• The Rolling Circle

10 Direct Ways to Retain Your Existing Customers

Updated: Oct 30

According to the Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent increases profits by 25 - 95 percent.



Retaining customers has its own cost but that cost is never more than the acquisition of new customers. Customer retention is more than essential for the growth of your business.


"Research shows that it can cost up to 30 times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. It pays to stay very close to your customers, so you know their exact needs, today and tomorrow.”

- Mike Johnston in LinkedIn Pulse


An effective after sales service strategy can assist in retaining your existing customers. After sales services can be anything from offering coupons and discounts to sending out birthday greetings and gifts. Providing loyal customer special offers to reward their loyalty makes sense to ensure healthy customer retention rates for your business.


In addition to being cheaper to retain than acquire customers, return on investment (ROI) for customer retention initiatives is often higher as well. Generally loyal customers are ready to spend more than new customers as they are associated over a longer period to start trusting you and your products and services.


The secondary benefit of retaining existing clients is that long-term customer relations have a positive effect on your brand. Retaining a loyal customer base proves that you deliver a great customer service experience. Potential customers notice that you have repeat business and rely on you more from the beginning. Word-of-mouth advertising has no comparable alternative, really.


When you serve a great customer experience, your supporters will want to share your brand with their family, friends, and colleagues for genuine reasons. This is the most effective form of brand awareness that you can receive. Great customer service is about a variety of factors from being dependable to offering fair prices. But, above all, realizing that everyone on your team conducts as if they’re responsible for managing your brand’s public relations.


Here is a list of 10 actionable ways for retaining your existing customers.


These actions are distributed across five different categories:

  • Communication

  • Selling

  • Reciprocity

  • Customer Support

  • Loyalty Programs



Communication


For establishing loyal customers it is essential to capture and retain their attention.


1. Assert what you value


You have to clearly outline and advocate the elements your business respects and stands for. You cannot leave any doubts on what you stand for and try to represent a brand persona that reflects your brand values. For example, you can’t be standing for women’s equality as a brand and then have a communication element conflicting with that. You should strive to maintain a brand image that also connects with your target audience’s aspirations and values.


2. Address the persons’ concerns


Brand loyalty is established through empathy. To establish a brand that creates a lasting bond with its consumers, understanding the consumers down to the last detail can go a long way. Developing an ethos and brand message that revolves around the aspirations, goals and pain points of the consumer group, helps in developing the much needed connection between the brand and its customers. This is an instrumental step for keeping the customers to root for your brand.



Contact us if you’re seeking professional solutions for your brand and business communication strategies.



Selling


If customers find your selling process sloppy, they will tend to avoid you. Which is why selling correctly is an integral part of creating customer loyalty. Here are a couple of ways to improve your selling process.


3. Bring them in for the right reasons


Acquire your customers for the right reasons. Schemes, offers and freebies can boost your customer acquisition initially but it won’t help with your customer retention in the long term. If you bring your customers for wrong reasons or via short term tactics instead of long term strategies, your business will fall into a constant customer acquisition cycle. And that cycle can be very expensive to say the least.


4. Reduce pain points and friction


Making purchasing a befitting experience for your customers needs careful attention. As a business enterprise, it is the responsibility of the brand to ensure that patrons are given a welcome experience so that they are encouraged to visit again. If the consumers are kept waiting in a queue, not responded to with their queries satisfactorily or rudely treated by any representative, that’s certainly not going to help with your customer retention plans . So be careful about your customers’ buying experience, in case you want them to keep coming back to you.



Reciprocity


Reciprocity is a basic human trait. What goes around, comes around.


Here’s how you can deploy the power of reciprocity for your customer retention plans.


5. Surprise your customers


Who doesn’t love nice surprises? A surprise pulled off well has the power of leaving a long lasting impact on it’s receiver. What could be a better way to leave a strong brand recall than do something nice for your customers when they least expect it?


Send a thank you note. Thank them for their business. Go out of their way to delight your customers. Add that extra nice touch to your customer service. Give them something useful complimentary. There are probably a million ways a business can surprise its customers and win them over. Whenever you have an opportunity to surprise your customers positively, don’t miss out on that.


And they will reciprocate to your business in the ways unimaginable to you. They will take it upon themselves to look after your brand image. Heck, they might even make your brand image for you. They will stick with you and they will keep coming back for more.


6. Add a personal touch


Adding a personal touch is a sure-shot way to making our consumers feel special. Everybody loves a restaurant who remembers his or her favorite sitting area and keeps it ready for them. Similarly we love to frequent a salon where the hairdresser remembers the way we love our haircut. These personal attentions go a great way for keeping customers hooked to your business for a long time to come.



Customer Support


Customer loyalty is developed by satisfying customers with your support. Customer support experience is the vital phase that makes or breaks any customer relationship.


7. Quality and speed


Customer support is an area of concern for a lot of organizations. Especially technical issues that consumers have little knowledge about, is often an area of grievance for many. Customers tend to prefer those service providers who fix their issue for once and all even if they take more time for doing that. At the same time, if your customer’s issue is time sensitive, then you also need to ensure that it’s responded within a reasonable time period.


Those brands who figure out how to achieve this fine balance between providing a quality support with adequate response speed, would definitely have an edge over competitors when it comes to customer satisfaction and their retention.


8. Customers prefer familiarity


Being served by someone who is aware of their preferences is always appreciated by the customers. Adding that familiarity to your customer support, can make your customers feel cared for. And that’s the core element of driving a successful customer retention program. Know your customers and let them also know that you care about them, and they would love to stick with you for longer.



Loyalty Program


Loyalty programs are driven by precise customer psychology. When brands understand why customers use loyalty programs can successfully make them stick around.


9. Get people started


Starting a Loyalty Program for any customer is a challenge. This is because clients might not be interested in a future with you from the word go. They are generally more interested in what you can do for them now. So to get your customers started with a loyalty program, you need to reward them for joining and for their patronage so far, with special rewards for existing/ repeat customers.


10. Provide VIP treatments to ideal customers


Customers love to feel privileged, to be part of a special inner circle. Whenever you promise your customers to serve them on priority as VIP, chances of them looking forward to that experience are increased. Making them a privileged member of an exclusive customer club converts them into loyal customers. The best examples of this could be airlines’ frequent flyer programs.



Keep ‘em Coming Back


A successful business is the one that can retain its customers. Hope you can use apply some combination of the strategies discussed in this article to use to your advantage. Specially in tough times like these.


What are some unique ways that you retain your customers?


Let us know in the comments section.



#CustomerLoyalty #CustomerRetention #BrandImage #Brand


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