Customer Relations

Tips To Improve Customer Retention in Your Small Business

01 March 2021

Any business offering a service or product to its customers often prioritizes finding and targeting new customers. While this is important it is not the only means to grow your business.  The difference between companies that grow and those that do notice customer retention. The more customers that you can keep and continue to sell to, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals.

According to Harvard Business School, a 5% increase in your customer retention rate increases profits by 95%. Meanwhile, acquiring a new customer is 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. These figures point out only one fact — businesses must focus more on retention than acquisition.

Now is the time to start focussing on your customer retention strategy and Cash Flow Capital has a few simple tips to help your business get started:

1. Personalisation

Personalising every interaction you have with your customers creates an incentive for them to stay with your business. They feel as if your business cares, and this creates a closer relationship with your business. Using personalisation improves customer retention rates through improved customer experiences.

2. Use CRM software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software supports and enables customer retention by helping you track customer behaviour over time. It can tell you about their purchase patterns, product usage and when they stop buying from you. You can also track customer service interactions to understand what their problems are.

Once you have a clear idea of your customers' behaviour patterns, you will be able to find critical points where they are no longer buying from you. This gives your customer retention strategy a clear direction. CRM supports customer retention in many ways:

You need to use your data to understand when customers are at risk of leaving and communicate with them to win them back. You will get  more conversions from customers who know you than by trying to bring in ones who have never heard of you

3. Email marketing

Once you have information on your customers, you are in a position to target them with email marketing.  Email marketing is known to be one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies to create conversions for your business. Most CRM platforms allow you to integrate your email marketing with your data; this allows you to target possible customers planning on leaving with specific new sign up deals or product information.

Use email marketing to follow up with customers that ask for support. Ask customers for feedback, request them to leave reviews online and collect information. Having an email marketing program in place lets you respond to them quickly and effectively. You can create templates that send content immediately when triggered. It also allows you to personalise your content.

4. Improve customer support

Excellent customer support makes a difference to your business's success. Take advantage of artificial intelligence tools like chatbots to augment your customer support. Using chatbots for minor inquiries can help reduce the time taken to meet such concerns. Information, like tracking updates, delivery details, reservations, and more does not need human intervention. Chatbots save time when users need information that can be extracted from a database.

You will offer faster support, saving time and resources. A chatbot strategy can improve your customer support and influence a customer's decision to stay with your business. This leads to greater loyalty and improved retention rates.

Customer retention is about keeping your current customers happy. When done correctly, customers become unwilling to switch to another business. You can make it more convenient for them to stay with you than to buy from a competitor

5. Build an online community

An online community brings businesses and customers closer together. An online community creates benefits in many ways:

Building an online community is a powerful way to engage your customers and improve customer retention.

6. Evolve your offering to meet your customer’s needs

Once your customer has bought from you, and that need has been satisfied… what is next? Customer retention relies on incrementally deepening the customer’s experience. If you can anticipate their needs, you may just have a customer for life.

7.  Meet your customer's expectations

Gone are the days when servicing your customer was just about dealing with enquiries and complaints. Now you also need to meet their expectations with honest communication and clear intentions to deliver what they need, when they need it.

8. Building trust and relationships

Businesses are built on trust. Without trust between partners, the business will go belly up. The same goes for your relationship with your customers. They need to trust that you will do what you are promising and if you do not, they will simply leave and go to the competition. A great way to build trust with your customer is to offer value without expecting anything in return. Like providing ongoing useful content or asking for feedback and then being accountable and responsive to whatever answers come your way.

9. The bottom line

If you want your business to hold onto its customers, you need to think of your customer as more than just a simple sale, but rather a long-term relationship. If you can tap into your customer’s needs, keep communication fresh and engaging, and continue to hold hands with them along the way, you will systematically build a sustainable relationship with people who need your product and service. This creates a win-win scenario for both you and your customer.

"A great way to build trust with your customer is to offer value without expecting anything in return."

Successful businesses are the ones that recognise that customers form the backbone of their business. Support your customers with retention strategies, and they will support you

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