For those in a product or service-based industry, customers are the number one priority. However, often the chase for new clients makes us forget about our existing clients. While trying to win over a prospective client, we don’t effectively address the needs and wants of existing clients. As a result, those clients leave and the cycle repeats itself.
Yet, we hear over and over again that it’s more cost-effective to keep existing clients than acquire new ones. According to Marketing Metrics, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%.
So how do we increase customer retention and spend less money on client acquisition?
5 Ways to Increase Customer Retention
If you’d like to spend less time acquiring new clients and more time focusing on the ones you already have, follow these five strategies.
Communication is Key
Of course we should be communicating with our clients, but you may not be doing it as often as you should. Regular, positive interactions with existing customers and clients are vital to high retention.
If you sell a product, communication should not start and stop with the initial purchase. Supporting, engaging, and informing customers is an ongoing task. Send emails about new promotions, industry updates, or company announcements. It all counts towards building a solid relationship.
If you’re in the service industry check in with your clients regularly to see how they're doing and if they have any feedback. Send emails about company updates and industry news and make sure your clients know you’re available whenever they may need something.
Put Your Employees First
Yes, we’re talking about clients, but good employees are the key to client success. How you treat your customers will determine how motivated, confident, and committed they are to building client relationships.
Listen to your employees’ needs, offer training to better equip your team, and make office wellbeing a priority. You should also be investing time and capital in your staff. Courses, certifications, and off-site training will help your employees feel valued.
In return, your team will be happy and motivated to work on client retention. A customer who feels valued, respected, and heard is less likely to jump ship.
Don’t Ignore Complaints
Did you know that 96% of unhappy customers never bother to complain? That being said, take the time to analyze the complaints you have received and address the concerns. While some may be ridiculous, the majority are most likely legitimate complaints. Take them as an opportunity to improve.
Once you rectify the issue, ensure that the individual who made the initial complaint is addressed. They will feel valued and like they made a difference at your company. In turn, they’re also much more likely to remain a customer or client.
Make it Personal
At this point you’ve probably caught on that customer retention is about making people feel like they matter (and they do!).
Personalize emails, conversations, and social media interactions whenever possible. Treating customers in a personalized way and sending the message that your relationship with them is a partnership will build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.
If you send client gifts every holiday season, don’t send the same gift to every client. Take the time to think about what each individual would really enjoy and use. No one likes to be just another number.
Thank Your Customers
The holidays are not the only time to send clients or customer gifts. Surprise them with the occasional gift to show you care and to thank them for choosing to buy/work with you.
The gifts don’t have to be expensive, either. A handwritten card, a gift card around the person’s birthday, or a new water bottle with your company logo will put a smile on their face! Saying thank you goes a long way in distinguishing a faceless company from a beloved brand or business.
Value Your Existing Customers
You should never stop seeking new customers and expanding your businesses. However, it will never grow if you are constantly losing the clients you already have. Losing customers is simply too expensive, as the average global value of a lost customer is $243! Your existing customers give you a great chance to increase your profits, as they are more likely to buy from you than prospects.
The key to client retention is taking the time to value them and listen to their wants and needs. Once you do this, you’ll find that your business practically grows itself.
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