It's not a secret that the cost to acquire new customers is far more expensive than the cost to retain an existing one. Smart business owners understand the value of repeat business and how it affects their bottom line. And while losing a customer isn’t as detrimental to a big business as it is a small business, every business – from big to startup – should have a customer retention strategy in place. Here are a few strategies that can help you retain your customers.
1. Get to Know Your Customers
It is critical to form a relationship with your customers. At the very least, try to greet them by name. Forming a relationship creates a sense of trust with your customer. Going a step further to better understand their shopping habits will ultimately provide them with a more meaningful shopping experience. Customers are equally as motivated by their emotions and by the experience you provide as they are by the products or services you supply.
So go beyond their names; try to find out their likes and dislikes, and even some of their personal life! Ask questions to answer the following: What are the reasons behind their purchase? What other items could be purchased to support their need? Is anything missing? Why did they choose your business for their needs? These questions help you understand your clientele, better serve them for their future needs, and ultimately retain them.
Did you know there is a “Get to Know Your Customer Day” observed each quarter? For 2021, those days fall on January 21st, April 15th, July 15th, and October 21st. Consider using those days to plan a promotion, either by special discounts, giveaways, sending personalized thank you cards – the options are endless! Network with other businesses and share best practices. Use the #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay hashtag on social media as a starting point.
2. Stay Connected
Consistency is key, especially when it comes to communication. Your prospective customers and loyal customers want to know about your new products, services, discounts, and events. We think social media is a MUST, so whether you pair it with snail mail, an email, or a newsletter – just remember to be consistent! When you use social media, you’re able to share timely information while also engaging with your customers. Tied back to our prior section, the more you know your customers’ likes and dislikes, the easier it is to keep them coming back for more.
3. Ask for Feedback
Assuming your customers are satisfied is a poor practice; instead, ask them! Capturing feedback in the moment is critical, but you could also conduct a survey by email or telephone to allow customers to provide top-of-mind insights. Getting feedback immediately after a transaction has taken place is truly the best. Be sure to have customers attempt to identify any employees that may have assisted them or who provided the service. This will allow you to follow up with praise for work well done or corrections for issues that might have arisen. Furthermore, converting verbal compliments into digital reviews can be extremely helpful to gain new customers. As more and more people use online platforms to research before making a purchase, seeing positive reviews helps them feel at ease to try your business!
4. Quality Control
It’s common knowledge that customers seek out quality products and services. One bad product or one service gone wrong can cause you to lose a client indefinitely. Be sure to have quality assurance measures in place. But don’t fret – it’s inevitable that something can and likely will go wrong at some point or another. In this instance, be sure to respond and immediately in an effort to make it right. If someone posts a negative review, responding in an accommodating and prompt manner can create a sense of comfort for prospective clients as they know that you will rectify any issues.
5. Loyalty – Loyalty – Loyalty
No matter the type of business you own, the goal is to generate customer loyalty. You can help create loyalty by offering your returning clients a special deal, access to exclusive sales, discounts, coupons, or rewards. In some cases, it could even call for hosting customer appreciation events. Doing any combination of these things will go a long way toward making customers feel special. In turn, it will encourage them to keep doing business with you. Since 2004, Howard Bank has been helping businesses grow and prosper in the greater Baltimore area. We help business owners succeed in our local market. Today, we’re the largest bank headquartered in Baltimore with an array of product offerings that allow you to take control of your finances. Contact us today for more information on how you can make Howard Bank work for your business and build your legacy.1
( 1 ) The information contained herein is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, legal, or business advice.