Much of today’s marketing is focused toward obtaining new customers and new sources of revenue. What is often ignored are the current customers, the people who brought you to where you are right now, so that you can retain them and continue receiving their business. If you ignore your current customer base, you’ll eventually use them. That’s why having these key retention marketing strategies on hand is so important.
It all begins with the relationships that you’re able to build with each customer. With strong relationships, you’ll establish a good back-and-forth conversation that will keep you at the top of that customer’s mind and provide you with brand loyalty. When this happens, you’ve got the foundation of being able to retain your customers.
Creative Retention Strategies for Marketing
1. Eliminate Attrition
Every business is going to lose customers over time, but it is rarely measured. This is one of the key metrics that you need to use because the feedback from a lost customer is absolutely invaluable. It will give you a look to see what you’re doing wrong and how you can potentially repair other relationships before they decide to leave again. If you stop a leak of attrition, you could potentially double your sales with this strategy.
2. Use the Upsell
For many businesses, the goal is to simply win the initial sale. The reality becomes this: the customer is then ignored. Instead of expending the effort to chase down even more customers, try focusing on the upsell with your current customer base. The easiest way to grow your sales isn’t to constantly chase down new leads. It’s to show your current customers that you care and that you can anticipate their needs by offering them another sale.
3. Bring Them Back
Just because a customer has decided to leave doesn’t mean that they’re going to be gone for good. They’re not going to come back on their own accord, however, because there’s often no value in doing so. Your retention marketing strategy must include trying to get into contact with your past customer base, if for no other reason to remind them of who you are and what you can do. You won’t win back customers who had negative experiences, but you can fix a problem and win back happy customers.
4. Create a Calendar
You can’t build relationships if you’re not involved in the daily lives of your customers. That’s why having a calendar to keep track of those magic moments in a customer’s life, like a birthday or an anniversary, is so important to have. A surprise card in the mail goes a lot further than an email or a phone call. Most people respond positively to this and even though you might not get an immediate sale, you will become more present in their life and that will often eliminate any future purchasing hesitation.
5. Improve the Product
The bottom line of every customer relationship you have is value. There is good value in great customer service and there’s better value in staying up-to-date with a customer’s preferences, but the product is where it counts. If you don’t have a valuable product, you won’t have a sale. If you don’t keep innovating your products, you won’t keep having sales.
6. What Is Your Lifetime Value?
Value isn’t determined by the amount that someone is willing to spend today. Value for you is defined by the amount of value a customer can provide a business over the course of a relationship in the long-term. It’s measured in years or decades or even generations – not today. Figure that out and you’ll quickly see how important each customer happens to be.
7. Be Ethical
Value cannot be had if there aren’t any ethics involved. You can’t take any shortcuts in the world of business and expect to retain your customers. You can scam someone once, but you won’t be able to do it again in most instances. You’ll also develop a poor reputation that can prevent you from selling goods in the future.
8. Encourage Complaints
Complaints are feedback that you need. Period. Are there some people out there that just have an ax to grind with you? Of course – you don’t need to pay attention to those folks unless they make a valid point about your actions. It’s the legit feedback that talks about how you didn’t do a good job that you need so you can fix the problems you’ve got lurking right now.
9. Find Social Media
Technology has become an extension of an individual and this means your presence on social media develops an automatic friendship. Because technology is our best friend and our social networking is an extension of self, engaging people through these mediums will help to bring about more customer retention because you’re viewed as part of the relationship. If you’re not there, then you’re actually part of their problems!
10. Get Loyalty Involved
People love to earn things. When you do a great job and provide an excellent service, then people will want to keep coming back if there’s enough value to be had. With a loyalty program in place, you can provide that extra value that some people may need.
11. Offer a Premium
To retain your best customers, you need to make them feel special in some way. If you don’t make them feel like you care, there’s a competitor that will certainly make sure they do so! Offer premiums that your best customers can earn or just give them away if you want to make a really good impression. That will certain help you keep more customers coming back through your door repetitively.
12. Ask For a Review
Customers come back when they see other customers having good experiences too. Ask customers you trust for a review online of what you do so that you can take advantage of this retention marketing strategy. It works in two ways: by inviting new customers to try out what you’ve got going on and by showing existing customers that you’re still doing a fantastic job.