Customer retention is valuable and essential, but you have to know how to do it correctly, and you have to be dedicated to building loyalty. It’s much less expensive to maintain a current customer as opposed to acquiring a new one, yet boosting loyalty isn’t a top priority for a lot of businesses.
The average business loses around 20 percent of its customers each year, just because they don’t emphasize building relationships. So what can you do to change this trend in your own organization?
Use a Mobile App
Mobile apps are great not only for getting new customers but for making sure you’re front and center with current customers. A mobile app can help make sure that customers consistently see your business where they are most often—their mobile device.
Apps are also perfect for encouraging customers to spend more money. There is a term called geofencing to encourage customers to spend more money.
This means that if they’re near your brick and mortar location, they receive a notification on their mobile device. You want to use notifications wisely, so customers don’t feel bombarded, but they are a great way to get to customers when they need you most.
Create a Formal Retention Program
Retaining a current customer may be easier than getting a new one, but it doesn’t happen on its own. Businesses need to have a formalized retention program that focuses on identifying current customers, tracking them and ultimately selling more to them.
Customer retention is one of the biggest revenue drivers for businesses even beyond customer acquisition and product innovation, so there needs to be a strategy in place. This strategy needs to be aligned with larger business goals, and it needs to be measurable. A retention program should be a top priority, and it should include marketing.
As a side note, a good CRM software system can be excellent to use in conjunction with a retention program because it allows for measuring all of the activities that surround the larger goal of customer retention.
Focus on Customer Service
For many customers, what creates a sense of loyalty is the experience they have with the people who work for your business.
Employees need to be well-trained, and they need to be engaged. That’s going to then translate to a better experience for customers, which in turn breeds more loyalty.
Businesses, even when they’re extremely small, need to focus on employee training and development initiatives that turn workers into brand ambassadors who are passionate about what they’re doing.
Finally, when you receive complaints, your business should try to view them as opportunities. It’s easy to feel defensive or ready to explain away a complaint but try listening to see where your business can do better. That kind of customer feedback is so important as you work to build loyalty. Don’t just resolve the problem with the customer (although this is important too), but integrate it into your other strategies.
You can go even further and regularly ask for customer options through surveys, polls or emails so that you can get a real feel for how you can make the most relevant changes that are going to be appealing to your current customers.