In the Retail Connect Office, Customer retention strategies are often hot topics for us and our clients. The advice we often give to our clients is to start with the basics – 1. Your Core Business Values and 2. Customers you already have. Today’s blog discusses some quick tips for Customer Retention.
In an age of Social Media, Omni-Channel Retailing and extending global connections, the choices are becoming greater by the day for consumers. With so much choice, we are becoming more and more driven by price and service when making buying decisions. The flow on effect from this means that businesses are needing to shift focus to brand recognition, values and a strong reputation for great products and services in order to keep customers on board.
Keeping up can be daunting, but there are some simple things you can do to help to improve customer retention within your business.
1. Stand for Something
A great core promise, values, and a dedication to deliver these unfailingly to your customers across all of your sales/service channels is your first, and most important task to establish your brand/business reputation. If your customer can relate to your brand and feel like you understand their needs, you will be rewarded with their loyalty.
Consumers respond well to brands and businesses who have their customer’s best interests in mind when it comes to delivering a product or service and, more importantly they will refer you to others if you deliver well on your promises.
Retail Connect Tip: When you have important business decisions to make, refer back to your core values ask yourself if they are in line with customer promises.
2. Look After your Existing Customers
With an existing database of customers you have a HUGE advantage! Why? Because these customers know you, are familiar with your brand and have experienced what you have to offer. Just as striking up a conversation with someone you know is much easier than meeting someone new for the first time, the same concept applies for business. Talk to your existing customers and ask them for their feedback – sometimes it can be as easy as reminding them you are there!
Retail Connect Tip: Did you know it is up to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one? Focus on customer reactivation before seeking to acquire new.
3. The Face of Your Business is Important
We now live in an omni-channel world! It is important that the face of your business is consistent across all of your business model channels. Whether it is your Bricks and Mortar Store, Call Centre, Website or Social Channels they all need to be delivering a consistent message about your brand. Likewise it is important that all members of your team have adequate training to ensure they are delivering on your core promises to customers.
Retail Connect Tip: Establish a great face for your business by having a great website & have a presence across relevant Social Media Channels. Invest in team training – it will achieve results!
4. Loyalty Programmes
Loyalty Programmes can deliver great results for your business if they are executed properly. To increase loyalty you need to recognise and reward your best customers. A loyalty programme can be used to incentivise and delight your most valued customers. That in turn can do wonders for your profitability.
Customers love loyalty programmes because they feel they are being rewarded for giving your their business, so any programme devised needs to reflect something the customer will appreciate. Above all Loyalty Programmes should be simple to use, and the rewards attractive and attainable.
Retail Connect Tip: Loyalty initiatives allow you to put your focus into your best customers and improve customer satisfaction. Loyal customers buy more and are often willing to pay more, which will increase your cash flow. By increasing loyalty, you can increase profitability and extend the lifetime value of your customer.
5. Review, Revise, Improve
Different strokes for different folks! Not all of your initiatives will yield instant results and some minor adjustments may be necessary! Constantly review and seek ways that you can improve your customer retention. Gain customer feedback through surveys and reviews and always ensure that you address any complaints or problems as a way to learn and improve for the future.
Retail Connect Tip: Set aside time regularly to discuss customer retention initiatives. Be sure to include feedback from your customers, employees and important stakeholders within your business.