So many entrepreneurs often focus on attracting new customers, but retaining customers is actually the secret, critical key to keeping your business afloat
Why does customer retention matter?
- Returning customers are 50% more likely to purchase from you than a new customer.
- A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%, according to research from Bain & Company.
- Word of mouth advertising drives more sales than paid advertising, up to five times
A customer who comes back often is worth much more than one who only comes once. The trick is to figure out how to keep them happy. Here are some ways to boost customer retention!
Offer a customer loyalty program. A loyalty program should be an integral part of your customer retention system. These programs reward your customers by giving them incentives to come back and shop with you. Give customers a reason to stick around by offering them something special — a promo, discount, loyalty program, etc. This small effort can go a long way when it comes to showing your existing customers how much you value their business.
Utilize email marketing. Each email you send can aid customer retention. Plus, once your customers become email subscribers, you can use segmentation. For example, you could create segments based on the specific products that customers purchased, how much they spent, whether they used a discount code, and so on.
Be honest. It’s as simple as that. It might sound a little vague at first, but there are a lot of people out there who have been burned by businesses before. Whether that be through faulty products, confusing returns policies, unknown charges, or something else, people are quick to lose trust nowadays. So, make sure that you provide your customers with honest information!
Be an active, compassionate listener, and take their concerns seriously. Sometimes customers will tell you directly what they need, and some need encouragement to be honest. But taking the time to ask questions, listen closely, and thoughtfully answer is a great way to keep your customers, especially in the healthcare industry, where so many people feel ignored or dismissed. That’s why the patients at Reinhardt Chiropractic have such stellar things to say about the practice, and why the majority of testimonials not only mention compassionate listening and deep analysis, but also repeat visits.
Use social media to remind customers why your business is stellar. Social media is an underutilized tool for customer retention. Why? Not only do these free tools help you to reach more people, but it’s also a central location where great photos, videos, and updates can entice a former customer to work with you again. For example, Lake Rabun Hotel frequently updates their social media pages with their new food and cocktail menus, the gorgeous changing outdoors all around them, their beautiful event designs and featured rooms to reserve. Previous guests can scroll these feeds, remember their own great experience, and feel inspired to return!
Focus on service that is fast and helpful. This means making sure your staff knows how to answer questions, resolve issues, and help to solve problems, especially ones that are time sensitive, such as healthcare staffing. On Time Talent Solutions uses 20+ years of healthcare staffing experience to secure the best candidates for clinical and non-clinical roles. With an emphasis on assisted living communities and primary care practices, On Time offers multiple locations across the United States to assists with talent acquisition.
Offer time-limited promotions and creative offers. Top brands often present banners that highlight a time-limited promotion — visitors must complete the purchase within a preset amount of time, determined by the audience segment they belong to. Another example might be to automatically add a promotional gift card to the visitor’s cart and highlight the promotion during the checkout process. The benefit is twofold: the time-sensitive promotion boosts conversion rate, and the gift card brings customers back to the website to make another purchase.
Offer a referral program that pays – literally! Qwick is an on-demand staffing platform for the hospitality industry, and when a professional recommends another to work on the Qwick platform and a shift is completed? Both receive $100. When a professional refers a businesses, if said business posts a shift that gets completed, they receive $100, and if the business posts another four shifts that get completed (five total completed shifts), they receive an additional $400 ($500 total)!
Offer exclusive services that will streamline their future needs. Are you always printing things for your business? Forget emailing the printer back and forth: places like the Print Authority offer custom web-to-print portals to make the process of ordering, printing, and shipping far easier for customers using them as an exclusive source or as an exclusively recommended printer.
Offer opportunities for customization. Take Curricula, for example: while they offer free security awareness training tools, they also entice repeat customers via subscription by offering the ability to full customize eLearning for individual companies. With their integrated Learning Management System, a company can build their own curriculum using Curricula tools and characters, and thereby increase efficiency and effectiveness with future training needs!
Happy, returning customers will drive more sales, decrease your advertising costs, and save you money. So rather than gearing all your marketing budget towards acquiring new customers, put some effort and money into building relationships with past buyers!