There was once a time when customer acquisition was a business’s primary focus and repeat buyers were taken for granted. Thankfully this is no longer the case, as businesses’ existing clients are being treated with the care and respect that they deserve. 44% of companies now have a greater focus on customer retention, compared to 18% who still think acquiring new customers is the way to go while the rest manage to balance their focus on the two.
There’s no question that focusing on customer retention is a smart move. According to Gartner, 80% of all your future profits will come from a mere 20% of your existing clientele, and it’s been proven that attracting new customers is five times more costly than keeping your old ones happy. If you’re looking to join these wise businesses and increase your customer retention levels then there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Ultimately, it boils down to the strength of your relationship with your customers, where intimacy and understanding are key. I’ve included a few tips below that will help you improve your customer relations and in doing so, boost levels of customer retention.
Naturally, if you want to maintain long-term customers, you always need to be able to offer them something they want or need. That may sound pretty obvious, but you’ll be surprised to learn that only 41% of executives use customer engagement data to inform their marketing strategies.
It’s important to keep tabs on your customers' interactions in order to collect valuable data. Only when you know what their needs are can you begin to offer something to fit them. Perhaps more importantly, though, is that frequent and successful engagement with your customers grants you the opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship, which is the main goal when it comes to keeping customers happy.
Customer expectations are starting to reach an all-time high. The time of quiet complacency is over, and the promise of quality service at an affordable price is no longer enough. It may be hard to admit, but no matter how much you’ve tried to create a unique product, odds are that there are one hundred others out there, and now that customers are clued in on the wonders of the internet, an alternative is just one swipe of their finger away.
That doesn’t mean that your marketplace is flooded, though, and you shouldn’t start packing your business up just yet. It just means that you need to work hard to highlight the specific elements of your product that make you stand out. Emphasize aspects of your business that will excite customers and make them want to stay with you when so many others are asking them to leave.
Remember when it was the business that could offer the minimum acceptable quality at the lowest price that acquired the most customers? Well, those days are long gone.
These days, price is not the deciding factor in a customer’s decision to buy. Studies show that customers are now happy to pay more for a better customer experience, and it’s predicted that next year. Customer experience will be the key brand differentiator, overtaking both price and product. It’s worth getting a head start and offer this superior experience to help increase customer retention.
Loyalty and feelings of personal connection are the driving forces for repeat sales in 2020, and these can be achieved by ensuring your customers feel valued by your business as people, not sources of income.
To earn this level of trust, you need to find creative ways of connecting with your customers again and again. It’s not enough to keep tabs on their purchases and reach out with similar products when they come around. Keeping what you offer relevant to your customers’ needs certainly is important, but what really pays off is regular correspondences that don’t always end in an ask for money. Follow up each purchase with a handwritten letter asking for feedback. Let your customers know that they can reach out to you if they’re dissatisfied with what they’ve been given, whether it is the product itself or their customer service experience.
It’s perfectly understandable that businesses would look to automated emails to deliver these regular messages, they’re so quick and easy after all. But people have started seeing through the indifference of digital marketing. By sending your customers an email you are telling them that they are not worth your time and could easily result in higher levels of churn. Effective customer contact needs to be personal and intimate in order to appear relevant in the modern day. Why not try sending a personalized handwritten letter? They are almost always opened and having something physical in the customer’s hands can suggest importance and intimacy.
Sending a handwritten letter will make each and every correspondence feel like a unique experience for the customer. For example, if you feel they need a little extra incentive to continue doing business with you, send a note offering a personalized discount to encourage loyalty. When they buy a product, send a thank you note to show your gratitude for their business. If you have their date of birth on file, send an appropriate birthday card to really add that extra layer of surprise and delight to your service. No matter what you choose to do, keep it personal. Speak to them directly, ask questions about how they are feeling, nurture a meaningful connection.
Customers who have already done business with you cannot be looked after too much. You’ve won their attention and trust in the past, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep winning it. Repeat sales will come to the businesses that listen to their customers and work to create an experience that they will love (and want to come back for). With Scribeless’ handwritten notes service, you’ll find that sending a campaign of personalized handwritten letters can be as easy as sending an email, with increases in customer engagement of up to 4x that of digital marketing!
Click here to find out how Scribeless can help increase your customer retention.