product is temporarily down due to upgrades, and posting on social media about your store closing due to weather or renovations. These proactive steps let customers know that you are doing everything possible to be there for them, and actively working to provide superior service and products.
Become their go-to person
Let’s say you offer a similar product or service as another company in your area or industry. Price points are comparable, as are marketing budgets, quality, and staff experience. How do you keep customers coming to you instead of your competitor? Make yourself, and your business as a whole, the expert in your field.
Customers constantly look for that one thing that sets a company apart from the rest, and trusting the expertise of the business they’re working with is a relatively surefire way to make that business stand out. Create forums or social media groups where you answer questions about your industry and provide advice, send out useful content to your customers, and take the time to discuss the ins and outs of your product or service and how they can be used to best serve the customer’s unique needs. The key is to never approach these interactions as a sales opportunity; your goal is to help, and prove to your customers that you are the one they can count on.
And finally, while email is a stunning tool, sometimes it lacks that human touch today’s consumers crave. One of the simplest customer retention initiatives you can implement is picking up the phone or heading out onto the sales floor and talking to them. This gives customers a voice and face to tie to your business, making them even more likely to keep coming back.