Every thriving business today does not thrive only on new customers. The strength of every venture are your loyal customers. A major secret to success in business is with the customers you already have. As a matter of fact, you may not get new customers if you don’t have loyal ones. Statistics shows that as small as 20% of your existing customers would account for as much as 80% of your company’s profit. Customer retention cannot be over emphasized.
Although, it is almost automatic to tilt towards spending a lot of your resources on getting new customers, however, it is far easier to sell your products or provide your service to existing customers than to brand new ones. I usually liken customers to electronic devices or mobile apps. The more used you are to them (in the case of customers, the more used they are to your product or service), the more you want to use them (in the case of customers, the more they want to patronize you)
The competition in the business world today is very alarming. Many startups have been chocked up and flush down the drain by the hitches of a very competitive business world. There is always a competition for your business, including the business odea you are still fantasizing. The only way your business can thrive better than the one next door is by attracting and retaining loyal customers and clients. These customers are the force behind the growth of your business and finding a way to keep them loyal will put you ahead of your competitors.
WHAT TO DO
1) Listen to Them
Every Business Marketing expert will agree to the fact that the first thing to do in customer traction and retention is to know your customers and their needs; the next thing to do is model your products to suit those needs. There is no way in the world you would successfully satisfy your customers enough for them to want to patronize you more without creating a system that allows their voice to be heard by you. One of the ways to do this is to create a Survey. The traditional method of printing survey forms and sending out is a good method, but you can simply create a Google form and send to them (things are easier that way). Anyway, I recommend both because some of your customers might not be digitally inclined.
You should also provide a customer care line or a mail where complaints and suggestions can be made or a section of your website for that purpose. You may have other methods that are particular to your products or your kind of customers. Whatever method you use, make sure you Listen to them.
2) Establish a good Customer relationship
This is another useful strategy for customer retention. To do this, you have to train your sales representatives (and if you are the only one in the business, you have to learn) to be friendly and personal with them. Know their names and address them by it, know their birthdays and send greetings that day and so on.
3) Give loyalty points to loyal customers
Create a system that gives some kind of points to customers that make repeated patronage. You can use those points to measure how loyal a customer is and reward them accordingly. Whether you run a service based business or a product based one, rewarding your customers is a smart way to make them feel good about doing more business with you. You can reward them by giving discounts, running a BOGOF (buy one get one free) promo or by simply sending them gifts on their birthdays and anniversaries.
4) Reward your customers for successful referrals
When customers are impressed with you, they always want to share their testimony with friends and families. When they do that, your business grows. If you are smart you would appreciate them for that. Everyone loves to be rewarded for a Job well done. Am sure you consider making referrals as a Jon well done.
5) Provide high standard Goods and Services:
I made this point last because I know that most people think if they have a great product (or provide a good service) people will patronize. Well, that is true, but that won’t last long. Eventually, you are not only dealing with Logical beings but Emotional beings too.
However, this is not to play down on the need for great product or service. Most of us will love to change our devices when the latest version is launched. As a matter of fact, we may be quick to buy from another maker of that kind of product if they provide a better version than ours. That is how customers are; they are ready to patronize for as long as your product is improving. Don’t give them a reason to dump you.
So go ahead and implement these. Don’t just predict your customer’s need, actually find out from them. Don’t focus too much on attracting brand new customers that you neglect the old ones. Don’t also forget to celebrate and appreciate your customers. Reverend Biodun Fatoyinbo once said, “where is no people, the vision perishes”. It is the same for your business; where there are no customers, the business perishes.
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