Customer retention should be part of your marketing strategy and if it isn’t, you’re missing out on a huge market of ‘ready to buy’ customers for your business.
Once a customer has purchased from you as a business, whether it be a product or a service – if they were happy and satisfied, a large percentage will return to you for a repeat purchase (whether they realise it or not). A loyal customer who returns time after time is worth much more to a business than a new customer.
The main reason businesses fail to retain customers is because they lack strategy. Poor customer relations following sales, lack of initiatives and little (or none) communication following purchase will lead to customers to forgetting about or being dissatisfied with the business or company they purchased from.
Before you can understand how to effectively retain customers, you first must understand why they leave or don’t partake in repeat business.
Poor customer service – 82% of people have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
Great customer service is the best way to retain customers with minimal work involved.
Lack of customer appreciation – 53% of customers have switched companies because they felt unappreciated. This can be something as simple as emailing a ‘thank you for your purchase’ email following a sale.
Customer appreciation can make up for poor customer service should customers ever experience it.
Their needs are ignored – This can be something like a complaint not being handled quickly enough or the product return process being hard to follow.
Complaints should be dealt with swiftly or you risk the chance of being seen in a bad light to other customers, especially if the complaint came via social media.
Unexpected issues arise – The customer may sign up for something, and obviously they’d expect it to go smoothly, but they instead run into frustrating issues that they weren’t anticipating. For example, if it was a product this could be delivered to the wrong address, the customer could be overcharged or wrong product may be sent.
When an unexpected issue arises, being as helpful as possible with clear channels of communication with the customer is vital to them returning in the future.
To tackle the main reasons that customers don’t repeat buy with your company we’ve drawn up the following tips…
- Show More Customer Appreciation
Letting your customers know you appreciate them is vital to customer retention. If anything, it’s just common manners to thank a customer for their service. Try to get this once the product or service has been purchased or completed and think of it as a ‘goodbye for now’.
- Implement Customer Feedback
Show your customers that you care about what they think. It’s important to get insights into what they think and it makes them feel wanted by asking, even if they don’t give any. This could be delivered by a satisfaction survey or by simply asking them at the end of the payment process if you are face to face.
- Proactive Customer Service
Being on the front foot with your customer service is vital to customers wanting to come back to you. If they have a good experience purchasing from you then they will more than likely return in the future if gently pushed.
In an ideal world, your business would be able to keep 100% of customers. In reality, this isn’t possible. Some will find cheaper alternatives, others simply won’t need the product again. A lot of factors are out of your control. You can however, increase customer retention by following certain strategies outlined above great customer service, customer appreciation and satisfying customer needs.