Gaining a customer or two is great, but if you’ve been following along with us, keeping your existing customers is even more important. Did you know that returning customers tend to spend more? Existing customers are all too often taken for granted and can easily drift away, leaving business owners with no clue what they did wrong. Keep reading for some of the best customer retention strategies you can put into action today.
Inspire with a Mission
Having a great product or service is one big factor for success. But, having a greater purpose will drive your customers to stay with you beyond the first purchase. Casting a vision of what your company does is an important part of creating a loyal customer base. The belief that they are making a difference by using your products or services will drive people, especially when they already need a product like yours.
Communicate what your company is doing for the good of others and thank your customers for supporting you. You do not have to create a product or service around an altruistic purpose like TOMS shoes does. But, simply get creative with ways that your company can connect with a cause.
Use Gamification and Referral Programs
The nirvana of marketing is to have your customers do your marketing for you. Using gamification and referral programs are key components to achieving great retention. MeUndies came up with a genius way of encouraging referrals to help them cut down on abandoned carts. The company’s customers are offered a $20 discount and the referrals get 20% off of their first purchase. This referral-gamification program lets customers “nudge” their referrals who haven’t completed the checkout process. Presenting strong offers will empower your customers to become advocates for your brand.
Use Experiences to Elicit Positive Feelings
The old adage that marketers sell feelings and not products is true. Retaining customers is about creating and maintaining positive feelings associated with your brand. Branch outside of your specific product or service to create a positive experience for customers. Get involved with local events or offer exclusive in-store experiences to your VIPs.
Take these experiences an extra step by recording your experiences on video and share it on social media. What if your customers are remote? Try asking for short video testimonials or written testimonials that you can turn into images. The more you can get the word out about your actions the more positive attention will be shone upon your business and the more often customers will want to work with you.
Surprise and Delight
If your business follows through on every promise, you set a precedent that your customers can trust you. While trust is great, it’s not the only factor that will persuade them to tell their friends. You need to wow your customers to get them excited enough to tell their friends. Have you ever received an unexpected greeting or gift from a business that showed appreciation for your patronage? This is a great way to surprise and delight your customers, especially because it creates a connection that customers love and appreciate. In turn, they spread the news of their experience to friends and family.
Consider how your company can surprise and delight your customers. When they are more than just satisfied with their experience with you, you will have a customer for life.
Train Your Customers with Educational Emails
Did you know that sending email newsletters is still the most successful customer retention strategy? Email newsletters may not seem as flashy or cutting edge, but they are still considered a crucial and successful customer retention strategy.
Add value to your emails by making them sources of education. You can train your customers on how to use your product, inform them about the benefits of using your company or present behind-the-scenes videos and photos.
Thank Your Customers
Of course, reaching out to your customers and thanking them for their business may seem like extra work at first. But by doing this you’re showing them that it is more than a transaction and are building a real relationship between you and them.
At The Expressory, we have a custom approach for developing the perfect way to say thank you, this program can be anything from a thank you card, to a special gift for VIPs, or exclusive offers. The key is to build a lasting relationship with your customers.
Your customer retention plan will be unique to your business and will be dependent on your products, goals and physical location. Thoughtful communication with your customers never goes unnoticed. And that is why Handwritten cards that create memorable stories are a great way to reach out to your customer base.
If you’re considering building a retention plan, we are here to help! Why not start by getting your current efforts, or ideas audited today? Schedule your audit today and start building long-lasting relationships with your customers.