Customer retention – what does it mean for your business?

Once you have a new customer, providing they are a good one you want to hang onto them, right? Selling and marketing cost time and money, so it’s much cheaper for your business to hang onto the customers you have. What do you do to keep yours?

Here are 9 ideas for you to consider

  1. Tracking your customer churn rate. Pick a time frame, the last month for example and list all the customers you’ve had in that period. Be sure to make a note of who’s still with you now, who’s left and how many new customers you’ve gained. It’s worth including the revenue you’ve lost and gained because of customer churn as well as the reason why people left. With this data to hand you’ll start to get an idea as to what’s going on in your business.
  1. Make sure you ask your customers for feedback. You’re not going to be able to improve if you don’t ask for feedback and be prepared to learn from it. It’s also vital that you share feedback with your team, they’re not going to be able to celebrate their successes, nor solve problems if they don’t know about them.
  1. Have a customer communication calendar. Your team should be proactively contacting your customers to find out how they are and how their business is getting along, this contact will give you opportunities to cross and up sell your services, this applies whether it be contacting regular existing customers, or those you haven’t heard from for a while. So what are you waiting for?
  1. Newsletters/hints and tips are a great tool to use, reminding your customers about your business every time they open their email. Content should be informative and not just a hard sell. It’s also a great way of telling customers about new initiatives and services that you’re offering.
  1. Remember always to build and maintain trust with your customers. This is probably one of the most important elements to retaining them. Follow through on your promises, if you say you’re going to do something then make sure you do it.
  1. Have an onboarding process for new customers. If you don’t currently have one you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. An onboarding process that helps your customers to understand how to use your product or service can really help with customer retention. When users are first working with your product/service they may get frustrated if they don’t understand how to use it. Customers have deadlines and they can’t afford to spend time learning how to master your product. Onboarding ensures customers know how to utilise your products or services so they can complete their goals on time.
  1. Have a customer loyalty programme, that rewards customers for staying with you. Customers will continue to buy from you because they’re getting more from the experience than simply your product/service i.e you let them know before anyone else about new product/service launches. They feel part of your tribe, these customers are your top purchasers so make sure you keep them feeling special. When it comes to marketing these people can be the most valuable. They’re the ones that are likely to give you word of mouth referrals or tag you into LinkedIn and Facebook posts asking for recommendations.
  1. Customer Non Essentials (CNEs) – not directly linked to the normal business you do with your customers, might be a birthday card, information about a subject you know they are interested in, a golf match you arrange, horse racing day out, a trip to Silverstone/track day, you will constantly be building your relationship, getting to know them as people.
  1. Think seriously about your Corporate Social Responsibility – your customers will have interests and causes that they feel passionate about. As a business if you’re able to pick up on these interests and perhaps choose one or two to support then you’ll be engaging and building a rapport with your clients on more than just a commercial basis.

So to sum up, having a customer retention strategy in place can really benefit your business. Not only will you spot areas that you can improve, you’ll be building trust and rapport with your customers which should, lead to increased sales. A happy customer is the best advert your business can have.

Kathy Bassett
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Kathy Bassett

Kathy’s passion is working with owners of successful small to medium-sized companies. She can help you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you really want to be, whether it is to grow your business long-term or to implement an exit strategy.