How to Increase Retention
The most successful businesses out there know that customer retention and customer satisfaction are closely linked. When you create a company culture that provides strong customer value, retention becomes much easier. Many businesses get stuck in an “I will do what I want” kind of mindset. Creating a culture where everyone is accountable to provide value to the customer ensures that they feel engaged and can enjoy the benefits of a great customer service culture.
Another key to increase retention is to provide value for your clients. As soon as you start a new job you need to make sure you always have things to give your clients that will enhance their experience with you. The more valuable your information is, the more likely it is that your clients will be willing to refer you to their friends and coworkers.
Give your clients more than just great information. Include some birthday cards along with your informational resources. There is nothing more powerful than a business, giving out a gift on their birthday’s. For example, if you send out a birthday card with a gift certificate for a future workshop or seminar, you will gain great client credibility.
Use customer relations to foster communication and build retention. Customers love to get personal with someone who is personally involved with their dealings with a company. The more involved you are, the more likely your new customers will tell others about you. One great way to foster good customer relations is to plan events in your community to meet with your target audience. Host newsletters to alert your customers about changes in your company. Offer discounts or special promos to loyal customers.
A simple way to keep customers coming back for more is to develop a social proof system for your company. Social proof is an effective way to tell customers if they will like your product or service. Have you ever bought something only to find out it looked different online or in person? This is social proof. If many people feel your product looks and feels different, many people will tell others.
Be honest and make sure you provide all the relevant information. When you give away information, make sure you provide information that is accurate. If you are not fully able to offer your customer’s specific needs, they will lose faith in your company. One of the main keys to keeping loyal customers is being honest. Honesty is one of the most important keys to developing an honest and strong customer retention strategy.
The power of testimonials is increasing customer trust and loyalty. Be sure to post and distribute your company’s testimonials on your website, in your ads and on brochures. Many times we are given free stuff to review – do not leave this as a freebie, give it away. Testimonials from happy customers provide credibility and can increase the perceived value of your product or service. Provide these testimonials throughout the entire year, not just during sales cycles. Testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to retain your valued customers.
Clients love to be heard! An honest and clear feedback process is key to maintaining good client relationships. Providing honest feedback is also a great way to get honest feedback from new customers. A simple “hi, how may I help you” or “hi, how may I help you with…” can make a customer very loyal to your company and will increase retention.
A happy and well-trained sales staff has a positive effect on the retention of both current and future clients. If your staff is untrained or over-worked, they will lose their edge and be more susceptible to sales pitches. If your staff is not knowledgeable and/or not well-trained, many people will be concerned about working with them. This can have a domino effect on your entire retention strategy. An organized, talented and knowledgeable staff will lead to happy and satisfied clientele who are more likely to become repeat customers and acquire new customers.
There are many ways to keep track of your retention strategies and data. One of the easiest ways is to keep track of the cost per sale and the ROI (return on investment) of the different acquisitions. When an acquisition is successful, keep track of its acquisition cost, the number of clients acquired, the cost of retaining those clients, and the ROI. This information can be invaluable when making important business decisions such as merging acquisitions and merging with other businesses.
Some companies choose to focus on identifying existing customers rather than new customers. However, this decision makes little sense if you’re trying to increase customer acquisition cost. Existing customers have no value added tasks that can be easily and cheaply duplicated by new customers. Any tasks which can be performed by new customers can be performed by existing ones at no extra charge. Keep track of your customer acquisition cost and its ROI.