Before you start nurturing your customers, you must always remember that it’s easier and more cost effective to retain existing customers than it is to gain new ones. However, it does not mean that you have to stop marketing to find new clients, but you must focus on nurturing your existing customer base in order to encourage repeat business and increase sales. Here are a few ways you can do so.
New Product Offers for Early Birds
When you plan to launch a new product, keep your existing customers informed along the way. As a result, you will see a boost in sales of the new product you have launched by providing early customers a number of promotional offers to your existing customer base.
Be in Touch with Your Customers
You may not plan for a new product any time soon, but it is critical to be in touch with your customers so that they do not forget about you. You can do this by sending them links to innovative services and products you have discovered which are developed by existing suppliers, or links to articles your customers might find interesting.
80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.Five Customer Retention Tips for Entrepreneurs by Alex Lawrence
Follow-up with Your Customers
If potential clients choose to buy from you, it’s critical that you ask your clients about their product or service experience. However, you must give your customers time before they can make proper judgements about their experience. Therefore, you need the customer feedback to create and offer better goods and services in the future.
Write a “Thank You” Note
Never miss an opportunity to actually think about your clients and surprise them with unexpected notes. Such surprises will encourage your clients to keep on buying from you because people love the feeling of getting more than what they paid for.
Organize Special Events
You might want to invite your loyal customers to special events that has everything to do with your enterprise. You must nurture them in this way so that they feel they are being prioritized, so they can trust you in the future to get them better deals. It’s good to invite them personally through phone calls or personalized mails. They will highly appreciate your gesture and remember you in the future. Moreover, word-of-mouth from such loyal customers will get you a bigger customer base of similar nature.
Prioritize Customer Service
It’s critical that you provide impeccable service to your customers who really add value to the success of your venture. It’s ideal to work on a ticketing system in conjunction with deadlines. Therefore, you are ensuring that customers receive proper services or feedback in the nick of time regarding their complaints or services.
Create Private Groups for Existing Customers
This is a wonderful way to thank your customers who are satisfied with your value offering. You may want to invite such customers to private groups on Facebook or a message board intended for them only. For you to move forward with your enterprise, such people will be invaluable to you and constant feedback from them will help you to develop better products and services. In the long-run, you are being informed about certain aspects of your business that will make growth feasible and sustainable.
You might think that in order to grow, you need to get as many new customers as possible, but this is far from the truth. Your existing customers are your biggest assets. They have the potential to become your biggest fans, suggest your products and services to others, and even become the element of repeat business. In the long-run, proper treatment of such a customer base means that they will stay by your side for years to come.
You have to nurture your customers the second they visit you. Yes, they may want to buy something but they also have the right to not make a purchase at the very last moment. You have no right to ask why and you cannot push-sell merchandise which they do not need. It’s wise to treat them well as good behavior is always remembered and such notions will bring them back if they change their minds about purchasing.
Furthermore, nurturing customers for many months or even years after you have made a sale will get you remembered whenever they need something that you specifically sell. These are invaluable customers who will bring you more customers through referrals.
Customer retention is one of the many critical aspects in business you cannot do without. Only focusing on gaining new customers or bringing new clients on board will deviate you from the actual need you are trying to fulfill. Therefore, you lose customers. You wander off to look for new clients while you fail to effectively manage your products and services.
This can be counter-productive at times. Selling to an existing customer base is far easier than to newer prospects. Entrepreneurs today fail because once they make sales to a customer, they completely forget about after-sales service. They tend to deviate from customer reviews and shift their focus on new customers. What is the point of doing business if these new prospects you have sold never return? You’ll be looking for customers your whole life if you do not learn to retain them.
Although it’s true that it’s a lot more exciting to look for new customers, what’s more important is security. You can expect to have a consistent return even if things go south. If your sales are unsustainable in any way, you will not have the cash flow to stay afloat when you are in trouble.
Therefore, you must learn about customer retention and this is how you do it. Bear in mind that nurturing a customer is similar to customer retention activities.
Do Not Underestimate Retention
If you are one of those entrepreneurs who do not think retention programs are necessary, think about how it will affect your growth prospects. This is because a 75% increase in profitability could be dependent on 5% of your existing customers, proven by Bain and Co. Also, statistics from Gartner tells us that 20% of your existing customer base will contribute to 80% of your company’s revenue in the future.
Attracting customers is great at certain intervals, but doing it on a regular basis increases costs to up to five times more compared to retaining an existing customer base.
Customer Retention Programs
It’s wrong to think that providing customers with the best quality service or goods is enough to keep them with you for future business. This is how you could aim to operate a startup, but you would do well only for a short while. You have no guaranteed loyalty from your customers. This is something that you have to earn consistently. Therefore, building a customer retention program helps you to track, identify, and tailor promotions to your existing customers who have the potential to become loyal buyers, and become a sustainable source of your company’s revenue.
For businesses who are service providers, a retention program may not be as critical from an early stage. Retention for services only depends on the support that is provided and the quality of service delivered. Customer retention programs are invaluable to businesses who only sell tangible goods.
Do Not Misread Your Clients
The only way you are heading south with your retention rates is if you fail to read your customers. This is a common problem for startups. A company could assert that they are the best service providers in the market, however in reality, only about 8% of the people may agree that they do so. These statistics have been provided by Bain and Co. from Harvard management.
You can easily misread your customers into thinking that you are being valued because of your company image. Although, in reality customers claim they follow social media pages of businesses for purchases and discounts only, and that’s it.
To prevent misreading customers, you need to study behavioral patterns of your customers and rely less on your predicted version of customer behavior. You can simply do this through web-analytics, as such a platform outlines customer behavior in the past and the present. This helps you to make an accurate forecast or create trends to predict their future behavioral patterns.
Customer Engagement Through Social Media
If you want to retain customers, talk to them, socialize with them, ask them how their day was, create an emotional connection!
The trick is to personalize your corporate presence and create a platform for your customers where they can ask questions. This is how you will slowly start to build traffic and momentum. You may have a lot of social media fans but its imperative that you engage with customers online. And don’t forget to set alerts that notify you about customer response. Therefore, it becomes a lot easier to reply to their remarks.
You will slowly start to gather insights about your loyal customers (followers) who are in repeated business with you. This way you can send them appreciation mails. You may add bonuses or incentives in such emails. This way they will know that the content is just for them. This elicits a feeling of being an important or a premium customer for an enterprise. Therefore, your social media can either be your worst PR nightmare or the most powerful advocates for your business.
Run Promotional Campaigns
This is one of the many ways you can keep your customers engaged. This means that an effective means of retaining customers is by keeping them informed about promotional offers from your company. Therefore, the key is to establish pander-free offers that reward your customers. So they feel good doing business with you.
With that said, a loyalty program is the best way to inspire repeat business.
Special discounts may also be an effective alternative because such tailored benefits can retain customers who show signs of defection.
On a personal note, simply being in touch with your customers can help express your appreciation and boost customer retention rates. The road to an effective attrition is being passive to customer retention. Businesses that actively participate in engagement activities can engage them better; therefore, meet the customer’s needs and preferences.
Education Based Marketing means to give customers what they want – advice and knowledge without requiring anything in return.5 Ways To Implement Education-Based Marketing by Steve Olenski
Are You Retaining Enough?
If you can name 20 people from your memory, you may be on the right track towards customer retention. Otherwise, you must ask yourself when was the last time you were in touch with your customer. If it has been too long you do not want to lose communication so you must engage them with incentives. This becomes another opportunity to speak to your customers.
You can do this by figuring out ways to personally connect to your existing customers. Then think about what you would say to a customer in person. Put them on a whiteboard and connect these statements to create a conversation. Therefore, creating such a mind map will help you to structure an email campaign to keep your clients engaged.
Today, business is all about deviating from the norms. Most businesses find it critical to deviate from the norms to actually get the customers to pay attention. You may want to reach out to your clients and teach your customers about new things. This can be easily achieved by automatically sending them educational video lessons, blogs, or even hosting a webinar. So remember to be connected with your audience to make your brand a lot more credible.