As a business owner, making a lot of sales is your utmost goal. But have you stopped to think about customer retention, and how it's an important strategy to help you reach that goal? Find out what customer retention really means and how you can use it to grow your business.
Customer retention is the ability to keep your customers coming back to your business, time after time. It tells you that you are doing something right, that your customers are satisfied, and gives you confidence as a business owner. For a lot of average businesses, customers patronize them once and they never hear from them again. Here are six ways to ensure that’s not your case:
- Provide exceptional customer service: This has to be the first and most important point because they do say the first impression makes a lasting impression. After a customer patronizes you, regardless of how great your product or service was, what they’re most likely to hold on to is the experience that they had while doing business with you. If it was a positive experience, they're most likely to stick around. So ensure you let every customer take with them a feel-good experience.
- Treat every transaction as an avenue to help solve a problem: A lot of times, business owners try to swindle their way through sales. A customer could require a product that they are unfamiliar with, and because the customer doesn't know what they are looking for, the vendor could play smart by selling anything substandard to them or charging them at an exorbitant price. As a business owner, you may have won at that point, but the customer is sure to find out when they don’t get product satisfaction and definitely won’t be coming back to patronize you.
- Recognize and reward loyal customers: Customers are quick to jump ship to another business that makes them feel prioritized. So, make your loyal customers feel appreciated. Once in a while, send in a kind word to appreciate their loyalty to your brand, or send them gifts at important intervals, such as every six months or yearly.
- Communicate honestly with your customers: Sometimes, during a sales process, vendors are not upfront about issues that may arise. They forget that their customers are humans too, and are likely to understand if they are carried along with important issues that may hinder proposed agreements. For instance, as a wig maker, you may have promised to deliver a package to a customer on an agreed date. Then the said date comes, some emergency pops up, and you are nowhere to be found or heard from. Your customer isn't hearing from you or getting their product. This will automatically dent their trust in you. Now imagine if you had informed the customer of your emergencies and promised to deliver on another date as soon as you have your issues sorted out, they would take you as someone who is reliable and will be happy to do business with you next time.
- Be personable with your customers: This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with your customers or chat with them every day. It simply means you should let your customers connect to your human side. Do something nice for them once in a while such as giving birthday discounts or sending them birthday messages. You can collect customer data to help you track this. Remember their names and always try to address them by it. It makes them feel that they aren’t just another customer. Customers are people and love to be appreciated. This will in turn make them appreciate you and be sure to reach out for your services when next they need them.
- Ask for client feedback: When clients patronize you, check back in with them and ask for feedback about the product or service you rendered to them. This will help them to know that you care about their product satisfaction and make them see you as a reliable vendor. They will feel that they can trust you and will definitely reach out to you for the next buy.
With a good customer retention rate, you will automatically be getting advocates for your business. This will encourage word of mouth referral from your existing customers, which is the best way to expand your customer base, because people love to hop on good experiences that have been tested out by others. To get more insightful e-commerce related information, subscribe to the OurPass Blog.
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