One of the most important key sales strategies is customer retention. The easiest and cheapest way to grow customer’s is to not lose them.
What is customer retention?
Customer retention is the term used for ‘keeping’ existing customers, rather than having to acquire new customers. This is deemed a more cost effective and time effective way of growing a business. Whilst bringing on new customers is important, it is even more important to keep the customers you already have.
How do I retain my customers?
A business should have a clear customer retention strategy in place; surprisingly according to Forbes (Customer Retention Is King: The Future of Retention Marketing 21/1/15) ‘driving sales’ was ranked as businesses highest concern with ‘engaging customers’ and ‘building customer loyalty’ both tying for last place. This, despite clear evidence that existing customers are more valuable than new customers.
Some customer retention strategies to explore are as follows:
if you want to know if you’re keeping your customers happy and if they’re going to come back; ask them!
if a customer has had an issue with your service or product then they may not return. Make it your business to find out if there are any issues and resolve them to the customers satisfaction. This could be done by phone, email or text; any way to ensure the customer has a point of contact should they have an issue.
a simple one but one many businesses get wrong. Offering excellent customer service does not cost anything but can be a key factor in maintaining customer loyalty. Thank the customer for their business, be on hand to help at any opportunity and exceed expectations. Also, a personal touch can be really valued; a handwritten note or personalised letter can be appreciated.
can be a great initiative to introduce to get customers retaining. It could be a point based initiative or reward based on volume or sales. Customers like to feel they’re rewarded for loyalty.
ensure you obtain customers information whether they take out a service or not…obviously in accordance with DPA…. this increases your database to reach out to.
have a contact management policy in place; whether it be a high-tech CRM system or a manual system having a system is of paramount importance. Know when you’re going to contact clients, have regular touch points i.e. a newsletter, emails and make sure all content is engaging and specific to the client, otherwise it will lose its value.
if your customer is applying for say, an insurance product, you could assume that the policy would be up for renewal in a year. Make sure you have factored in potential ‘sell again’ dates and act on them.
if you have a number of customers that consistently buy from you or bring your business considerable value; ensure they are looked after by a senior member of the team and let them know they are being treated with importance.
Sell, sell then sell some more.
Making a sale to a customer is great, however, this is where the retention journey begins. You may have your best salesman on acquisition, but who have you got on retention? Do not drop the ball by losing that customer by only focusing on the next new one – lock in that customer, obtain referrals from them, retain their business, keep them happy, show them you care and importantly thank them for their business.