Let’s admit it, customer is the lifeblood of every business. Most business focus on building their customer base. However, they lose sight of the importance of growing their business through customer retention.
If you have been among those who put a majority of your financial resources into growing a client base, this is where you might want to take a step back to see what you can do to keep all those customers you’ve worked so hard to find. Below are some tips on retaining your customers.
Sell and Sell Again
A lot of sales persons do an excellent job on making the initial sale. They then become complacent afterwards, ignoring the customer while they chase another customer. A key to customer retention is to provide excellent after sales service.
A happy customer will almost always refer another potential customer to you. He or she will be your marketing channel via word of mouth.
Avoid losing your customers by building relationships and keeping in touch with them. Keep a calendar of communications. This involves a sequence of greetings, phone calls, text messages, letters, thank you notes, follow ups, and gifts on pre-sales, sales, and post-sales process.
Greet and give a gift to them on their birthdays and on special occasions like Christmas. Ask them how are they doing. They would really appreciate these because they feel valued and important.
Handle Complaints Effectively
You cannot please everyone. There will always be a complaint from one or more of your customers. Handle the complaints effectively by staying calm, listening well, acknowledging the problem and getting the details. Afterwards, offer a solution.
Remember to make a follow up if everything is okay. Ask for apology and offer a simple upgrade on his or her next purchase or offer a small gift certificate. This would make them feel appreciated and not taken for granted.
Conduct Surveys or Questionnaires
Ask your customers how is your product or service to them. Ask them what they like and what they don’t like about it. Ask them any suggestions on what needs to be improved and how you can improve them. Customer feedback is one way to know about your customer and the more you know about them, the more chances of retaining them as your repeat customers in the future.
Offer Loyalty Programs
A customer loyalty program is a rewards program offered to customers who frequently make purchases. A loyalty program may give a customer free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance released products.
You can use a point system. You can partner with another company to provide all-inclusive offers. You can make a game out of it and help solidify your brand’s image.
Consider Using CRM Platforms
You might want to check into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) like Salesforce that will help you grow your business by retaining those customers you already have while finding new ones as well. If you aren’t familiar with the Salesforce platform in Australia, check out experts like those at Salesfix who can help with Salesforce implementation.
Measuring Customer Retention Rate
Measuring customer retention rate is one way to know if your customers are satisfied or not with the product or service that you provide.
One way of measuring customer retention is by knowing your customer’s NET PROMOTER SCORE.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric developed by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix. It is a customer satisfaction metric that measures, on a scale of 1-10, the degree to which people would recommend your products or services to others.
According to HubSpot, the following are the steps to calculate NPS.
1. Survey your customers, and ask them how likely they are to recommend you to friends and colleagues on a scale of 0-10.
2. Organize their responses into Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8), and Promoters (9-10).
3. Subtract the total percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters to determine your overall Net Promoter Score. This number can range from -100 to 100.
Too many businesses have gotten lost in the often-futile efforts of growing a bigger and bigger customer base. If they had focused on building relationships, they could have worked less on building a customer base and more on keeping their current customers happy. That is the key to business growth.