Customer retention for a healthy client portfolio.

Customers are for life, not just for Christmas!

Customer retention is so important for all retailers and all businesses and to paraphrase The Dogs Trust well known advertising catchphrase, it is not just high days and holidays; sale days and special purchase opportunities that should allow you to show your customers how much you appreciate them.

We all know it is easier to find a customer, but to retain them is the ‘holy grail’ for success. It refers to the activities and actions that you need to take to minimise the number of customer defections to the competition.

Build customer loyalty and expect repeat sales

Your aim is to create lifelong, or at least long term customers, whether it is through customer loyalty schemes or brand loyalty initiatives. Customer retention begins with first contact with a client and should continue throughout the length of your relationship.

Selling to existing customers is generally a more effective way of growing sales because you do not need to spend time in attracting, educating, and converting new ones. Selling to existing clients can be less expensive for your business than acquiring new ones and customer retention is frequently faster to generate results.

Spending resources focusing to customer retention is often more efficient as you market to a ‘known entity’. You have customers listening who already have expressed an interest in your range of products or services and are already engaged with the your brand, making it more likely to generate a positive result.

Selling to customers with whom you already have a relationship is often a more effective way of growing revenue because companies don’t need to attract, educate, and convert new ones.

The proof for retention is in the numbers as studies show increasing customer retention by 5% can lead to an increase in profits of 25% – 95%, and the likelihood of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60% – 70%. The probability, however, of converting a new lead is only 5% – 20%, at most.Customer retention is all about the numbers

Read below for some successful customer retention strategies and techniques that might inspire, for your convenience:

• Set your customer’s expectations – Setting expectations early and a little lower than you can provide allows you to exceed in service and always deliver on your promises.
• Build trust – You are the expert in your field so use your expertise to gain trust and build customer loyalty.
• Build loyalty – Build relationships with customers in a way that again creates trust. Shared values and fostering builds customer relationships.
• Offer a proactive approach to service – Eliminate problems before they occur by anticipating issues with the help of customer service.
• Use digital technology to build relationships – Social media is your ally when retaining customers – Make them brand ambassadors by using LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can help connect and communicate with them, allowing them the space for sharing experiences with your company.
• Always go the extra mile – Paying attention to customer needs and issues, living up to your promises and treating them as individuals will build strong relationships and long-term loyalty.
• Trade with individuals – Personalised service to individual customers will improve their experience. This is something they will want but will also appreciate as is still uncommon across the UK business spectrum. Make their experience personal to strengthen the bond with your brand.

If you have watched ‘Finding Nemo’ you will remember the gang of sharks, lead by Bruce, who educate little Nemo with their new mantra? Again, let me roughly paraphrase to complete – Customer are friends, not sales fodder’!
Treat them well and reap the rewards.

by Michelle

and the peakinsight team

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