5 Ways To Boost Customer Retention
Everyone knows that customer retention is more cost effective than acquisition and that existing customers are much more likely to make repeat purchases than new ones, but is it really enough to make a sale and then cross your fingers and hope that that is enough to bring them back in? Absolutely not; you need to be proactive in getting your business back to the forefront of the customer's mind time and time again so they are enticed back to spend more money regardless of what you sell.
But how can you do this?
Look at your own inbox and see how often people email you post purchases and the newsletters they send out. What they doing when their communication lands in front of your eyes is prompting you to remember your engagement with them, and even if you don't do anything with the contents of the email, the sender will still be fresh in your mind.
Based on this alone, email marketing is still an excellent way of reeling existing customers back in with offers, new product launches, check-in emails, and general newsletters, keeping them updated with what is happening. If this follows an excellent experience with your company, you can bet they will open that mail and check out the contents.
Increased Payment Options
Sometimes, the only factor standing in the way of your customer returning to you or moving to another provider is how easy it is to pay and how they can pay. If you are limited with your payment options and only offer credit card payments, those who prefer to pay via Apple or Google Pay might be tempted to go elsewhere. This is applicable both for ecommerce and in-person sales. Using an ecommerce payment integration portal to accept a wider range of payment options can further support customer retention.
We're all familiar with loyalty programs, from the classic buy x coffees to get one free to climbing the loyalty levels and gaining points to earn more significant discounts and better offers; there is a model to fit all businesses regardless of what you offer.
However, to improve customer retention, you must personalize your offer. It's no good offering a generic discount or an offer of things they won't buy; you need to use their payment history to help you send personalized recommendations that will encourage them to make that next purchase. You can look at complimentary products and send out a trial size or freebie to see how it works with their current purchases; for example, if they order baked goods or baking supplies, you can offer discounts on serving utensils or even send one as a free gift that will be of use to them based on their purchase history.
Feedback and Improvements
Creating a feedback loop to help you make improvements allows you to get honest feedback on what you do and how you do it and use this to make any changes. What do your customers like and dislike? What can you change? Using this feedback loop allows you to keep customers informed of any changes you have made based on their input and new and improved services or products that will interest them.
The more the customer feels valued and listened to, the more inclined they will be to stay loyal to you as their needs are being met. Alternatively, use your existing customers' data to help you develop new products and services based on their pain points to bring new things to the market before the customer knows they need them.
Don't forget to close the loop by responding and keeping everyone informed.
Much like loyalty schemes, referral schemes work by rewarding customers. Except this way, they don't need to purchase to gain benefits; they simply need to refer people to you.
Generate a link or a code for them to give to others to offer them a small discount upon their first purchase and then reward the person who sent them your way. This allows your customers to help you boost sales and also earn something to spend with you for their efforts. Unlike an affiliate link where people earn money for referrals, you can use this to offer incentives that can only be used within your company, meaning they will likely use this to make repeat purchases.
The customer is always king where small businesses are concerned, so focusing on customer retention, will always be a better investment than plowing all of your marketing spend into acquisition.