There are many effective strategies for retaining customers and growing your business, but luck isn’t one of them.

Since 90% of customers are likely to purchase more than once, it’s critical to focus your efforts on retention. And this leads to an important question: what’s the best way to retain customers?

 There are small businesses with a defined retention strategy, those that take a half-hearted approach, and those that that rely on luck more than anything else.

If you want to maintain a high retention rate, here’s what you need to do:

1. Focus on Customer Satisfaction

 A happy customer is a customer who will come back, time and time again. Conversely, an angry customer is one that’s likely to find a new provider. Not to mention the fact that they won’t jump at the opportunity to share a positive review online or with their friends.

In addition to improving your retention rate, happy customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades and new services from you than others. This positions you to boost sales and revenue through your current customer base, as opposed to spending money bringing new customers into the fold.

2. Stay in Touch

Don’t assume your customers will come back to you when they need you. Instead, do your part in staying in touch, such as through:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Snail mail
  • Corporate blogging

In addition to active outreach to your customer base, make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Phone and email remain most popular, but look into other options such as live chat and text messaging. The more ways a customer can get in touch, the more likely they are to do so.

3. Respond to Negative Feedback

Let’s face it: no one likes to receive negative feedback. Even if it’s constructive, it still hits you hard every time.

But you can’t run and hide. You need to confront the issue head on – even if you disagree with the customer – in an attempt to make things right.

If you’re fortunate, the person will give you another chance. But even if that doesn’t happen, taking the initiative reduces the likelihood of them sharing their negative view with others.

With the right approach, a high customer retention rate is no longer a dream. It’s something your small business can achieve!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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