While attracting new customers is crucial for any thriving business, it’s just as important to focus on keeping current customers. Here are some suggestions for improving the customer experience and strengthening customer loyalty.
Use a feedback system
Surveys and feedback forms can go a long way in boosting customer retention, as Forbes contributor Megan Totka shares. Customers who feel like they have an outlet for expressing feedback will feel valued. This will contribute to a positive customer experience and keep clients happier. Make sure to implement client suggestions, however, whether that’s by adding certain products or by tweaking your business’s procedures to save customers more time.
Deliver anticipatory service
While striving for excellent customer service is a worthy goal, why not go the extra mile and build a reputation for anticipatory service? Anticipatory service can be defined as anticipating customers’ problems and eliminating them before they occur, as Totka articulates. To put it another way, it is anticipating customers’ questions, concerns and desires before they communicate them. For example, develop a system where employees call customers to answer any questions they have about their order, or to make sure they were pleased with your business’s services.
Keep customers in the loop
Regular communication with customers is key for increasing retention, as Small Business contributor Ian Linton shares. Consider publishing a newsletter to keep customers informed of new products and any company news. You could also analyze a customer’s sales records to see which purchases they tend to make and then offer them unique discounts based on these trends.
Implement a rewards system or frequent shopper program to encourage repeat customers to keep coming back. Make sure the rewards are simple to obtain and redeem to enhance the customer experience, as Entrepreneur contributor Eric Siu recommends.
Know your customers
This might be a no-brainer, but cultivating personal ties with customers is one of the best ways to keep them coming back. Each person has an innate need to be heard and understood. Thus, a business that meets this need will have more loyal clients than those that don’t, as Totka confirms. One easy application of this principle is to spend more time with customers and to start a dialogue with them.
Implement a CRM system
Consider investing in a Customer Relationship Management system to help track customers, as Siu suggests. This software monitors customer purchases and helps streamline communication with them. It also enables you to send personalized messages to customers and focus marketing on certain items of interest to them. No matter what clientele your business serves or what sized company you have, CRM makes it a breeze to stay on top of sales records and potential marketing opportunities.
Tailor retention efforts based on customer value
While it’s important to measure individual sales, Siu recommends using a CRM system to analyze sales by customer. The software can evaluate each customer based on recency, frequency and monetary value of their purchases. Based on the results, it will then assign each customer with a customer lifetime value score. You’ll want to focus retention efforts to keep customers with high customer lifetime values since these customers represent your company’s key clients.
By applying these seven strategies, you’ll be well on your way to keeping customers happy and ensuring the future success of your business.