5 ways to increase customer retention
One of the major goals for businesses of every size is to increase customer retention. Providing a positive experience for your customers ensures they keep coming back to your business whenever they need the product or service you provide.
However, customer retention isn’t easy. Competition is fierce in every industry, and your customers have a lot of options to choose from. You have to implement specific strategies that align with your business goals and your customers’ needs to ensure they return time and time again.
5 ways to increase customer retention
Improve data collection
One of the most effective ways to increase customer retention is to get to know your customers. How can you find out what they need, what they like and dislike, and what they’re interested in?
The simplest way is just to ask them. That way, you have a clear first-hand account that’s more valuable than any market research report.
While manual data collection can be difficult, using data-collection forms can make the process more efficient. You can then analyze the data carefully to spot trends among your customers.
Once you have a clear idea of who your customers are and what they want, you can apply that knowledge to your operations to better retain them.
Ask for feedback
No matter the success of your business, there’s always room for improvement. Some of the best ideas for making your products, processes, and customer service better actually come from your customers. They’re on the receiving end and can often see situations from a different angle.
Providing customers with an opportunity to give feedback through surveys brings your business more insight into its operations. And that’s not all — when customers see the business actually taking their suggestions into account, they have a feeling of ownership. This can create loyal customers who return again and again.
Customers return to the same business because they trust it. They feel the business looks out for their needs, doesn’t try to take advantage of them, and genuinely appreciates their patronage.
However, if customers feel a business doesn’t care about them and isn’t interested in making them happy, they’ll head to a competitor.
The best way to establish trust is through relationships. Instead of being a faceless business, show customers you’re human too. Learn the names of important customers whenever possible, market to them with relevant promotions, and show them how much you appreciate them through rewards.
“Things can and do go wrong, but how you deal with this is key to prevent issues from snowballing into deal breakers. You need fast and responsive customer support,” says Ian Edwards, cofounder of BeeLiked, a provider of gamified incentive solutions. “So flip it on its head and make customer support your priority.”
Customers are bombarded with marketing material day in and day out across a number of mediums. From text messages to email and print mail to TV ads, they experience businesses trying to grab their attention everywhere they go. How can you stand out and stay top of mind as the best choice for them?
Being open, honest, and transparent is vital. If customers see you as spam, they won’t engage. If they see you as a business that tells the truth and has their best interests at heart, they’ll want to spend more time with you than with your competitors.
Overdeliver whenever possible
You’ve probably heard the phrase “under promise and over deliver.” This statement rings true especially when it comes to customer retention.
If you want to ensure your customers keep coming back to your business, you have to continue to exceed their expectations. This means going above and beyond in terms of your customer service, product value, and rewards programs.
“Send them a gift voucher or a personalized discount code, or offer exclusive access to new products. Whether the value is $10 or $100, these gestures will give your customers an additional reason to keep coming back,” says Edwards.
When you constantly surprise customers with perks from your business, they’ll want to find what you’ll offer the next time they visit.
Ready to increase customer retention? Remember that it’s best to use multiple strategies at the same time so you can appeal to a wider customer base and engage with them at multiple points before, during, and after the sale.