Strong customer retention rates can also drive customer acquisition through referrals.
When it comes to income, customer retention is hugely important to consistent growth and financial planning. The more committed customers you have for the next financial quarter, the easier it is to make budgetary decisions.
So, customer loyalty is key for your business success.
Simon Sinek says “Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or price to continue doing business with you”.
Why would this be? Simple people do business with people they know, like and trust. Most people and companies would rather stay with a service provider or product they know, like and trust than try someone or something untested even if it is a bit cheaper or promises better results.
We can use this for retaining customers by increasing the amount they know, like and trust us and our product or service.
The more your customers know about you and your business the better. This is all about familiarity. Most customers would like to get to know you better, especially if you want to develop a trusted relationship. Many think it is just professional service provides like solicitors, accountants, consultants etc. who need to do this but every business can benefit from creating a trusted relationship with their customers.
A newsletter is a great way to share more information about you and your business. You can also share information in your presentations, podcasts and videos as well as in one-to-one meetings.
It is a good idea to share a little about you in each contact like going to see your sports team play that week, going on holiday to France, enjoying a picnic with the family, attending a concert etc. You don’t need to go into detail but you should share things in passing so they get to know you better.
You should also share more about your business. An obvious one is to talk about your other products and services. This gives you a good chance to cross-sell. It is also good to discuss recent changes, welcome new employees, mention awards you have won and recognise those customers who have referred business to you.
There are plenty of things you can and should share. These all help with customer retention.
People tend to like people who like them. In other words, people will like dealing with you, if you care about them.
Care can be demonstrated in numerous ways:
- A thank you card- a handwritten thank you for your business card goes a long way to showing you care about your customers
- Unexpected and thoughtful gifts- these do not have to be expensive but could be a magazine or book you think they would like. It is the fact that you have thought of them which makes the difference.
- A “just checking-in” phone call- you give them a call to see how they are and how they are getting on with your product or service. This is not selling to them or about doing a survey. Your purpose is simply to show that you thought about them and decided to check in with them.
- Inviting them to lunch or dinner- this could be a one-to-one or a gathering of several of your customers or clients. Lunch or dinner takes little time and money to arrange for your best clients and such attention can pay dividends.
- Developing a rewards programme- every business should have some sort of rewards programme. You don’t need to promote this as supermarkets do but you should have some way to reward customers or clients who keep coming back to you. This could be giving them something extra, such as free products or an additional service, as a thank you.
Good client care also involves putting things right when they go wrong. Research shows that someone who has had a bad experience that has been put right is more loyal than someone who has never had a problem.
Why? Life is not perfect. Things can and do go wrong. Mistakes are made and things can get forgotten or overlooked. People understand this. What they want to know is what will you do to make things right again.
You can demonstrate care by showing that you will take responsibility and fix the problems or issues. So it is important that you deal with problems quickly and appropriately. If you go the extra mile in resolving the issue, you will probably earn a customer for life.
There are numerous ways to build and maintain trust. The most basic is keeping your word. So, if you say you are going to do something, then do it. This is why it is important that you don’t over-sell what you do and the benefits. Ideally, you would under-sell and over-deliver but you must, at least, deliver what you have promised.
It is important that you ensure your customer or clients get the benefits they want. This involves checking in with them for feedback after they have received your product or service and seeing how they are getting on. Have they achieved the results they want? If not, you have the opportunity to find out why and see how you can help them get to where they want to be.
If you would like some support in growing your business, then you are invited to contact us.