Customer Retention: How to Keep Them Coming Back
You can find a lot of advice from a lot of different sources about the best ways to keep your customers coming back. We term it “customer retention”, and when we talk about it that way, it sounds really important.
That’s because it is really important.
It is much less expensive to keep your current customers than it is to attract new ones. The best way to do this: make your customers feel important. Here are six specific ways to retain your customers:
- Keep them up to date. Let them know what’s going on with your company. What new products and services are you offering? What are you doing to give back to the community? When your customers know a lot about what is happening in your company, they can give you feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. This will help you to gauge the changes you’re making and whether they’re helping you achieve your goals, while at the same time making your customers feel important.
- Continue to educate. By making sure your customers have access to the facts about your industry and how to really get the most from your offerings, your customers will feel more satisfied. When they are satisfied, they’ll tell their friends about their great experiences with your company. This will help to continually reiterate the fact that they’ve made the right choice in choosing your company.
- Collect feedback. Surveys are one of the easiest ways of doing this, as well as sending out regular emails. By collecting data on what your customers do and don’t like, you’ll be able to make sure that you are giving them exactly what they want. There are dozens of examples of companies that announced upcoming changes, and then changed plans when they received customer feedback. For instance, Maker’s Mark recently announced a formula change in their product, and when they heard back from their customer base, they reversed their decision. So this is not only valuable to you, but it also makes the customer feel that much more important and want to stay loyal to you.
- Always say thank you. There are many ways to say thank you, but especially in the middle of the technology revolution, nothing says thank you quite like a handwritten card. When your customers receive a handwritten card from you, it makes them feel important, and in turn keeps them loyal to your business.
- Acknowledge and apologize for product and service issues. Be humble! This is a great way to make your customers feel important, and retain them even in the face of a problem. Acknowledge the trouble something caused the customer, then tell them what is being done to fix the problem. Then go fix the problem. You’ll retain customers because of the process.
- Reward loyalty. Obviously an easy way to reward customers is to give them coupons and special offers, on products and services that might go well with the purchases they’ve already made with you. Customer appreciation events also go a long way, like hosting a luncheon at the client’s location. The important thing is making the customer feel important so they will remember your company, and in turn keep choosing you.
Obviously, some ideas will work better for certain industries than others. But no matter what business you’re in, be sure to take the time to reach out to those customers you already have and make them feel important. The benefits you will reap will be so much more valuable than the benefits of gaining a one-time customer. Customer retention is truly one of the most important things you can do for your business.