The Best Customer Retention Strategies For Small Businesses
It's easier (and cheaper) to retain existing customers than it is to attract new customers.
This probably isn’t news to you, but it’s easy to forget about re-engaging with your current customer base… especially when you’re busy running your business.
If it’s been a while since you thought about how to increase profits with customers who already know and love your brand, it’s time for a change.
Luckily, there are plenty of strategies and tactics that you can use to increase your company's customer retention rate.
What is customer retention?
Before we dive into the how of customer retention, let’s define the term. According to Shopify, “Customer retention is the collection of activities a business uses to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer.”
To keep existing customers and thereby increase their profitability, there are a few key things to remember:
- When creating a customer retention strategy, think in terms of relationships, not transactions. When you build relationships with your customers, the revenue will follow.
- Always focus on delivering value to your customers and clients.
- Don’t forget to track your progress — it’s the only way to know if your customer retention efforts are working. Determine which metrics are most valuable to your business, like repeat customer rate, purchase frequency, and Average Order Value (AOV).
1. Make sure customers have realistic expectations
If a customer has an expectation that goes unmet, they won’t feel inspired to do business with you in the future. That’s why it’s so important to communicate clearly and make sure everyone is on the same page.
For example, be honest about shipping times, even if delays are expected. Make sure every product description on your website is accurate. Don’t over exaggerate the results your customers can expect. Communicate clearly about any extra fees.
2. Ask for customer feedback
Surveys provide invaluable insights into the minds of your existing customers.
Asking for feedback is an excellent way to figure out how customers feel about your business. When you understand what customers love, what they dislike, and what causes confusion, you can respond accordingly.
If a customer responds negatively to a survey, don’t panic. Look at their feedback with an open mind and use it as an opportunity to improve. With any luck, you’ll be able to convince that customer to give your business another chance.
3. Develop a customer loyalty program
When you develop a program that rewards repeat customers, they have a major incentive to shop with your company again and again.
When customers opt into the program, make sure they feel valued. Offer discounts, share sneak peeks of new products and services, and consider throwing in the occasional freebie.
4. To retain customers, stay in touch with them
Stay at the top of customers’ minds by regularly engaging with them. Many modern businesses accomplish this via email newsletters.
But what should these emails contain? Well, that’s up to you! You can share blog posts from the company’s website, update customers about the latest happenings in the business, announce new products and services, educate customers, and so much more. As long as you provide valuable information, customers will be happy to subscribe to your emails.
There’s no shortage of ways to automate the communication process, either. Small business automation tools make it easy for you to stay in touch with your customers.
5. Provide excellent customer service, every single time
People don’t want to do business with companies that neglect customer service. Fortunately, it’s possible to provide personalized customer service without spending a fortune. The secret? Virtual phone answering services.
Intelligent Office members are big advocates of virtual phone answering services because they make it possible for companies of all sizes to provide a 100% personalized customer service experience. When a customer calls with a question or concern, they’re immediately connected to a real, live human who knows your business and is ready to help.
The best part? Your business also receives a fully customized experience: Pay for the time you need, and nothing more.
If you think phone answering could help your business retain more customers, get in touch with Intelligent Office today. Simply fill out this quick form and we’ll develop the perfect solution for your needs.