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Focus your energies & improve customer retention

Customer retention is often the most cost effective way to increase sales in your business without having to initially discount your products or services and thereby devaluing your offerings.

Customer retention is all about a company’s capability to create repeat customers out of first time buyers. It is when your sales staff focus their attention on clients or customers who have previously purchased products from your business or contracted you for a service. Retaining existing customers is about building relationships & not just about one off sales.

Keeping your existing customers happy is far easier & cheaper than finding new ones. According to a Harvard Business Review acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

Happy, repeat customers are much easier to communicate with because they already know and trust you. This means that they are a great deal more likely to buy from you or use your services again as opposed to a potential new customer using you for the first time.

Increase your year on year revenue by thinking of a customer’s lifetime value and ways in which you can service their needs to keep them coming back to you time and time again. Whether it be selling a simple coffee, servicing a mechanical product (motor vehicles to washing machines), providing a personal service (hairdressers to chiropractors) or assisting with financial goals (mortgages to investments) & the list goes on.

Below we have put together a few tips for improving your customer retention:

1) Keep in constant contact at all relevant times.
Don’t overdo it (no-one likes a pest) but if you don't keep in touch with your customers at the right times when your services/renewals/upgrades are coming due you are very likely to lose them to one of your competitors. Consider creating a communication calendar or use automation to do this for you so you never forget to keep in touch.

2) Deliver support quickly & efficiently.
No Fuss No Muss. More often than not, effective resolution to a complaint or problem will make an unhappy customer into a loyal, repeat one. Always do your utmost to keep your clients happy by providing your repeat services in a prompt & timely manner. Remember that it’s better to under promise & over deliver. This is a customer service strategy where you give your clients more than you initially promised to delight them and make them feel valued and well served.

3) Respond to customer contacts & messages in a timely manner.
We all know in this modern world that we get swamped with emails and texts that take up our time. We also know that it can take forever to get a response from a company when you ask them for information which can be frustrating and irritating at best. A simple way to keep your customers happy and on side is to respond to emails and messages as soon as you possibly can. Whatever happens never let a client contact go unanswered for more than one full business day.

4) Place your focus properly on customers who have already signed up for a service or purchased a product from you.
These clients have already invested in your products and services. Go above and beyond to ensure that you have left them with a favorable experience so they are far more likely to buy from you again rather than finding another options. Remember it’s not just about getting the sale, in fact it’s more about how you handle the sale itself along with any after sales service or care!

5) Use automation to send engaging emails to your customers.
Monitoring your client base, keeping them up to speed and informed manually can be very time consuming for you & your staff.
Set up a schedule of targeted emails to be sent out at specific times after your customer has purchased their first & subsequent products or services with you. These emails may be a simple thank you, but more importantly they can be offering the next product or service your customer will require or may wish to purchase.

6) Create and maintain a customer loyalty program for repeat customers.
Reward customers in some way for their next purchase. Don’t wait for them to call and make their next booking. Maybe offer them a special additional bonus service or throw in an additional product for free or at a discount.

7) Be creative, think of some ways to offer customer service ‘surprises’.
Surprise packages or offers are always welcome and do not have to break the bank.
E.g. send out a thank you note when a customer books or orders and include a little gift, it could be a sample related to your products or a 5% discount on another service that you want to offer.
Take advantage of holidays & birthdays to send a card or small gift and let them know you are thinking of them.
Then when an order is complete or their service is done send a thank you note and an incentive to book for the next time!

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