As a small business owner, you will constantly be looking for excellent advice and tips to help your business grow. You will no doubt have worked hard on your marketing, planned out your budget for sustainable growth, and have some Solid SEO Tools at your disposal. But what comes next? Well, after putting so much effort into reaching out to new customers, it would be a shame if they didn’t keep coming back. You can fill a bucket with water as fast as you like, but if there is a leak, you’ll just be fighting a losing battle. It’s time to plug those holes and maximize your growth; let’s talk customer retention.
Offer Them Incentives
Nothing breeds loyalty quite like helping your clients to keep hold of the contents of their wallets. You could do this in a number of ways, and you won’t have to bankrupt your business in the process. Depending on the product or service you offer, you could try using a loyalty card scheme similar to those used in coffee shops. Each purchase could accrue points which they can use for a cash discount or a certain amount of visits results in the next purchase being free of charge or half price.
This particular method might not fit your business model, which is fine. In which case, you could also try offering additional services at a discounted cost for your regulars. You could advertise flash sales that are exclusive to previous clients in your regular newsletters. Whichever way you choose to offer a discount, the important part is that your customers and clients know that their loyalty will benefit them as well as you.
Ask Them For Feedback
There are many reasons that you might lose out on repeat custom; some things are outside of your control (change in customer location or circumstances), but some you can definitely alter (customer service, product diversity). By putting together a short survey you can find out from your clients what you are doing well, and – most importantly – what might need some improvement.
It is crucial for you to make the survey as short as possible, maybe even utilizing multiple-choice questions, as people value their time highly. If you ask them to give up half an hour of their working day to provide feedback, you may get a poor response. By letting your customers know that you plan to improve your service using their comments and suggestions, you will increase the likelihood of meaningful engagement.
Interact With Them At A More Personal Level
You may well have a presence on social media already, which is great. However, you need to ensure that you are using this platform effectively to interact with your clients and customers. You might choose to post relevant links and articles or ask questions to prompt discussion between your followers.
In doing this, you manage to turn your business’ page into something of a community, bringing everyone together in a common cause. This feeling of togetherness can imprint itself upon your customers, making them automatically think of you when they are in need of your particular product or service. You can also use this platform to gather positive reviews and address any critical feedback or complaints. This is an opportunity to show anyone who happens across your page that you care about your clients and respond promptly to their communications.
Provide An Experience Unique To Your Business
An important question to bear in mind with any customer interaction, is “what’s in it for me?” Anytime you want something from a client; whether it be feedback, repeat custom, or referrals, you need to think about how your customer benefits from doing it. One of the most overlooked benefits for your clients is the experience.
In competitive markets, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself from your rivals, even with exclusive discounts or an extremely efficient service. It could be something as simple as taking the time to have a conversation with your customers to get to know them better, or having a pleasant and welcoming ambience to your office or store. Even subtle differences can ensure loyalty from customers who feel valued and taken care of.
There are many ways to keep your business stable with repeat custom, but whichever way you manage to keep hold of your clients, you can be sure that if they keep coming back, they will be talking about you to their friends and colleagues. No successful business managed to grow without keeping a loyal following who enthusiastically recommended their services. Keep your current customers happy, and the new ones will arrive to experience what all the fuss is about.