Customers are the core of any business and they’re hard enough to get, but it’s all too common in businesses across the spectrum to lose a customer that you’ve spent your money and efforts attracting. Your customer retention rate, or customer churn, is a measurement of how many customers stay loyal to your business. This can be difficult to gauge initially, especially if you sell products that people don’t need too regularly, but when you do retain your customers, you’ll notice your profits climb. It costs 6-7 times more to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one, so here are some cost-effective tips to increase your customer retention rate.
Remember your Ps and Qs
Politeness is important. You probably don’t need to worry about offending your customers, but you need to focus on creating a relationship with them. The best way to create a relationship is to be polite. When you ask for their details, feel free to ask nicely, but most important is how you thank customers for their purchase. They love to feel appreciated, and this feeling of appreciation is an important part of the user experience. A thank you note that comes with a shipped product will help to brighten the unboxing experience and if the purchase is made in person, showing them that you value them will make them want to return. If they feel they have been treated well, they will feel emotionally indebted to your business due to the norm of reciprocity.
Loyalty programs can involve a lot of complex and expensive tech or it could be as simple as a card that gets stamped with every purchase. Regardless, they’re an important part of retaining customers. What’s more, they really work. One New York agency specializing in web design helped to design a loyalty program for HP and within 6 months, 56% of customers had become repeat customers. This result was helped along the way by a lot of tracking, testing, and optimization, which undoubtedly would help to enhance the efficiency of the process, but something simple and intuitive will get you results without being too expensive.
Create great customer experiences… then share them like mad!
Your customers all live complex and individual lives, but your brand will impact their lives in some way. If you notice a customer of yours is undertaking an important challenge or really cares about something, support them! People love attention, especially when it’s paid to their cause. If you support a customer’s cause by donating to it or even just mentioning it in blog posts, they will feel greatly connected with you and share it with all of their friends. Hey, presto – you’ve just become a part of their friendship group, a friendly face that they feel comfortable around. This is a great focus of modern marketing – ask yourself this question: would I rather spend money with my friend’s business or one of its competitors that I found out about online? The answer will let you know what sort of actions your business should be taking.