First thing’s first, what is customer retention? It’s a business’ ability to keep their current customers coming back, and not losing them to the competition. Businesses spend a lot of time and effort trying to reel in new customers, and that’s important. However, your repeat customers are much more valuable to your business, and retaining them is your key to success. Acquiring new customers is anywhere from 5-25X more expensive for your business than retaining your current customers is. Being re-visited by your customers you already have a relationship with is crucial to your business, and financially they’re one of your best investments. Creating lifelong customers could increase your revenue by up to 95%!

 

There are several things you can do to ensure your local business is retaining its customers, and we want to share those tips with you:

 

Customer Service

You hear about the value of great customer service all the time, and for good reason. How well your business handles customer issues, complaints and feedback speaks volumes to your customers, and will make or break a relationship with them. Positive customer service looks like a variety of different things, starting with:

 

  • Answering customer questions quickly and fully
  • Being upfront and honest about pricing, problems and timelines
  • Working quickly and effectively
  • Being friendly
  • Responding to feedback (good or bad) appropriately

 

Business owners should train their employees regularly on positive customer service, and ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to treating your customers like your more valuable asset (because they are)!

 

Regular Engagements

Business isn’t just about making sales, it’s also about making friends. Know your target audience and interact with them regularly and in a way that speaks to them. Whether you’re tuning in on social media, sending out automated emails or text messages, or reaching out for feedback, actively engaging with them lets them know you care and value their thoughts and opinions. Engaging with your customers keep your business fresh on their minds, so they are ready to contact you for any future needs. Automated, targeted engagements ensure that you are sending out engagements that count and making sure it’s valuable to your customers. Nobody wants to receive more junk mail, so focusing on the content your customers want and being consistent is the recipe for quality customer engagement.

 

Request Feedback

People want to be heard. Customers want to know that your business values them and their feedback, and they want to know that you’re listening. What does this mean for business owners? That you should be requesting feedback from your customers after each and every positive encounter, and then responding to that feedback. Your happy customers are more willing than you think to leave you feedback online for others to see. The reason so many businesses miss out on positive feedback is simple: They don’t ask. Believe it or not, the most sure way to get customer feedback is to ask them and then remind them. After you complete a service for your happy customer, ask them to take a minute to leave you a review online and let them know how valuable it is to your business. Once you leave, send out a quick (automated-to save you time) text message or email reminding your customer to leave a review, and be sure to include the links they’ll need! Making this process as simple as possible for your customers will make it more and more likely that you’ll receive the feedback you need.

 

Analyze Your Data

Using FreshLime’s data-tracking tools makes keeping an eye on important metrics faster and easier. Analyzing your data helps business owners to refine their business and better serve their customers. Analyze insights received from tracked data and use it to improve upon your services and business processes. Analyzing your data tells you which products/services your customers need the most, how much they’re willing to pay, which customers are most valuable to your business, which marketing strategies are most effective to your business and more.  Tracking and analyzing your data so you’re able to adjust your business and make things better for customers will result in more retention and greater customer loyalty.

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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