Stepping into the world of business has no doubt myriad benefits. But it involves equal risks and challenges in the path to an established brand and name in the market. The first thought that comes to the mind of entrepreneurs is how to get customers for their business.
But the feigning strategies of marketing, advertising and reaching out to the customers do not make sure that they will stay loyal to your brand and business.
On the other hand factors such as good customer service, understanding customer expectations and suggesting the right product at the right time to help your business stay in hold of your precious customers.
So, if you are worried about your departing customer, here are 7 proven customer retention strategies that you must swear by:
Surpass the customer satisfaction level
Businesses need to be alert to any changes in customer buying patterns as most customers may remain silent about any negative experiences. In such cases it is advised to deliver the best customer service by going an extra mile for your invaluable customer.
Keep in touch with your customer by writing to them once in awhile or sending them small tokens of appreciation. This shows that you really care for them.
Listen to your customer’s requirements carefully and demonstrate good values while dealing with them because your customer service is representing your brand in the market. Customers today see right through gimmicky attempts to flatter them. Instead, they want true expressions of your gratitude.
Understand their expectations
Apprehending customer expectations are the most valuable thing if you want to retain your customer. There are chances that your products come with specified delivery duration, quality benchmark, after-sales service and so on.
Try to make less promises regarding these and doing your best to exceed the customer expectations. Customers do have long memories for negative experiences, which is why it is advised to under promise and over deliver.
Make sure that you focus on providing value to the customer and their life and not just hardcore selling your product.
Richard Branson has correctly said, “The key is to set realistic customer expectations and then not to just meet them but to exceed them- preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
Listen to your customers
Needless to say, listening to the customer is one of the most basic things that you can do for customer retention. Listening imparts the impression that you actually value your relationship with the customer. It also demonstrates your patience and tolerance as a business.
Try to understand your customer and what they want from your company while listening to them. Also, take down notes if necessary.
Automation comes to the rescue
You don’t want your customers to discontinue doing business with you, once your first sale is made. Of course, you want them to stick back and return. Automation as a tool helps much in accomplishing this task of customer retention.
Businesses have claimed to have a higher return of customers when they started using customer relationship management (CRM) software for their companies. This helps to keep all of your customer information in one place and be ready with them at the appropriate time.
So, if a customer calls you regarding an issue, you can add this information in the software that will make it easier to understand in the next correspondence. Automation lets you do more for your customers without consuming a lot of your time.
Focus on personalization
Personalization is like the need of the hour. Customers don’t like to know what you are telling everyone else around. They are interested in knowing about the special things that you have in store for them exclusively.
Personalization focuses on this aspect. Companies claim to have an increased level of customer retention after practicing personalization in their marketing strategy.
Personalization basically helps the customers know that your business cares about them and values their relationship. Have a personal touch in your conversations by asking them about little things, just like a friend would.
Target customer appropriately
Targeting customers is a statistical and tricky task where many businesses fail. No doubt that the demographics available to a business on account of the market research are huge, but the need is to focus on the right people and not get lost in trying to please everyone.
Remember that you cannot please each and every customer; you just need to focus on those who are relevant to your business and product. A big part of the proven customer retention strategies is to concentrate on the smallest and the most accurate audience possible.
Let’s take most of the money we would’ve spent on paid advertising and paid marketing and instead of spending it on that, invest it in customer experience/customer service and then let our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth. Tony Hsieh, Zappos.
Learn from your customers
Never forget to learn from your customers. The worst customer retention that a company can practice is on their unhappy and extremely dissatisfied customer. The more time you devote in trying to retain them, the more harm you are doing for your business.
The best solution would be to make it easy for your unhappy customers to leave and learn from this experience. There is no better tutor than experience, so you dig down deep to find out why your customer left and try implementing these changes in your company to avoid such situations in the future.
Justin Butlion illustrates, “Before you consider implementing any new ideas for improving customer retention, it’s a good idea to dive into your data and see which cohorts of customers are being retained and try and learn from it.”
Retaining a customer is an art to master that not only help businesses save a lot of revenue, but also contributes to their long-term success.
It has also been correctly said that, “Customer service is what you and your organizations provide. Customer loyalty is the result of the customer service.”
So, businesses should entrust their legendary services to the customer such that the customer feels more than happy to stick with the business and not ponder anywhere else in the market.