VA Journal

Posts Tagged ‘Customer retention

Have you ever heard the old saying “It is cheaper to retain current customers than it is to recruit new ones”? This statement could not be truer. If you want to increase and maximize your profits, you have to invest some time and money in creating a strong customer loyalty among your current customer-base. Believe it or not, retention marketing is all about building a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with your customers that will keep them faithful to you and your business.

One of the main drivers to customer loyalty and a successful retention campaign is the experience the customers have with your business.  According to the Customer Relationship Management Report (CRM) by Forrester Research, companies that:

  • provide superior customer experience have 14% more customers who are willing to consider another purchase from them.
  • offer the best experience in the industry have 16% fewer customers who are likely to move to a competitor.
  • have high experience scores have 17% more customers who are likely to recommend their products or services.

So what does this mean for you and your business? It means to create loyal customers, you have to be willing to go above and beyond the average to create a unique, positive and exceptional experience for each customer that you come in contact with regardless of how difficult this may be.

A few methods that you can consider implementing to enhance your customer loyalty are:

  • Offer a generous referral program – not only will this encourage your current customers to purchase more but it will also create positive “word of mouth” that will drive more people to your business.
  • Ask the customers for feedback on how your business can serve them better – customers love to give their input and opinion about things that can make their lives easier. This shows your customers that you value their business and is committed to making them happy.
  • Create targeted alerts and/or newsletters with topics that will drive customers back to your website – this can be very affective if you can produce a tailor-made alerts and/or newsletters for each classification of customers and highlight topics that each group would find interesting. With this, and any other form of communication, be sure to give the customer a choice on the type of communication they would prefer to receive.
  • Use social media outlets to allow your customers to interact with each other – some businesses mistakenly think social media outlets such as Facebook or blogs are only good for marketing the services/products and “newest” items or services but it is not. It should also be used to allow your customers to communicate with each other as well as with you. The more accessible you are and the more you participate in these outlets the better.
  • Just because tactics – to show your appreciation and to make your customers feel like they are more than just another sale, consider sending them holiday and/or birthday cards or emails with discount coupons. Having a “just because” tactic will keep loyal customers coming back “just because” they feel like you appreciate not only their business but also them as a person.

To develop and implement a successful retention plan, you can always hire a professional or you can purchase a number of customer retention books. Either way, you can’t afford not to include a retention strategy in your overall business marketing plan. Keep in mind, it is always “cheaper to retain current customers than it is to recruit new ones.”