Retention, retention, retention
Finding new customers is incredibly challenging. Many businesses operate in saturated markets, or in growing markets that are rapidly being flooded with new service providers. The costs and time involved in finding potential clients, learning their needs, in marketing your company to new areas, discovering new markets to enter and in the constant drive to grow your client base, can be considerable.
It comes as no surprise that customer retention is key to maintaining the growth of your business and ensuring its long term success.
The benefits of customer retention
The benefits of customer retention are clear at the end of the day, but they bear restating.
1. Lower costs
With a solid, established customer base, your business can benefit from existing clients. This means that your marketing costs will be lower. Existing customers are already familiar with your products, and you know who they are. As a result, reaching out to them regarding new services is simple when compared to promoting your business to new, potential clients. There are also savings to be made when it comes to customer support as your existing clients are more likely to understand your products.
2. Word of mouth advertising
From a marketing point of view, there’s nothing better than word of mouth advertising. These recommendations are essentially free, they’re “paid for” by your ongoing support of your existing clients and their confidence in your product. There’s nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation and your happy, existing customers are more likely to share their positive experiences, becoming advocates for your business. All of this results in improved brand awareness.
Existing customers who are satisfied and happy with your services and products are more likely to provide detailed feedback as they feel a sense of connection to your offerings. This is circular, if you ask for feedback, and implement changes based upon the answers you receive, your clients are more likely to view you positively. The opposite is also true, if you ignore their needs or requests, they’re less likely to be engaged and may consider moving their business elsewhere.
An existing, wide customer base will use your products in different ways, no one customer is the same. As a result, they may well see issues that you haven’t identified and be able to suggest changes, or improvements that you haven’t considered. The end result could well be an improved product using feedback gained at very little cost.
4. Premium products
Existing, repeat buyers, or users of a service, are less price-conscious when it comes to new products. When compared to selling new customers your top of the line offering, your existing clients may well be more open to spending more money. They already trust your brand and will most likely understand exactly what the premium product offers and how valuable it might be.
5. New product launches
Existing, satisfied clients are more likely to be interested in your new products, they’re more likely to be interested in trial versions and, they’re more likely to be receptive to your marketing. The end result is that your business will have a ready market for new launches, an audience receptive to your efforts at spreading the news, and one that might, depending on your industry, be interested in participating in new product trials.
How to retain clients
So, how do we keep the clients we have?
1. Excellent customer service
Maintaining clients comes down to keeping them happy and there’s no better way to do that than to offer first class customer support. Help them fix problems, listen to their feedback, be flexible regarding their needs and treat them as valued individuals and you’ll reap the rewards.
2. Build trust
Build direct relationships with your clients, learn their names and their needs and work with them to address any issues they may have. Learn their business and work together to see how you can better support them. Be proactive and approach your clients, don’t wait for them to come to you.
3. Loyalty programs or discounts
While the need to entice new clients with great deals might appear obvious, some businesses forget to offer incentives to their existing clients. Offering, for example, a limited time discount when upgrading to a new system helps your clients feel valued and appreciated and encourages them to adopt your latest products.
4. Implement feedback
We’ve said that existing clients are a great source of feedback, but it’s vital to implement feedback when its received. Strive to take client comments onboard and evaluate whether they would make your product better. When it comes to bespoke offerings that differ from client to client, go out of your way to address any issue they raise. The end result will be a sense of ownership among your clients.
5. Use social media
Engage with your clients on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. Your clients have already bought into your brand and they’re likely to be interested in discovering what you’re doing. Sharing news, insights, new products and more through social media creates a sense of connection between you and your clients, leading them to feel more connected with your company.
Customer retention is vital for any business. Customers are an asset, one that needs to be treated with care and respect. Ensure that your clients feel valued, that they have a direct line to you and a relationship with your business. Work to address their needs and communicate with them regularly, even if it’s just to touch base.
We believe that we tick all the boxes, but we’re also aware that we can never take our clients for granted.
If you need anything from us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.