Many say acquiring new customers is the hardest part of running a business. And, the belief is that once you get a lot of customers to purchase from your business, then your business will continue to be successful. However, that is not entirely true, retaining customers is even more important than getting them. You can grow your clientele by nurturing your current customer base. Positive feedback from your current happy customers can promote new customers. Do you want to build a loyal customer base and improve your customer retention? Read on to find out the 10 best strategies you can include in your marketing efforts to create repeat customers!
1. Engage on Social Media
Engaging with customers on your company’s social media platforms can greatly improve your customer retention. Customers want to know you care and they like to be acknowledged. Customers prefer alternate methods of communicating with companies than the typical calling of a customer service line. They will not call customer service phone numbers or email to get the information they require; they turn to social media for answers.
Almost everyone with a smartphone will have some sort of social media, whether its Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Because all these platforms are in the palm of their hands with many constantly checking their social profiles, there is a higher chance they will use social media to reach out to your business. In some instances, your clients might not be turning to social media for questions, but for compliments, complaints, or even just to have a conversation. Whatever it is, it is important to engage with your audience and make them feel that they are important.
Being active and responsive in a timely manner to your social media followers allows prospects and clients to feel that you care about them. When others see you responding quickly, and in a caring way, to your customers on social media, it promotes a positive customer service experience. This will improve your customer retention and help you learn more about your customers, allowing for a more individual experience for your customers.
2. Manage Complaints and Reviews
Managing your business’s reviews, especially the complaints, properly and in a timely fashion is an important part of customer retention. The way you handle your complaints can really showcase what your company stands for and how you handle any problems. Your company should always act like you care and are willing to get to the bottom of the issue. Everyone sees reviews, including current customers, new customers, and even potential customers. With the power of technology, most people look up reviews right on their phone. Everything on the internet is public and can be seen by anyone. So consistently addressing complaints shows others you are willing to try to help the situation, regardless of the negative review, if addressed properly.
Negative reviews can damage your company’s reputation and prevent new customers from purchasing from your business. But if handled properly, and resolved, they can improve your customer retention and can prevent potential customers from having a negative experience with your brand before buying. When managing your negative reviews, always address them by name and apologize for whatever the issue is. You should also follow up with a solution to the issue, a promise to resolve it, or a special offer as an apology. Including a contact number where the customer can directly reach you also shows the customer and others that you care and are trying to be personable. Your customers are the ones who pay you, so you should always take every complaint seriously in order to improve your customer retention.
3. Loyalty Programs
A great and fun way to improve customer retention is by using loyalty programs. By offering loyalty programs, it gets your customers involved, keeps them coming back, and shows that you value their repeat business. This is a way to reward your clients and gives them an incentive to continue to use your company.
Loyalty programs are probably the simplest way to improve customer retention and marketing of your company. This can be done with a “free” product after so many visits or purchases, frequent buyer discounts, or even a referral program reward.
4. Utilize a Texting Service
Another way to engage with your customers is to use SMS texting services. SMS texting is a cost-effective way to increase engagement and get information directly to your customers. This information could be anything from promoting a sale, a new product/feature, or just to reach out to the customer and checkup. Engagement of any kind, particularly something direct like a text message, can drastically improve customer retention.
Through SMS services, you can even send out customer satisfaction surveys for your customers to take right from their phone. This can help you get feedback and improve your customer’s experience, all while keeping them engaged.
5. Host Live Webinars to Engage Customers
Another way to boost your marketing efforts and get your clients more involved is by hosting live webinars. Webinars are a great way to boost online sales and help your target audience learn more about your company. You can educate them on your current or upcoming products and services, you can discuss your vision and plans for the company in the future. It is also good to hold a question and answer portion to learn what your company should be doing better, what your customers would like to see more of and improve your company overall through feedback.
There is something very personal about a live person speaking in real-time and answering questions directly from the customer. It gets your customers involved and makes them feel like you are listening. Hosting an event or live webinar can improve your customer retention rates.
6. Create Social Media for the User
Another great way to help improve customer retention is by creating content on social media for the audience. This can be done by creating discussion posts, blog posts, or even simple surveys through your social media platforms.
Writing a blog post is a great way to get your customer involved and engage with your company. It provides another method of communication to your audience and creates additional content. And in marketing, content is king! Creating more content drives more people to your website and can expand your customer base. This also improves customer retention because it keeps your current clients interested and engaged with your social media, made for the user.
Another way to engage your customers is by having discussion posts or surveys. This is when you are directly speaking to your audience via social media and asking them to voice their opinion. This can make your current clientele feel involved and builds trust. It shows them that you value their voice and want them to take part in the company.
Personalizing your communication with your clients can greatly improve your customer retention. A simple thing you can do to improve your customer service is by being personal with your clients. Using a customer’s name when responding to their questions or complaints shows you care and that you are trying to help resolve their specific issue.
Personalization can be used anywhere, social media, emails, phone calls, or even in-person inquiries. Anywhere where a customer contacts you for a question, complaint, comment, or feedback, should always be answered in a timely matter with a personal response. Even sending out personalized texts and emails to your current or previous clients gives your marketing a personal touch and makes your clientele feel special. Communicating using personalization immediately improves your customer service and can help your company increase retention rates.
8. Utilizing CRM Software
As previously discussed, we know that communication is key. However, businesses do not have the time to individually respond to all clients. A simple fix is to use Customer Relationship Management software, also called a CRM. CRM’s help companies manage their interactions with current or potential customers. CRMs work by a business with a full view of the customers’ interactions with the business. It can provide details like a profile, purchase history, marketing activities, and other behaviors. You can use this information to directly speak to your customers in a more personalized way.
Because you and your staff have easy access to customer data, you can find information about them that can help you anticipate and satisfy their needs. By using CRM software, your customer service and client contacts are answered in a much quicker way, which will be very well received by your customers. Using CRM software can help you improve customer retention rates.
9. Promote Trust
One of the most important factors when it comes to customer retention is trust. Earning trust from your clients is probably the hardest part of customer acquisition and retention. If your current customers do not trust you, they will begin to buy from your competitors. Therefore, promoting trust in your business is essential in improving customer retention.
Promoting trust does not just keep your current customers happy, but opens the door for new customers to purchase from your business. According to Forbes, “83 percent of customers will recommend a trusted company to others and 82 percent will continue to use that brand frequently”. You can promote trust in many ways, here are a few of note:
- Try to respond to all questions, comments, or complaints
- Always respond with respect and care
- Be personable
- Always follow through on your word and mission statement
- Try to always be honest with your audience, even if you made mistakes
- Always show you are trying to solve any problem that is presented as best you can
10. The Only Thing Constant is Change
If companies do not adopt new trends or make changes, they will eventually die out. Customers love new and improved products and services, but if you are not keeping up with your customers’ needs and wants by adapting, your competitors will. There will always be new technologies and new trends in any line of business and is vital to embrace it. Consistently updating your brand according to what your buyers want can help to ensure your business maintains a solid retention rate. If a new business comes up with a better product or a different, better way of doing the same service, you may need to review your business line and update accordingly. Observing the newest trends will help you grow your business all while keeping your current customers happy.