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You’ll have to consider a lot of things to ensure that your business continues to progress and remains on top of its game. Aside from seeing to it that your business offers innovative products and services to the market, you also have to look for top talents and scout for the best suppliers in your local area. In addition, you also need to help your business keep up with the latest trends.
While running your own business is challenging, earning loyal customers can make your life easier as an entrepreneur. Regardless if you own a small or new business, having loyal customers can become your ticket to standing out from the competition and hauling in more paying customers in the long run. Your loyal customers can also take your brand in places, enabling it to grow in other countries and expand on an international scale.
But, with the number of businesses operating in the world today – all implementing customer retention strategies – do you know how to keep yours loyal to your business? Do you have an idea on what kind of strategies to implement to keep them coming back? For you to come up with answers to these questions.
You may take these steps into consideration
1. Reward Their Loyalty
There are a lot of customer retention strategies available today. While some of these strategies are pretty new, others have been practiced in the industry for decades. If you’re looking for a strategy that belongs to the latter, consider implementing customer loyalty programs. This particular strategy will surely keep your customers excited and make them come back for more!
Depending on the size of your business and budget, you can implement customer loyalty programs that give out exclusive discounts or send out freebies to their homes. You can also partner with other local establishments and offer exclusive privileges to your customers.
For your customers to enjoy all of the benefits of loyalty cards and encourage them to repeat their purchases from your business, make sure that your loyalty program adopts a multi-channel customer service system, builds credibility through customer interactions, and delivers added value to all of its transactions. Your customer loyalty program should also offer perks that are unique, and which provides value to their hard-earned money. You should consider all of these elements when creating a customer loyalty program to ensure that you can meet your goals and avoid wasting any resources during the process.
These loyalty programs should be utilized by your business as a means to provide the best customer service; as a result, your business can attract new customers aside from keeping old ones.
2. Stay In Touch
Implementing the right marketing and pricing strategies will make it easy for a business to earn a sale. All businesses operating today have likely earned at least one customer from their efforts, but the true test of a business’s success is when a customer purchases from them more than once. This only means that customer loyalty is vital in the business arena, which is why you should focus on creating positive relationships with your customers. One effective way of achieving this goal is by continuously keeping in touch with them.
After a customer purchases a product or avails a service from your business, make sure that you devote resources into creating long-term relationships with them. As an entrepreneur, you should make your customers feel that they are valued instead of setting your sights on the next payment they’ll make.
One of the easiest ways to get in touch with your customers is to be more active on social media, send them a special incentive, or initiate regular communication, such as through email newsletters or product subscriptions. You can also recognize their birthdays online and send out gifts, or regularly ask for their feedback. You may also send them the list of your new products and services, or give out promos during their birth month. Staying in touch with your customers doesn’t have to be grand; instead, it should be consistent.
However, if you’re planning to implement this strategy to keep your customers for the long haul, make sure that you’re not going overboard. Keeping in touch is a common and accepted practice in the business arena, but being a nuisance to your customers can become the reason why they’ll patronize your competitors. When keeping in touch with your customers, it’s important to know when and where to draw the line. Remember, all of your communication efforts should be personal, meaningful, and have a purpose.
3. Improve Communication Channels
In order for any relationship to work and progress, all of the parties involved should learn to communicate. It’ll be challenging for someone to stay in a relationship if they don’t have any avenues to vent out their emotions, and the same remains true when it comes to customer retention.
As an entrepreneur, you should see to it that your customers won’t have a hard time reaching out to your business. Most adults have hectic schedules, which is why your communication channels should be convenient for all of them. Also, your business should implement more than one communication channel so your customers will have several options to choose from.
You can keep your customers by providing them with effective communication channels. These platforms will make it so much easier for you to market your products and services to your customers, and, at the same time, encourage them to reach out to your business.
Making the most out of social media is one effective way of fostering your relationship with your customers. Aside from being convenient, you can accomplish a wide variety of tasks using this platform–from answering queries to responding to both positive and negative feedback from customers. Regardless of the intention, you should always pay attention to your customers whenever they reach out to you through social media.
You can also encourage your customers to join your email list, or you may start a blog to allow customers to interact with your business, as well as to encourage reviews from them. There are a lot of ways on how you can improve the communication between your business and your customers. You just have to be consistent with your efforts.
4. Act On Feedback
You won’t be able to keep your customers if you just offer different communication channels to them. You should also make sure that all of their concerns are properly addressed, especially if they are sent on through social media. Acting on feedback is hitting two birds with one stone–you’ll be able to know how and where your business can improve moving forward, and you’ll be able to cater to any of your customers’ concerns at the same time.
For example, if a customer rants on their social media account how unsatisfied they are with your services, spend time to reach out and reply to their concerns. This is especially important if the feedback has been left public. Whether or not the accusation is true, disregarding this kind of post may put your business in a bad light. How can you keep your customers if you don’t even try to listen to their concerns? What do you think your other customers would feel once they see that you’re ignoring someone else’s rant online?
Although online platforms can help your business thrive, not being able to use these properly can also become the reason why you will shoo away old and new customers. You can prevent this from happening by acting on feedback. If customers express their dissatisfaction towards your products or services, sincerely apologize and recognize your mistakes. You can even offer discounts and freebies to frustrated customers to encourage them to continue patronizing your business.
On the other side of the coin, if customers use social media to thank your business, make sure to respond as well. A simple “thank you” will surely go a long way in making your customers feel valued and appreciated.
5. Know Your Customers And Act On What They Need
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Regardless of how financially capable your business is, if you don’t have any customers, your business won’t earn any profit and continue to thrive in the long run.
For you to keep your customers and ensure that they continue to fuel your business, spend some time to know them and what they actually need from your business. Your customers are different from one another, which means that using a one-size-fits-all approach will never give you the best results from your efforts. Also, using a generalized approach will only flush your hard-earned money down the drain and create a bad impression in the minds of the public.
For you to know your customers, consider segmenting them based on their demographic, geographic, behavioral, social, and psychographic data. You can use all of this information to create personalized offers and easily determine what your customers want from your business. With this information, you’re able to determine your customers’ behaviors, as well as come up with products and services that fit their needs.
If the gathered pieces of information suggest that your customers are generally male adults, you could change your marketing and customer retention strategies in order to fit this specific audience better. Employing a more personal approach and offering customized services to your customers will make it very easy for you to please them and keep them coming back.
In addition, you can also know more about your customers by conducting interactive surveys, holding events (either virtually or in-person), conducting keyword research, and getting customer reviews. There are a lot of ways for you to know your customers better, and most of these methods either come cheap or are for free.
6. Focus On The Front Line
Regardless of your desire to keep customers, if the employees on the front line do not align with your goals, all of your efforts will be worthless. How can you keep your customers if your employees do not know anything about customer service? How can they best represent your brand if they don’t know how to treat customers properly? These behaviors can become the reason why you’ll lose your existing customers, and your business will eventually gain a bad reputation in the industry.
If you don’t want any of these to happen, focus on the front line of your business, such as the employees that are responsible for dealing with your customers regularly. Have these employees undergo an in-depth training, which can help them hone their skills on empathy, patience, adaptability, and communication. This might entail additional costs, but this is actually a smart investment you should consider making as an entrepreneur.
Most importantly, they should have the necessary knowledge on how to work on the front lines. They should be well-aware of the products and services offered by your business, as well as the most common queries raised by your customers. If your business sells products, they should be able to know how these things work, or the necessary steps for their successful assembly (if applicable). If you’re running a service-oriented business, the employees working on the front line should know the proper protocol practiced within your business to ensure transparency. They should also know other policies that concern the customers, such as returns, refunds, and warranties.
Apart from learning how to properly engage with your customers, your front liners also need to gain knowledge on how to build communities. Remember that the ultimate goal is to create professional and lasting relationships with these people.
Be Open For Changes
Regardless of the strategies you plan to use to keep your customers coming back, remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. For you to be successful with your efforts, you need to be consistent, practice these strategies regularly, and make necessary changes along the way.
It’ll be easier for you to keep your customers if you know the necessary strategies to use, and you have an open mind to make improvements in the future.