One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to increase sales is to keep your current customers happy. Sounds pretty obvious, right? However, as simple as it seems you'd be surprised by just how many companies don’t execute a retention strategy. If you haven't already implemented a retention plan or are looking to improve the one you already have, we've included a few simple and effective tactics.
3 Reasons Why to Implement a Retention Strategy Today
- It is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs).
- A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%. (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murph).
- Depending on your industry, reducing your customer defection rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25-125%. (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murph)
Simple & Effective Customer Retention Strategies
- Start a VIP Program. VIP programs make people feel special and give them a sense of status. Identify top customers and offer them specialized services, special promotions, incentives, or exclusive access to new products and services.
- Exceptional Customer Service. Fact: 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. (RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report). Besides having representatives that are knowledgeable and courteous, it is also important that your customers can reach you when they need to. Advancements in technology offer businesses of any size (big or small) the ability to look bigger and sound more professional overnight. If you don’t already have a business VoIP solution installed in your office/business, it’s time you looked at some of the benefits it can bring – such as cost savings and Fortune 500 calling features such as Virtual Receptionist, Voicemail to Email and Find Me Follow Me (which allows your customers to reach you anytime, anywhere and from any device).
- Implement customer feedback surveys. Price is not the main reason for customer churn, it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service. (Accenture global customer satisfaction report 2008). Surveys can help you find out what your customers’ expectations are, what you are doing well,
- Start a blog. A blog can be a great place to not only keep your current customers happy, but also attract new ones. Everyday people search the Web for answers – become an expert in your field. Cover topics that your audience would find of value and become the 'go-to-guy' in your industry.
- Build relationships through social media. These days, people are glued to their computer screens and smartphones. You can use this opportunity to connect with your customers through social media venues like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. You can post things such as company news and pictures, promotions, tips, and contests.
- Referral programs. Start a program that rewards both your customers as well as their referrals. Show your customers that you not only appreciate their business, but that their referrals make a big difference in your business as well.