Doors are opening, people are talking and you have a stream of customers flowing through. Sensational!
Now that you have a customer base it’s time to ensure something just as important: you keep them.
Repeat customers are the backbone of any stable business, some say 80 per cent of your revenue comes from 20 per cent of your returning customers.
Here are 13 customer retention nuggets to help ensure you keep on rolling.
1. Long-term engagement
Engage with your customers over the long term. Don’t be a flash in the pan; a business that interacts with and cultivates on-going communication will create long-term customer relationships.
2. Personal relationships
Relationships are key. Make them personal. Learn individual names and get friendly: the more personal a relationship the more your customers will be tied to you.
3. Be remarkable
To be re-markable is to be so good your customers will repeatedly remark about you. Outstanding and remarkable customer service is like super glue: customers will stick.
4. The care factor
You may be able to fake some things, but caring is definitely not one of them. Genuinely empathize, help, and show your customers that you care. Sprinkle this with honesty, integrity, and transparency and your customers will also care about you.
5. Give them what they want
The surest way to retain your customers is to keep them coming: they will keep on coming if you offer them what they want. If you are losing your customers ask yourself what the competitor is offering that you are not.
6. Be responsive
It’s rude not to respond. Bad customer service is like a repellant, good customer service is attractive. Be ever-responsive to your customer’s needs.
7. Go above and beyond
Customer retention is built upon customer satisfaction. Ask yourself what is normal in your industry and performing above the norm.
To go beyond expectation is to let the good vibes roll and by over- performing and under-selling, you create what I call a ‘grace bank’: room to move when genuine mishaps occur.
8. Get strategic
Implement a customer retention strategy and do so from the start. Think about how you can create a step by step sales funnel for the long term consumer. You can think with the end in sight and implement strategy from first contact.
9. Wow, wow, wow!
Wow your customers. Really wow them. They will return. What can you offer in your product or service that will make jaws drop? What about post-service? Here’s a hint: gifts of chocolate or hand-written appreciation notes can win you customers for life.
10. Be a tracker
Don’t get weird with this and start stalking your customers. Track your consumer’s habits (including spending and other) and record it in a database. Acquire software that tracks your marketing efforts. By knowing what isn’t working you can invest into what is.
11. Grow bigger ears
When is it a time to listen to your customers? Always! Listen, listen and listen some more. Be in though social media, in –person, or in genera your customers are telling you enzactly what they want and how they want it. Make sure you have ears on all levels that can hear and implement accordingly.
Don’t you hate it when you phone someone and it goes to voice mail? Don’t you hate it even more if they don’t get back quickly, or at all? Your customers will love you if your quick on follow-up (generally any more than 24 hours is too long)
Your business is bigger than you are and you need a well-oiled mechanism that caters toward customer retention. Implement a retention culture from the top-down and bottom-up and you will find the revolving door no longer works: they’re staying!
Craig Merrett is a serial entrepreneur from Adelaide, South Australia. Along with co-founder Dan Clarady, the duo is revolutionising the home service industry with tech site www.bookah.com.au.