Finding ways to increase revenue is the number one priority for most businesses, but are you going about it in the right way? In this article, John Armstrong, Director and Co-Ownerof Custom Planet, explains how customer retention, not justcustomer acquisition, is key to increasing profits.
All businesses should constantly be looking for ways to attract new customers, but some get so caught up in this cycle they can often overlook the customers they already have. Existing customers — ones who have purchased something and already know your brand — can be a continual source of revenue. A common misconception is that, if you are offering a great product or service, customers will naturally stay with your company. This can be true in some cases but, these days, businesses must do more for their customers.
As we move further into the digital age, social media-savvy consumers continue to demand more from their brands, and rightly so. Keeping your current customers happy should be the number one priority for any brand, especially considering a single slip-up can lead to mass outrage. What customers expect from a business is far more than the delivery of a good or service — they expect to have their voice listened to. With this in mind, I’m going to walk you through three ways to increase customer retention, helping you to keep your customers happy while also increasing your profits.
Consumer habits have changed dramatically over the last decade, and customers now expect to get whatever they want delivered quickly with minimal fuss. If they have questions, they need answers straight away; if they have an issue, it needs to be rectified as soon as possible. Failing to have this dialogue with your customers is a sure-fire way to make them move on to another company that will. This applies to telephone calls, emails, and online chats — a swift response shows you care about the customer, it shows you are on the ball, and it builds a sense of trust straight away.
Another thing you absolutely must do is deal with any issuesor complaints as quickly as you possibly can, and to the customer’s satisfaction. The vast majority of consumers know that, from time to time, things will go wrong — it’s how you put it right that matters. If you do not address the situation, or make things difficult for the customer, then you are likely to lose them. If you solve the problem immediately, chances are they will buy from you again, because they can be confident that, if something does go wrong, you’ll have their back.
Secure the repeat sale
Every time a customer buys from you, it becomes more likely that they will buy from you again in the future. According to the Luxury Client Experience Board, a customer has a 27% chance of returning to you after their first purchase, but that number rises to 45% and 54% with the second and third purchase respectively. This presents a fantastic opportunity for many businesses, because customers don’t always come back on their own — even if they had an amazing experience.
Following up on those you haven’t heard anything from in a while can lead to significant increases in revenue. The best way to do this is to collect phone numbers and email addresses during the sale and check in with the customer a week or so after their purchase. Find out how they are finding their new product, let them know you are there to help should anything go wrong but, most importantly, don’t try the hard sell on a follow-up as most people can see right through this tactic.
Retaining customers isn’t a simple matter of providing a good service, it requires hard work and determination. But if you put in place the right customer retention methods, you should see them come back time and time again.