Most successful business owners will tell you the key to success is retaining clients. Client acquisition is expensive and can be time-consuming. A business plan which relies on constant acquisition will never work. Instead, focusing on turning clients into repeat clients, will always yield better results. These are people who have an interest in your product or service, know your brand, and have trusted you once. So with that in mind, here are 6 ways to improve client retention.
- Stay in Touch – Whether by email blasts, direct mailings, or phone calls, staying in touch with your clients will help keep you in their minds. Then, when they have a need, you will be the first company they think of.
- A Simple Thank You – For online transactions, this is as simple as sending an email. For in person clients, trying to capture a phone number or address can be more difficult, but the payoff will be well worth it. The more personalized, the better, but even a simply thank you will suffice. Clients want to feel appreciated, and a thank you reinforces their value.
- Loyalty Rewards – We all have a rewards card in our wallet. Whether for frozen yogurt, subs, or haircuts, there is something you do routinely that rewards you for doing it at the same place. Do the same with your business, either by offering something free to repeat clients after so many purchases or offers discounts for returning. The better the loyalty program, the more clients feel like members of your service – and that will lead to great retention.
- Consistent Customer Experience – The easiest way to lose a client is bad customer service. To ensure your retention rates stay high, you must ensure your employees all provide excellent customer service every time, and that they all follow the policies you have outlined. Allowing an exception one day, then not the next can infuriate a client. Be consistent, and offer great service to bring people back again and again.
- Use Social Media – Social media, unlike email blasts and direct mailings, allow your customers to communicate with you. This allows them to give you feedback to target your efforts on your existing clients. Be on social media all the time, constantly posting updates. This is a great growth strategy, a great way to stay in front of your clients, and a great way to let them tell you what they want.
- Be a Resource – Whatever your product or service, be an expert. And share that expertise. If you sell clothes online, start a blog that talks about the most recent fashion trends. If you have a landscaping service, discuss tips and tricks to keep different kinds of grass alive in different situations on your website. No matter what you do, you can be an expert, and if that expertise is shared, you will become more than a company, you will become a resource. And it will be an obvious connection to sales when people trust you for your knowledge.
A focus on retention is the easiest way to create a long-lasting, successful business. By following these steps, you will be well on your way to high retention rates, and long-term business success.