Customer Retention is Not What You Think It Is
How to Cultivate Customer Loyalty
I am sure you have heard time and time again, it’s easier (and cheaper) to keep an existing customer, rather than finding a new one. Many businesses are consumed with chasing new customers and often neglect the customers they already have. Improving customer loyalty is a key component in business today. Think about it from the customer’s point of view. If you feel neglected, you will probably leave and go where you can get more attention and better service.
Don’t save all your goodies for new customers. Show your existing customers a little TLC by showing them priority over chasing new leads. Maintaining your existing account is the most important job for account managers, and showing appreciation and extra attention will go a long way and may lead to:
- Positive reviews of your business
- Opportunities to upsell.
So, how can you accomplish this? Simply follow this list of customer retention strategies.
Customer Retention Strategies
1) Don’t Overpromise and Under-Deliver
Only offer a customer something that you are sure you can give them within a timely manner. You’ll be better off not to mention a set delivery date and deliver tomorrow than it is to say you’ll deliver tomorrow and then don’t. Remember, never back yourself into a corner; this just puts a target on your back and negatively affects customer retention rates.
2) Be Memorable [For the Right Reasons]
Customers tend to remember positive and negative experiences more distinctly than average day-to-day ones. Go the extra mile. Be helpful, courteous, and polite-even if it is just additional advice or extra information about the product or service they are buying or interested in buying.
3) Stay Connected
Make sure that your customers don’t fall off your radar. Keep in touch monthly, whether it be a report, company newsletter, or an update on exciting industry news. It’s a good idea to stay connected with them via Twitter, LinkedIn, and any of their other social profiles.
4) Listen Up
When you don’t listen to your customer’s needs, you risk losing the potential sale or their repeat business. Active listening will help you learn more about them, their business model, and their expectations. It will also help you identify their KPIs (key performance indicators), so you know ahead of time what metrics they’ll use when determining the success of your campaign.
5) Don’t Argue with Customers
Even if you’re right, somehow, you’ll end up being wrong. Control the conversation when you and a customer have conflicting views. Letting your emotions take over could potentially create friction later down the road, so instead, let them offer their opinion and present logical arguments. If they insist, make sure they understand the possible consequences of doing it their way and be prepared with solutions should it go wrong.
6) Send a Card
Your customers are not likely to forget this kind of gesture. The more personable you can be, the better off you are. Identify opportunities to send hand-written cards to your customers. Whether it is for a birthday, anniversary, holiday or thank you card, they are all fantastic opportunities to pamper neglected customers.
7) Don’t Be a “Yes” Man/Women
It is much better to be honest with the customer than to try too hard to please them. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” You will avoid overloading yourself and avoid juggling too much in the long run.
What customer retention strategies do you use that work, and in what ways do you go the extra mile to enhance your customer loyalty?