Every business is all about building relationships with customers, or at least they should be to remain significant and profitable.
Sadly it does not simply end there. Since the key to a thriving business is:
- Loyal customers aka clients. Yes you heard it right.
Businesses spend so much time generating leads and bagging new customers that they get careless about existing ones – a big sales and marketing flaw.
Well in order to understand customer retention let’s begin with differentiating between a “customer” and a “client”.
Despite of being similar they are completely different in nature and can seriously impact your company’s bottom line, especially in the contemporary world.
A customer is someone who buys goods and services that you provide, once or maybe more, over a period of time.
A client is someone who is anyone under the patronage of another, a dependant. They buy your advice and solutions personalised to their needs and they are decedent on you based on your expertise, commitment and respect for their needs.
Sadly, most people fail to differentiate one from another, and this is where they fail miserably in turning prospects into loyal clients.
That undeniably is a lot of money gone from everyone’s pockets. How sad right?
“According to a post by Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It is also true that existing customers spend 67% more than new customer.”
If you lose a customer, you’ve wasted 7x the resources used in converting them and converting leads is hard as it is. Stay focused on retaining them and eventually you can meet the ultimate goal.
So let’s quickly go through a few strategies to curtail this problem of losing customers.
- Improve your key performance indicators when it comes to customer service and engagement : Response rates, Customer Conversion rates , Funnel drop rates, Actions per engagement, Communication frequency and repeat. REPEAT!
- Use automation to re-engage customers with quality content.
- Treat them as more than just business associates that mint money for the company. – Build a relationship and get as personal as you can.
- Identify VIP customers – Reward most profitable ones by giving offers and incentives.
- Personalise follow ups to the one’s from whom you haven’t heard in a while.
- Develop a communication calendar to make sure you’re doing enough to remind them of you.
- Schedule time with them to understand what their expectations are. Dig dipper and understand their visions and aspirations.
- Understand that customer expectations and satisfaction go hand in hand. ( They key being, don’t go below their expectation, ever).
- Understand customer complaints and resolve them amicably. A customer is more likely to work with you if you resolve a complaint in their favor.
- Don’t sell your services just yet , advice and educate! Study their product and envision their goal. Give them a new perspective and they’ll love it.
- Give them a surprise factor they weren’t expecting- An additional service or benefit.
- Over deliver on your promise, It will make them come back, always.
- Position around the before and after using your service world.
- Give them radical transparency as they can see through sales pitches – become trust advisors.
- Live webinars are also becoming the new big thing to educate and inspire customers, try incorporating them.
- Most important : Engage them with your content strategy, which leads to awareness, consideration and finally conversion.
Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise, try these customer retention strategies and you’d be surprised what the results can be.
In conclusion, it’s only fair to say that factors like customer engagement and retention are your defense in this world of aggressive customer acquisition. Play the two right and no one can beat you to it.