Getting customers interested in your product or service is only half the battle of maintaining a successful business. Once you’ve got them, you need to work incredibly hard to keep them – this technique is called retention and knowing how to do it can be the difference between a flourishing business and a failing one.
Here are five simple steps you should be taking to ensure maximum retention.
Ensure that you know what your customers are thinking
Survey your customers at every chance you get. If someone’s just left your mailing list, for example, ask them to tell you why as soon as they’ve hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button. True, not all customers will answer these questions – but enough of them will. Website surveys can be especially effective, particularly short, quick ones that make customers feel like they’re doing your business a favour.
Even complaints need to be analysed and taken seriously. Follow all of them up as soon as possible and give sincere thanks to customers who brought issues to your attention. A well written response to an angry complaint can make even the most irate of customers remain with your business.
Keep your customers up to date
A big reason customers cease to do business with a company is because they feel they’ve been unfairly penalised for something they didn’t do. It may not be your holiday company’s fault if, for example, your customers take a trip to a theme park you advertised and discover half the rides are closed – but a heads up would have been nice.
What you need is anticipatory customer service. In some services, such as healthcare, anticipatory customer service can actually be a lifeline for some people – think how useful a message reminding an elderly person of a doctor’s appointment can be. It’s a technique that all companies should be using and it can be done via email, letter, text message, or all three. You’re virtually guaranteed to have grateful customers afterwards.
Maintain an online presence
Almost the entire world is online these days and the biggest companies are online practically 24/7. This retains thousands of customers simply because the company they choose to buy from is a constant where to buy tamoxifen citrate presence in their lives.
How do you get in on this? Well, it’s not only easy but it’s cheap. Start by encouraging customers to follow your company on Facebook, Twitter etc. Next, offer incentives for them doing this – “follow and retweet to win” promotions on Twitter, etc. And definitely, study to see what the big hitters have done to keep their customers treating them like friends rather than merely service providers. Holding competitions for customers is a tried-and-tested method!
Promote your company values loudly
In 2012, a survey was done of 7000 regular people across the USA and it yielded some surprising results. One of the most interesting was this: of all the people who said they had a “relationship” with a brand, 64% cited “shared values” as the reason. Think about what your company’s values are – devotion to good health? Devotion to the environment? – and make sure to promote them loudly and proudly on your social media outlets.
A company that does very, very well with promoting its values is Lush. They advertise their anti-animal testing stance both online and in their stores, and it definitely bonds them with customers who share similar stances.
Go above and beyond
Yes, a customer brought a product from your company, but who do they turn to when that product breaks down or they don’t know how to use it? That should be you as well.
You need to offer a full-scale service, particularly if you work in a sector like healthcare where breakages, malfunctions etc of products can cause inconvenience or even harm to vulnerable members of society. Acute Healthcare, for example, provides “preventive maintenance” for its electric beds, therefore ensuring that its customers are unlikely to need to frequently buy new ones – but will, most likely, remain loyal to the brand. And over in a completely different sector, Game offers a disc repair service, letting customers restore DVDs and games at a cheaper price than buying new ones would cost.
Keep working on these retention ideas and before long you should see your company or freelance set-up start to grow.