Companies spend a lot of money and effort to get customers in the first place, so their efforts to keep those customers are vital to their success. Small businesses need to hone in on customer retention to thrive.
Here are some tips on how to increase customer loyalty so your business can grow this year:
Loyalty and rewards programs
These clubs focus on enhancing customer loyalty by offering them special discounts and deals. 49% of customers report spending more with a brand after joining a loyalty club than before joining. And in our mobile world, customers (at least, 44% of them) want businesses to send them promotions on their mobiles.
Here are two tips for making the most out of loyalty clubs:
• Offer exclusive promotions. Each club platform should offer unique deals. For example, make sure that the deals you offer to
your SMS loyalty club members are exclusive and can’t be found on your website, on social media or in-store. It provides the
customer with an incentive to participate in the promotion since it’s exclusive.
• Send targeted messages. Use customer purchase history, demographics and preferences to send promotions that are relevant
to the customer.
Focus on customer service
If you own a business, you probably know how much more expensive it is to acquire a new client than to maintain a current one (the
numbers vary anywhere from 4-10 times more expensive) which is just part of why it’s so important to keep your customers happy.
Another reason is that by providing poor customer service, you’re helping out your competition, with 62% of millennials willing to switch to another company because of a bad customer service experience. But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is the bad word of mouth your business gets when a customer has a bad experience. 54 percent of customers will share a bad customer service experience with five or more people. And in today’s world where consumers do research on a brand before making a purchase, the fact that 45% of customers will share this negative experience on social media means that negative experience is going to spread throughout the web.
Small businesses have an edge with customer service where they already have a more personalized approach to service because of their size. Take advantage of it and ramp up your customer retention ratings by providing the best customer service around.
Data is the latest and greatest of marketing for customer loyalty. In 2015, a Gartner report cited that by 2017 most marketers will rely on data for their strategies. So, here we are. Data management systems (DMPs) help synchronise the data businesses collect on their
customers through internal records, social media and other sources in a way that helps them craft personalized and targeted
strategies for each customer.
The goal is to be as accurate as possible at marketing relevant and valuable offers to the customer. In case you think that big data is only for big businesses, John Smith, CEO of Remote DBA said that “Small businesses have the same amount of access to big data as large enterprises. There is no reason why big data cannot be leveraged for small business.”
Ask for feedback
Be proactive in asking customers their opinions. Find out what they want, how their experience was, what they would like to see
changed, how they intend to engage with your brand in the future, etc. Don’t waste opportunities to find out their opinions.
Train your in-store staff to ask important questions. Send surveys via email, SMS, and social media as well as on your website.
Give them the opportunity for their voice to be heard at as many points of contact as possible to understand your existing customers better. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to tailor your customer service and branding to enhance your connection with your customer base.
Provide great content
This is the dark horse of customer retention strategies, but over time, the results start to pay off. Today’s consumer has the tools to do research before making purchases, and the content on your website, blog, social media pages, and even in the texts you send out all have an impact on your brand’s reputation.
Investing in good content is an investment in customer relationships. In fact, 78% of consumers believe that brands that provide quality content are committed to building better customer relationships. Each brand’s content defines its voice and style; therefore each brand’s content should be unique. But two factors are universal: your content should be well-researched and include credible facts, and it should focus on providing value to the customer.
By Alexa Lemzy, Text Magic