How to plan a customer retention strategy – Part 1

One of the best ways of continually growing your customer base and saving money on acquiring new leads is to build up your customer retention strategies so that first time customers become loyal customers.

Too many companies focus on the acquisition of new customers, and while this is an important way of growing your conversions, it can become very expensive, especially when advertising on various platforms such as Google Ads, social media or traditional advertising means.

By having a dedicated customer retention marketing strategy, your business can grow without a big advertising budget. Here we will talk through some simple customer retention approaches which will cost your business little or nothing to implement.

Reducing lost or inactive customers

Almost every business loses some customers, but very few ever measure how and why many of their customers become inactive. Ironically, the majority of businesses invest a lot of time and money on the initial customer relationship, then a minimal amount to time to keep the relationship going.

An easy way to grow your business without spending excessive amounts of money is to keep your relationship going with a customer, finding out why they buy from you and how you can make your products and services stand out and become an integral part of the customer’s lifestyle.

By focusing more time on your actual customer base and inactive customers in general, you will be able to find out what attracts your audience to your brand and in turn makes the acquisition of new customers easier to target in the long run.

Bringing inactive customers back to the brand

Reactivating inactive customers can be an easy process because the audience has already bought from you, knows your brand and will be much more receptive to rebuying if the offer is right. This may be as easy as sending out a newsletter with your latest products and services or offering them special promotions and offers for being a valued customer.

You can also use this information to discover why they stopped buying from you in the first place, if the business was doing anything wrong, and to generate strategies on how to fix it.

Reminding inactive customers that you still exist and that you can add value to their lives through your products is one of the easiest ways to increase revenues, to make them feel valued and to generate repeat sales for you. It is also an effective way to turn these customers into loyal brand ambassadors and for them to spread the word about your brand.

Keeping the customer informed

Build relationships with your customers by telling them about your business, how it is growing and any new products or services that are on offer. A customer who has a vested interest in your brand will be more likely to tell their friends and family about their experience, creating other potential customers in the process.

Create a communication calendar to keep in touch with your customer base, telling them about any events, special offers and promotions you are running, and give them an insight into what is happening with the business in the future i.e. new products, moving to a bigger premises or any partnerships that are on the horizon. These types of information can create a buzz throughout your customer base and keep them interested in the brand, but make sure that all of your communications are personal and show that you understand the customers preferences, what products/services they are interested in and how buying from you can add value.

Great Customer Service is key

Having a great customer service team who can respond to customer’s queries and problems is the cornerstone to building strong relationships, and a satisfied customer will spread the word about your company to their friends and family potentially making them customers too.

Providing higher than expected levels of service to every customer should be at the top of the customer retention strategy and encompassed by every employee. Delivering on you USP and providing a great after sales service provides your customers with added value which will help them to promote your company further.

If there is a customer complaint, treat it as a gift and something that you can improve on. The majority of dissatisfied customers don’t complain, so treat the ones that do as a learning curve to make your product of service better for every customer.

Company Integrity

Building lasting and successful relationships with customers depends largely on your company’s integrity and providing transparency and consistency between what you say and do and what your customer’s experience.

The design of your product or service must meet customers’ expectations of quality and meet their wants and needs, while providing value to them. Customers will be more willing to engage with your brand again and again if you are honest, show a genuine interest in them and don’t let them down.

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