Any business that hopes to remain viable and prosperous knows that retaining customers is essential. This is more important than ever in an age of global competition via the internet and a tentative economy. Returning customers require far fewer costs from a company than advertising aimed at gaining new ones. Customer retention strategies exist that will help keep people coming back to your business over and over.
One of the most important things you can do is focus on doing a quality job for the customer. Though it is an attractive proposition to save money in certain areas in order to prop up the immediate bottom line, a business needs to think long term. One area that needs to be up-to-par is staffing. Be sure that there are enough employees to meet the customers’ needs and that they are properly trained. Services and goods will have to carry a higher price to compensate for this, but the product will be attractive to customers because it is well done. They won’t mind paying a little more for something that is of good quality.
Staying in contact with current customers is a high priority customer retention strategy. Avoid becoming chummy with them because there is a line between business and friendship that should not be crossed. Do, however, call them up or email them and ask them how things are going and if there is anything at all you can help them with. As a general rule of them keep a list, depending on the size of your business, of around 15-30 customers that you have a good relationship with and reach them every few months to catch up. New customers are obviously of great importance as well, but loyal customers don’t require advertising dollars and already know you.
Rewards programs for current customers are effective retention strategies as well. A large number of companies offer promotions geared toward enticing new customers into the fold, but often forget about those that are already there. Remember, every business’s current customer is another’s potential new customer. If there are no incentives for a client or customer to stay, they may jump ship from your business to someone else. Rebates, gifts, and additional services are nice touches to add to a customer’s service. Remind the customer of their importance.
Any profitable business relies a great deal on repeat customers. Remind these people that they are important and that they can expect a quality experience with you. Customer retention strategies will allow you to do this.