As a business owner, you probably focus much of your resources on attracting new customers. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Increasing the number of your customers helps your business grow. But if you want a solid brand and influx of revenue, then you need to know how to make your customers come back to your business.
Why is customer retention important?
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold,” so a song goes. The same is true for your customers. Although new clients are valuable, the ones you already have are priceless.
Consider these facts:
- Attracting new customers can be up to five times more expensive than retaining them.
- Increasing retention by a measly 5% can increase your profit from 25% to an incredible 95%.
- It’s easier to sell to existing customers, as they’re 60–70% more likely to buy from you, compared to just 5–20% of new customers.
In short, retaining customers is cheaper, more profitable, and more sustainable for your business in the long run.
How do you keep customers coming back?
Retaining customers doesn’t take magic, but it isn’t a walk in the park either. Here are tips on how you can do just that:
#1. Reward them for coming back
One of the best and surest ways to entice customers to go back to your business is to incentivize their return. Give them a promo code, a discount on their next transaction, a freebie, or any token that will make them look forward to their next purchase. You don’t have to offer tremendous discounts — even small ones can delight customers.
People like businesses that appreciate them, and surprises are a solid way to make your customers feel special. Extras given during special occasions, for instance, are small but effective ways to inspire loyalty in your clients.
#2. Stay in touch with them
Take advantage of the many communication tools available today to engage your customers and develop a relationship with them. Ask for their telephone number or email address, and send them newsletters and updates about your business, products, and latest promos.
You don’t, however, want to be a nuisance and have your updates routed to their spam folder. To avoid these, make sure to send updates at a reasonable frequency. Additionally, be sure that your messages provide valuable information your customers would love to read.
On a related note, make sure that all private information they entrust to you is secure from theft, loss, and exposure. A data leak, whether accidental or caused by a malicious third party, will destroy your customers’ trust and discourage them from doing business with you again.
#3. Give them a positive experience
Affordable products won’t always convince customers to come back if you can’t offer them a good experience as well. Make sure every step of their buyer’s journey, from inquiry down to aftersales, is seamless and pleasant. Answer their questions, anticipate and meet their needs, and deliver exceptional customer service at every turn.
#4. Make yourself accessible
Customers are more likely to trust businesses that they can reach out to for questions and other needs, even after the transaction is completed. After all, who would they turn to if something were to go wrong? Open several communication channels, including your social media, and be sure to reply as promptly as you can.
#5. Practice social responsibility
People want to know that the money they pay you finds its way back to the community. According to a study on consumer expectations on social responsibility:
- 70% of consumers want to know what their favorite brands are doing about environmental and social issues.
- 46% take a brand’s social responsibility into account before making a purchase.
Therefore, you need to generate goodwill by becoming active in charitable initiatives in your own community. These could be as simple as donating money or products to parties in need. You could also organize or join fund-raising events for specific donors.
In conclusion, the best way to make sure your customers come back to your business is to establish a relationship with them and gain their trust. Engage them and make them feel like the causes that matter to them are important to you, too. Customer retention takes time and effort, but its rewards are worth it.
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