Most business marketers today focus primarily on customer acquisition strategies to be able to remain competitive. However, customer acquisition must be augmented by an efficient customer-centric retention strategy to realize sustainable growth and long-term profits. An increase in customer retention rate by five percent increases business profits by 25 to 95 percent. Without this dual focus, businesses will continually suffer poor customer reviews, a damaged reputation, and reduced profits. Here are key strategies that a business can use to drive customer retention and realize long-term growth.
Customers always want to know that your business values them, and there is no other way to make this happen other than adopting effective communication strategies. One of the ways you can achieve this is by engaging them on social media platforms frequently. Customers can take advantage of these sites to air positive feedback or their dissatisfaction with your service. Respond to their feedback positively and provide solutions to their queries. Get personal with the clients by asking questions about your services, and this will build a stronger relationship.
Other effective ways of communicating with your customers are through one-on-one meetings and phone. While it may not be possible to do this with all your customers, you can employ it for your VIP clients. If possible, let all of them know that you value their opinion and ask what they need to enjoy your products and services. This can easily give you insight into your customer’s needs and also help you to retain them in your business.
Set Customer Expectations
If you don’t set expectations for your clients, they will set their own for your products and services. In most cases, a customer’s expectations will be higher than the business’ ability to deliver. Therefore, they will be disappointed with the service and move on to your competitors. By setting expectations a little lower than you can provide, you eliminate uncertainty as to the level of services you need to offer to satisfy customers.
Always deliver more than what the customers expect, and this will keep them coming back to the business. However, beware of setting very low expectations as this may reflect negatively on your business and the quality of services.
Utilize Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing is a great strategy for fostering trust and long-term relationships between a business and its clients. Rather than focusing on customer acquisition, the technique emphasizes on customer loyalty, retention, and satisfaction. In this case, a company maintains information about a client, their buying patterns, and contacts such as email addresses. This information is then used to reach out to customers for feedback or to provide useful insight that would help them in their future purchases.
One of the most efficient practices in relationship marketing is setting up emails campaigns. Email your existing customers once a month and inform them of any recent news or tips that could help them in the businesses. You can also provide a link to your blog where they can access more industry or product information. Find a professional email marketing agency that can help in delivering insightful and creative email marketing campaigns with positive results.
Personalize Your Follow-Ups
No matter how much energy you invest in customer retention, there’s bound to be a few valuable clients who may still want to leave your company. If you maintain information on consumer patterns and product usage, you can identify signals of customers impending departure. Leveraging such esteemed clients through personalized follow-ups is essential for long-term profits.
Call, schedule a meeting, or email these customers and find out why they are not purchasing from the business. Utilize proactive initiatives to prevent such customers from leaving the business. For instance, you can offer discounts on the next purchase or offer gifts. When employed strategically, personalized follow-ups can prevent customer losses.
Now that you have identified the drivers for customer retention, you can examine your business and determine where you have fallen short. Make the necessary changes, and you can steer your business to long-term growth and increased profits.