Top Ten Customer Retention Tips
Published: September 2013
Once you’ve managed to secure yourself some new clients you’re faced with the task of keeping them. North East Creative Design Agency Urban River offers ten handy customer retention tips for developing long lasting relationships.
1. Stay in touch
You need to stay in touch and engage with your clients on a regular basis so they don’t forget about you and always know where to come when they need you. You can keep in contact in a variety of ways; by phone, email, social media, face to face, whatever methods you choose just make sure not to overdo it. If you overwhelm them by making contact too often you’ll become more of a hindrance than helpful and they may end up wanting to stop contact with you altogether! Only get in touch when you have something relevant to say, for example you might have a new product, service or deal or some helpful tips that you think they’ll be interested to know about.
2. Beware of competitors!
Don’t get complacent and assume your long term customers will always be loyal and that they would never engage with one of your competitors. As a business they will always be looking for ways to save time and money and your competition will be hot on your toes ready to swoop and offer a better deal. Always be one step ahead, be attentive to your customers needs and don’t neglect them.
3. Get feedback
Obtaining regular feedback is key to the success of a healthy long term relationship with your customers. Find out what your customers think about your products and services, what they like, what they don’t and any suggestions they have for improvements to be made. You may wish to add a ‘suggestions’ area to your website where clients can provide feedback about anything they want such as their experience, functionality of the website or a problem they may have. Acknowledge positive responses and quickly address any concerns or issues by letting them know what you plan to do to make things better. When clients are aware that you are taking their thoughts into consideration it shows to them that you care and will increase chances of them hanging around to see the improvements.
4. Service with a smile
There is a reason why ‘service with a smile’ is such a popular phrase – because it works! Customer Service excellence is a contributing factor to high customer retention. The whole point of customer service is to create positive experiences for your customers in order to increase loyalty and long term partnerships with them. An optimistic and friendly approach with a smile can fully alter a person’s experience of a brand and their customer satisfaction. It reflects positively on your business and will result in outstanding customer retention.
5. Encourage loyalty
Loyalty programs can be a good way of encouraging customer retention. They give your customers a reason to keep coming back for more and it also provides you with information about their buying behaviour which allows you to meet their needs more effectively. A customer loyalty program doesn’t have to be complex and can be fairly easy to implement. You could start off with something simple like offering a free product or a discount after a set number of purchases.
6. Find solutions to problems
Generally customers hate sales people and being sold to so instead of adopting a pushy sales approach try thinking about what current issues your existing clients face and pitch a solution to their problems. Listen to your customers and provide advice on how you can work in collaboration with them to help them get what they want. This approach shows that you care about their needs and will contribute to customer retention.
7. Be memorable
Turn new clients into long term supporters by being memorable. Do such a great job for them that it makes it difficult for them to forget you! Also take the time to think about your branding and marketing as this plays a major part in whether a client remembers you or not. Does your branding stand out? Could your marketing be improved? Take into consideration how customers perceive your business, aim to set yourself apart from competitors and the next time your client has a requirement your company will be the first one that springs to mind.
8. Get personal!
You’ve heard the term ‘be a name not a number’, well make certain this is the case for each and every single one of your customers and a long-lasting relationship is assured. You can remember your clients in a personal way by sending them a card on their birthday or congratulating them on an anniversary, when they secure a new deal or when you see them in the press. It’s the little things that count, these small personal touches will not go unnoticed by clients and will strengthen your relationship with them.
9. Go through the archives
Contact customers who haven’t bought products or used your services for a while and find out why they haven’t been in touch. Has something gone wrong? Is there anything you could do to put things right? You’ll never know what they are thinking unless you make that call. It could just be that they haven’t had any requirements recently but it’s best to find out and if that is the case at least you’ve connected with them and reminded them where you are when they need you.
10. Keep track
Track your clients by keeping hold of relevant information such as their purchase history, feedback, meetings and call notes. These details combined will help you to understand your customers needs better which in turn allows you to determine what you need to do in order to keep their business.