In business, you quickly learn that the only thing more important than acquiring new customers is keeping the ones you already have. And that’s not surprising given that studies show gaining a new client can cost up to seven times more than retaining someone who has already used your services. It is, therefore, crucial that you weave a client retention strategy into your overall business plan to ensure you aren’t neglecting those who have already interacted with you or your company. Here are five effective ways through which to achieve this.
Show your customers some appreciation
People love to feel valued and your customers aren’t any different. Depending on your business, how you show appreciation will vary, but it can take many different forms. Some ideas include giving special discounts and deals, following up personally to ensure they are happy with the product or service that they have received, inviting them to special client events, asking for their feedback, and sending personal greetings during holidays or birthdays. Whichever route you decide on, the key is to show your clients that you genuinely care.
Pay special attention to customer service
Customer service is of the utmost importance when it comes to retaining your clients. If you have any doubts about this statement, think back to the last time you vowed never to use a certain company again – more than likely you would have had an overly negative experience with their customer service team.
Aim to deliver higher than expected levels of service to all of your customers. Key elements of this include responding immediately to complaints, going above and beyond what’s expected, and ensuring that your service is exactly how you’ve promised it will be. Even more importantly, try to pre-empt problems before they crop up and keep your customers in the loop. This proactive approach will help you to eliminate problems before they happen – a good example of this is when an airline sends out a message to alert their passengers that a flight is delayed.
Spend time getting to know your customers
Taking the time to ensure your customers feel like they’re understood is a wise investment to make, according to research. Behavioural psychology studies suggest that individuals rate a service more positively when they don’t feel like they’re being ignored or hurried through a process. Something as simple as taking a little more time with clients in order to understand their requirements and create a genuine working relationship with them – one that will keep you in the forefront of their minds when they next need a similar service – should be a part of your retention strategy.
Ask for feedback
Make sure you show your customers that you are willing to listen to their feedback on the service you are providing. Research by professor Dr Paul Dholakia from Rice University showed that simply asking for customer feedback is enough to make clients return to a company. Implementing a feedback system, such as an online survey, should also give you valuable insights on what will keep your customers coming back.
Run good promotions
Make sure that your customers stay engaged with your business by running promotions that reward them. One way to do this is through a good loyalty programme that rewards repeat business. Another great way to get your customers’ attention is through running special promotions exclusive to them on their birthday or during the holidays.
Email promotions in the form of special discount coupons have also been found to be effective; a study by VoucherCloud showed that an impressive 93 per cent of email subscribers are likely to use coupons they receive in an email.
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