Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Ways Small Businesses Can Retain Customers

A 2015 survey conducted by Constant Contact reveals that retaining customers is one of the top three concerns small businesses deal with. If you feel like you’re struggling with customer retention, you are not alone!

Regardless of your business’ age, demographic and location, customer retention is vital to the longevity and overall success of your business. So, what can you do to show this group of people how important they are? Treating customers like royalty will make them feel special - and can go a long way.

Here are 10 ways to increase your customer retention by showing your customers how much you care:

  1. It all begins with a firm handshake. Whether you’re meeting a potential customer in person or over the phone, first impressions are crucial. Strive to create a positive interaction in their memory. A good, strong introduction can go a long way.
  2. Help them feel at home. Developing a welcome packet or program is an essential step in building your relationship with your customer. An introductory phone call or email shows that making customers comfortable and welcome is a part of your brand.
  3. Don’t go anywhere. Competition is fierce, no matter the market. Remind your customers of your value with periodic phone calls, emails or even a newsletter. A visit can also send a big signal that you personally want to know how they are doing.
  4. The easier, the better. Make working with your business simple and painless. Customers don’t like to jump through hoops, especially when paying for a service. Remember to keep things simple when it becomes time to renew. The easier it is for a customer to stay loyal, the more appealing it will be.
  5. Be personal. A birthday email or a small discount regarding a certain milestone with your business lets customers know you’re thinking about them. Be creative with how you’d like to show your customers that you care!
  6. Be present. Be active on social media channels, and easy to get a hold of via email or phone call. Remind your customers that you are here, accessible and active in your community.
  7. Open communication is key. Offer office hours for meeting with clients. Put as much information as you can on your website and consider a FAQ page. Make sure that your contact information is available and have a quick turnaround time if you happen to miss a call or an email.
  8. Celebrate your consumers. When your customers show their loyalty, consider rewarding them. Offer a rewards or referral program to encourage consumers to be more invested in your business. Discounts, coupons or added perks are all exciting things to offer to your customer base!
  9. Be open to evolving. The world constantly changes, and your brand may have to change with it. Understand that adapting is necessary, although sometimes uncomfortable. Look at how your competitors are marketing themselves and brainstorm what you can do to stay relevant and be noticed. For example, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Is your website mobile friendly?
  10. Get everyone involved! Customer retention is a full team effort. Everyone is a part of your sales staff, constantly working to contribute to customer satisfaction and your mission. What your employees do count! Teach them the value of your customers and the importance of retention.

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This post was written by your BBB Serving Central Ohio's Content & Communications Coordinator, Jordan Abbruzzese.

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