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Marketing a small business can be difficult and expensive. However, a large part of that expense is getting new customers - it costs very little to retain them. Therefore, as a small business owner on a budget, it makes financial sense to have as many customers as possible. Keep in mind that many businesses of all sizes lose a lot of customers each year.
Customer retention is the process of engaging existing customers to
continue doing business with you and stop switching to your competitor.
Customer retention and acquisition are two distinctive processes though
because, with the former, you’ve already done business with them while
with the later; you are still new to each other.
The average loss is around 20%, but you can quadruple that number in some areas. If it accumulates over time, you can see how easy it is for business growth to slow down - and even reverse itself. Therefore, it is necessary to look for better ways to retain your customers. Ten strategies are explored here - so take a look and see if you can include them in your business plan.
1. Accept Complaints
Dealing with customer complaints can be difficult and they will be. Often a business will be judged on how it handles these complaints rather than the original problem. Therefore, to get started with your retention strategy, look for ways to dramatically improve your response to your complaint.
You should try to find a system to find complaints, as it is well known that many unhappy customers will remain silent. If you can contact them and see the incident before reaching home, it may give you a second chance. Just because a customer does not tell you about a bad experience, does not mean that it does not happen.
2. Stop Leaking - Keep Your Existing Customers
Identify areas that are driving you away from your customers. All businesses will lose something, of course - it is part of the business landscape.
But, the simple fact is that after spending so much time and money developing basic support, many businesses become complex. They slide it, and before they know it, their customers start going elsewhere.
This means that they should recoup their efforts - and their money - after finding new customers. A full customer service audit every month would be a good step to identify where your standards are slipping.
3. Understand Customer Value
All customers have a lifetime value. If they buy one product from your store, for example, that number will not be very high. But if you continue to get repeat orders from that person for weeks, months, or years, it is easy to see the value in retaining them. And it will give you a good indication of how much you can spend on holding them - while still keeping a profit.
A good way to determine customer value is to offer a loyalty card or program. We'll get to that a little later, but in short, it has a lot of benefits. This can give you a clear picture of your customers' shopping habits so that you can more accurately estimate their lifetime value.
4. Start Promoting The Aftermarket
After-sales service is a great way to get more from each customer and maintain this important relationship. Suppose you are a stone flooring company. You sell a set of tiles for the kitchen floor and the customer pays you to install them.
Marketing and advertising are all small reminders and easy ways to stay at the forefront of your customers' minds. As a small business, you do not get the benefit of billboard and TV advertisements. This after-sales technology is therefore a smart way to stay focused.
5. Loyalty Program
There is a simple reason that big box stores and retailers are offering loyalty cards to their customers. Because they work. Once people start receiving rewards for spending money, they are more likely to return - and the results can be surprising. Not only does this allow you to retain your customers, but you can also use these programs to learn more about their purchasing habits.
This gives you a big overview of which products they like, for example, or the rate at which they buy them. So you can use this essential information to design an attractive package so that they can come back again and again. However, loyalty programs do not mean cards. You can track every customer and reward them every year for shopping with you
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