Businesses are constantly scrambling to engage and convert new customers. Successful companies need efficient marketing, customer outreach, and sales to let people know about the company and bring in their business. Unfortunately, far too many businesses focus entirely on attracting new customers, and they fail to nurture and retain the customer relationships that they already have.
Every effective marketing strategy begins with analyzing your current customer base. These are people who have already bought your product or engaged your services, and they provide the clearest information on the type of people who should be targeted for future business. But this information is not only useful for statistical data– the people who have used your business in the past are the most likely to use it again in the future.
Understanding Customer Retention
Customer retention is the ability of a brand or business to retain customers through a set of activities, strategies, and actions geared towards customer satisfaction and repeat business. It is an essential part of good business, and it begins at the very first contact between a company and a customer then lasts throughout the entire life of the relationship.
Retention has been shown to have a direct correlation with the profitability of a business. Since retaining current customers is often simpler and cheaper than acquiring new ones, most successful businesses put a premium on customer retention.
How to Retain Customers
There are many factors that are directly related to successful customer retention, and it is not only dependent upon the specific product or service provided. Customer satisfaction is the measurement that is most closely related to retention, and a high level of satisfaction can be achieved with a quality product/service, exceptional customer service, a focus on customer relationships and several other factors.
Some of the most effective strategies for keeping happy customers and earning repeat business include:
- Constant Contact: Simply staying in touch can be the most efficient way of maintaining a good relationship. You should try to stay in contact with your customer base through email, phone, newsletters, social media and any other means that are necessary and appropriate.
- Inside Access: Your current customers should always be offered the best deals, rates, and specials. They should feel as though being your customer makes them part of a special club with inside access to the best parts of the business.
- Professional Integrity: As in any aspect of a business, professional integrity can be the most important element of customer retention. Do what you say; say what you mean, and always uphold any promises and guarantees made to customers. Simple honesty and integrity will do more for your customer relationships than any clever marketing or special deals ever could.