Without taking active measures to retain your customers you will passively lose an average of 20% of your client base each and every single year. Thankfully, preventing your customers from jumping ship requires nothing more than implementing a few quick, inexpensive strategies, such as the following:
1. Repeatedly sell to your existing customers. Many business owners fear attempting to sell repeatedly to their customers because they worry about driving away business by coming across too “pushy”. Ironically enough, you are more likely to lose customers by failing to keep them buying from you repeatedly than from suggesting further products and services they may derive legitimate benefits from. No customer is easier to retain than the “regular”.
2. Win back old customers. Every business owner knows it’s much more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an old customer, but few business owners understand it’s also much less expensive to win back an old customer than to search the open market for a new buyer, and even fewer business owners know returning customers are also easier to retain than first-time clients.
3. Actively show appreciation. Most people are willing to spend a little extra money, or travel to a slightly distant location, or otherwise inconvenience themselves, for the sake of a business they feel appreciates their sacrifices. Make it known, whether through thank-you notes, personalized discounts, or an open acknowledgement of shared values, how much you appreciate your customers taking the less traveled route to support you.
4. Focus on reliability. From a customers perspective, what is better … a perfect product delivered erratically, or a good enough product delivered reliably? Customers prefer to buy from businesses they can set their watch by, even if they fail to offer the objectively “best” option on the market.
5. Poll your customers, then act on their suggestions. The more personally you involve your customers in the direction taken by your business, the greater the chance you will retain those customers. Start by polling your customers to learn how they feel about your business. Then, implement as many of those customer suggestions as you feasibly can. Finally, give credit for each improvement to the customers who requested it.
6. Foster community through social media. No business has ever constructed as simple, as easy, and as inexpensive a method for developing an engaged community of customers than social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook offer.
7. Blog and provide a human face for your business. All business, at its heart, represents a relationship between two people. The more clearly you can draw this relationship, the greater customer retention your business will enjoy, and there are few better ways to showcase the human side of your business than through a heartfelt company blog.
8. Create a mailing list. Internet marketers have a saying- “The money’s in the list”. Customers who subscribe to a business e-mail list are more likely to make purchase, and to make large purchases, than any other customer your business retains.
9. Provide special deals for your most loyal, connected customers. Whether you choose to provide special deals for customers who join your mailing list or unique coupons of customers who “like” your FaceBook page or loyalty programs like “Buy 10 get 1 Free” cards, reward those customers who show you the most support, and they won’t be able to leave if they wanted to.
10. Create a high quality product or service you sell at a reasonable price. Because ultimately no customer retention strategy will work unless you provide your customers with clear, unmistakable value.
The post is shared by Jason Phillips; he is a small business specialist, who assists start ups and small and medium term enterprise to start new business. Visit their site to learn more about customer churn and strategies related to small business.