You’ve been putting a lot of time and energy into finding and attracting new customers. That is how you grow your business, right? Well, not entirely. While new customers are important, repeat customers are the ones who really contribute to your bottom line. Existing customers are 60 to 70 percent likely to buy your products or services while new customers are only 5 to 20 percent likely. Furthermore, it costs your business less to retain customers than attract new ones. This means you need to use proven customer retention strategies, such as the following:
Put Customer Needs First
Customer service doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated; usually the easiest tactics are the best tactics. Listen to what your customers are telling you and find the best product or service that suits their needs. Be polite, attentive and helpful in every step of your sales process. Once you’ve made the sale, ask your customers for feedback on the product or service, their experience in your store and any changes that need to be made. Take in everything they have to say and see what you can realistically improve. When your customers feel that you genuinely care about them, they are more likely to return.
Automate What you Can
Your efforts shouldn’t stop once your customers leave the store if you want them to come back. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) software program to keep all of your customer information in one place. Keep notes on your regular clients, set reminders to email or call customers when it’s time for their next appointment, and send automatic emails or letters when you’re having a big promotion or anniversary. CRMs let you do more for your customers without taking up a lot of your time. Many of them also can sync with your website and accounting to help you keep all of your information in one place. To get started, use a consulting service to make sure everything is automated correctly.
Have a Personal Touch
If you have a lot of client meetings over the phone or in person, it’s important to have a personal touch. Ask what they did over the weekend and what they like to do. Make a note of this information and be sure to bring it up during your next conversation. You can do the same thing for regular customers in your store. Instead of sending out form letters and emails, add a personal touch for your customers. Go the extra mile to show your customers that you care about who they are as people, not just the dollars they bring to your business.
Tell Them About Your Customer Service
A great way to improve customer retention is to let your customers know what you’re doing for them. While you don’t have to be cocky or in-your-face about it, let your customers know they are your top priority. Whether you tell them about a loyalty or rewards program or you tell them about the improvements you’re making based on their feedback, they should know how important they are to the success of your business. You can tell your customers in a newsletter, phone call or in your store about what you’re willing to do to make their experience the best it can be. When your customers know you’re going beyond the call of duty, they’re more likely to appreciate the effort.