It costs between 5 and 7 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Retaining customers helps you better predict your sales because you have an idea of what your customers will buy and when. Financially, it just makes sense to focus on customer retention.
So, how do you go about getting your customers to stick around?
5 Ways to Improve Customer Retention
By making your customers a priority every step of the way, you’ll be able to boost your customer retention in no time. Use these five methods to help keep your customers in focus.
1. Improve Customer Service
A lot of customers make their decisions based on the service they receive.
Customer service is a big reason why people will choose one company over another. Sure, they might check you out because you have a good selection and good prices, but they’ll still around because you treat them well. This is great for small businesses because you don’t have to try to compete with larger stores’ prices.
Unfortunately, customer service is also a big reason why people will leave a company. If you have terrible customer service, it won’t matter how good your prices are, you won’t be able to keep customers.
If you work on offering exceptional customer service every time, you’ll be able to hang on to more customers. You shouldn’t just meet your customers’ expectations, you should exceed them.
If your company makes a mistake, fess up to it. Instead of brushing it off or blaming someone else, take responsibility and make it right at no cost to the affected customer.
Personalize your customers’ experiences. Use a mobile point-of-sale (POS) system to keep track of your customers’ purchases. You’ll be able to learn more about their shopping habits, make recommendations, alert them to sales that will interest them, and even send them birthday cards.
2. Make It Easy to Buy Again and Again
If it’s easy to buy from you again, customers will.
If you have an online store, make sure that customers can create an account to save their shipping and billing information. The next time they want to make a purchase, they won’t have to retype their address and credit card number, they’ll just have to sign in and click “Purchase.”
If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, create a loyalty program to encourage customers to keep coming back. Make it easy to get rewards. For example, after 10 purchases, give your customer a 10% discount.
3. Don’t Offer Too Many Choices
If you offer too many choices, your customers could be overwhelmed. Instead of purchasing everything (your hope), they’ll end up not purchasing anything.
To help narrow down your customers’ choices, group related sets together. For example, pretend you sell four necklaces, four sets of earrings, and four bracelets. Instead of grouping the necklaces together, the earrings together, and the bracelets together, create a set with one necklace, a set of earrings, and a bracelet. Now, your customers can easily choose from four sets, instead of 12 items.
You can also help narrow down the choices by featuring items online or in your store. Your customers will be able to discover great new products, without being overwhelmed by the choices.
4. Use Email Marketing
Email marketing has excellent return on investment (ROI), and a regular newsletter will help your customers remember you. If your customers don’t remember who you are, they won’t come back, no matter how great their experience was.
When sending newsletters, make sure to make the content customer-oriented, instead of self-promotional. Segment your list based on interests, so each person gets helpful emails. Address your customers by name and include how-to guides and exclusive coupons.
5. Ask for Feedback (and Act on It)
Most people won’t volunteer feedback about their experiences with your company. Most dissatisfied customers won’t tell you, they’ll just leave – making you wonder what you did wrong. To try to catch disgruntled customers before they leave, ask your customers how you’re doing. You’ll be able to identify any ongoing problems and correct them before you start losing customers.
Ask for feedback on a one-on-one basis, like in an email. You can also allow customers to leave feedback anonymously, through websites like SurveyMonkey. People often are more honest with their feedback if their name isn’t attached to it.