Guest post by Michelle Strassburg (learn more about Michelle at the end of this post)
Winning new customers is often easier than keeping them. Not too dissimilar from other types of relationship business or personal you must work hard on the relationship to make sure the other party is content. When it comes to retaining customers, keeping the other party content will directly influence revenue and should therefore be considered as a key objective for the business. Here are 7 ways to retain new customers which I have picked up during the years. Hopefully it will point you in the right direction.
1. Make customer service a business priority
The first steps is the most important in my view because it directly links between the business objectives and the weight given to customer retention. Most types of businesses I know heavily depend on returning business to offset costs involved in winning new business which is eventually how the business will grow. By understanding how important retaining customers is the first step is making this process a key objective.
2. Make this priority transparent across all departments
There is little to be gained if one department acts according to this priority, but others do not share the same importance. To make customer retention work, all departments from customer support to billing and shipping should place customer needs first. A happy customer is likely a returning customer, simple.
3. Diversify your communication tools
The web has not only brought us fast search and easy online shopping, it has also brought us new communication tools. Some customer groups might be using Twitter, some might be using Skype and some still prefer to pick up the phone to hear a voice on the other side. In order to cater for those groups, the business will need to diversify its communication tools as a mean to retain customers.
4. Encourage communication from customers
Hearing from customers often will serve two goals. The first, a mean to keep customers engaged with the brand and the second, a mean to find and address potential problems quickly. To achieve this, consider signing every newsletter with a message asking for feedback, offer an easy way to add comments and product reviews.
5. Stay one step ahead of the competition
Losing parts of the customer base because the competition has outsmarted you happens in business. To minimize this risk, invest in customer loyalty programs, brand loyalty and what I have found most helpful is to constantly diversify product offers and promotions.
6. Stay competitive and relevant
Even the best brand and product loyalty programs will not beat a better deal at your competitor. To retain customers it is essential to keep prices competitive and stay relevant by going with current customer taste and trends. Always be on the lookout for new products and services if you have recognized an opportunity in the market.
7. Stay in touch and actively communicate
Hopefully self-explanatory 😉
What are your tips for retaining customers?
About the Author
Article by Michelle Strassburg Head of Sales and Marketing at hardwood flooring seller Wood and Beyond. Michelle has over 10 years experience managing sales and marketing online.