Simply put, customer retention entails keeping as many customers as possible. It begins with a client’s first interaction with your business and continues throughout the lifetime of the relationship.
In this article, we’ll look at five effective techniques to increase client retention, loyalty and transform existing customers into brand ambassadors:
- Manage expectations
- Maintain top-of-mind awareness
- Maintain customer communication
- Implement great customer support
- Implement customer rewards programs
First impressions are important, but if a prospect already has expectations, make sure they are manageable. You want to wow your customers, but if you promise more than you can give, a prospect or client will quickly abandon you.
Prospects will likely believe you can’t supply what they need if you establish expectations that are too low. You need to offer high-quality performance over the long term while maintaining reasonable, realistic expectations by:
- Not making exaggerated claims
- Understanding and focusing on what really matters to clients
- Being aware of your limitations
- Being open and honest
- Being adaptable in terms of timing
- When your plate is full, be honest & say no.
Maintain top-of-mind awareness
You know how everyone commonly refers to chewing gum as Chappies. That’s because the Chappies brand is so strong that when someone wants a piece of gum, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Can I have some Chappies?.”
Top-of-mind awareness is a metric that assesses where your brand ranks in the minds of consumers. Being top-of-mind isn’t only handy; it’s also necessary. When it comes to communicating with a prospect, sales professionals have a 50% better probability of converting the opportunity when a brand has a high top-of-mind score. The more well-known the brand, the more likely the general public will purchase their product or use their service.
It is critical to build tactics that engage both your potential and existing, customers on a consistent basis. Some effective techniques to develop your brand and maintain top-of-mind awareness with your customers are:
- Don’t wait for your customers to ask for it; instead, proactively provide value to their lives and solve problems for them.
- Create meaningful human interactions.
- Send regular product and business updates to your customers.
- Check up on your customers on a regular basis without becoming overbearing.
- Personalise your marketing and communication.
No matter how far you get with a customer, don’t jeopardize the connection by focusing purely on the next prospect. Maintain meaningful connections with all customers, even after a sale has been made or a project has been completed.
Maintain customer communication
Even if your customers aren’t coming to you, you should be proactive in reaching out to them. If your clients haven’t connected with your brand in a while, reach out and re-establish your relationship. Consider using a communication calendar to manage client encounters and create upsell and cross-sell possibilities. It’s important to continually make your customers feel recognised and valued.
A communication calendar is a document that records customer communication. It shows you when a customer contacted you last and alerts you to when current clients haven’t connected with your business in a while. This makes it simple to roll out promotional offers and proactive customer support solutions before customers disengage. For example, if a customer’s membership is about to expire, you can send them an email informing them that their account must be renewed and the benefits of doing so.
A Marketing Automation, or CRM, platform can help streamline the task of delivering personalised, proactive customer messages at scale.
Implement great customer support
Fast, reliable & accurate customer service will make the largest difference in your company’s success. Look at ways to use technology and Artificial Intelligence solutions to help your support and service staff to offer better support to your clients.
Chatbots: Using chatbots to solve simple inquiries can assist in shortening the time it takes to respond to queries and issues.
Respond quickly to customer complaints: The longer you wait to answer, the more irritated the consumer becomes. This is very damaging to a business’s reputation. When you reply quickly and fully to a complaint, even if the customer is still irritated, it demonstrates that your support team cares and takes significant and thoughtful action.
Answer questions with enough information: If someone asks you a question you thought was apparent, take it as a sign that it might not be that clear after all. If they ask you a question you’ve previously answered, you might not have answered it properly or clearly enough.
Implement customer rewards programs
By creating a client loyalty program, you can offer rewards to individuals who have been with you the longest. This encourages existing consumers to continue buying with you. Your CRM system can assist you in identifying your company’s most valuable clients.
For example, airline Frequent Flyer programs provide miles, points, and other forms of recognition to their passengers. Another example is offering unique, personalised, discounts to your most valuable clients. Putting in place a loyalty rewards program is an effective (and automated) strategy to keep consumers since it benefits them on a continuous basis.
Your rewards program does not need to be complicated. A simple stamp card with discounts always does the trick. You can always use a simple program, to begin with, while you continue to prove the value they offer to your customers. There’s also the option to outsource a more advanced rewards program. Companies like Yoyo Group can help you set up, manage and facilitate your loyalty programs.
While there are many ways to keep your customers hooked on your business, it’s important to consider the techniques you use to maintain those relationships. Long-term customers are almost always more profitable and buy more regularly than new ones. Neglecting your existing customers in favour of continually acquiring more clients will lower your profitability and eventually leave your sales funnel empty.