Strategies to help retain rather than gain customers

Posted in Customer relationship management.

It is always said that it is far cheaper to retain current customers than it is to acquire new customers. It is said so often because it is true. Current customers are easier to sell to than new customers, thus less effort and money needs to be put in.

That is not to say that new customers are not important but if you make the small amount of effort it takes to retain current customers and strengthen their loyalty, your new customers will benefit from it as well.

Under promise and over deliver

Exceed the expectations of your customer. If delivery of a product normally takes 3 days, quote them for a 5-day delivery and tell them that you will contact them if the product arrives sooner. This will be a welcome surprise for them. If you have the ability to provide a customer with a preview of a product or service, at no additional cost to them or to you, do so. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it, simply do it and you will gain goodwill from that customer.

Keep customers informed

This is a very simple way of keeping customers happy and avoiding any misunderstandings. If there is going to be a delay of any sort or a promise cannot be met, let your loyal customers know beforehand. Best case scenario would be to personally phone the customer instead of sending out an email. Should there be any kind of inconvenience caused for the customer, compensate by providing free delivery or an additional service.

Offers for regular customers only

Your customers are more likely to stay with you if they feel like they are special to your company. Set up a loyalty program or run competitions that only regular customers can be a part of. Special discounts or once-off deals can also be made available. Also, a great way to help your business grow through current customers is to offer them a special deal should they refer a new client to you. Both you and the customer will benefit from this type of arrangement.

Provide previews

Give current customers a feeling of exclusivity or belonging to some sort of secret club by providing them previews of up-and-coming new products or services that are not provided to anyone else. These previews can also come with a limited time special offer or discount.

Show that you are grateful

Personally thank loyal customers when they make a purchase or use a service. This can be in the form of phone call, handwritten note or personal email. No matter the method of saying thank you, it must be made known that you are talking to them and it is not part of a mass campaign. If a customer brings in a lot of business for you, make an effort to send them a special gift of some sort. This will let them know that their business is appreciated and keep your company at the forefront of their mind for future purchases.

Involve all employees

It is not only management’s responsibility to retain customers but employees on all levels need to know that customers must be made to feel special and valued from the very first point of contact.

Employees need only to perform small acts of kindness for customers every time they are involved with them, whether it is in person, over the phone or via email. Something like a call to make sure that everything went smoothly with an installation is a good example. The small things eventually build up and form a deep relationship with a client.

Discover unique wants and needs

Sometimes customers may feel like they are just another number. One of the ways to avoid loyal patrons feeling this way is to make an effort to discover their unique wants and needs. This can be helpful to you in the long-run when developing new products or services, and the customer can see that they are being communicated with in a personal way.

Open feedback channels

Make sure that customers always know that their feedback is welcomed by your company and listened to. It would be even better if customers could visibly see the fruits of the feedback they have given in the customer service you provide to them in the future. Customers enjoy feeling like their opinion matters. Don’t wait for customers to come to you with this feedback, it may never happen. Ask them outright what they would like to see, what they feel could be improved on and what complaints they have.

Stay connected

Let your customers know that you are there. With so many options available to consumers nowadays and many other businesses vying for a customer’s attention, you need to make your presence known. Remind them of your products and services. Remind them of why they chose to use you instead of someone else. Remind them of the things that you provide them you’re your competitors do not. Do not rely on customers to automatically come back and give you repeat business on their own; you need to work to ensure that they return. Be proactive to stop competitors luring your customers away.

Using the Onsight electronic product catalogue allows you to see clients face-to-face, become more engaged with them and connect on a more personal level. This increased level of engagement will be one of the keys in retaining loyal customers. Find out more about these and other benefits of using the Onsight mobile product catalogue.