April 10, 2017
Many businesses focus on reaching a new audience. While it’s always a good idea to invest your time and energy on increasing your reach, this shouldn’t be the only focus.
You should also prioritize keeping the customers you already have. This is crucial because the cost of retaining existing customers is much less than the cost of acquiring new ones. And even a 5 percent increase in customer retention could increase your profits by 25 percent to 95 percent. Because of this, it’s crucial that you invest in your existing customers with a goal of retaining them. Here are some effective ways to help you do so:
Introduce a Loyalty Program
Reward customers for their loyalty by introducing a loyalty program. Through this program, you can show your appreciation to people who frequently purchase from you. You could offer coupons, discounts, premium services, or free merchandise. There are several types of loyalty programs you can choose from depending on what you’re selling.
The Starbucks Rewards program, for example, allows customers to collect stars (points) for every purchase they make. And with enough points, they can get free food and drinks. The program also offers other benefits, such as free in-store refills and the ability to order ahead.
Other loyalty programs, such as Amazon Prime, allow customers to sign up for premium service at a fixed cost. Amazon Prime members can enjoy multiple benefits, such as free express shipping on eligible orders, and exclusive access to TV shows and movies. Interestingly, customers’ spending increased 100 percent after they signed up for a Prime membership, according to Business Insider.
Guide Purchase Decisions through Cross-Selling
Go the extra mile when helping shoppers with their purchase by cross-selling products or services they might need. For example, if they’re shopping for a laptop, you could try recommending laptop peripherals such as laptop sleeves, headphones, etc.
The idea is to recommend products that they didn’t realize they needed. This not only increases the average order value, but also enhances their experience shopping with you.
An enhanced shopping experience also encourages customers to come back for more. Amazon does a great job of cross-selling related products to shoppers. For example, the following product page is for an embroidery machine. At the bottom of the page, Amazon shows product recommendations for embroidery threads, embroidery backing sheets, and other items that the shopper might need.
Listen to Customer Feedback
Show your customers that you care about their opinions by collecting their feedback, and using it to improve your performance. Collecting customer feedback is an excellent way to show them that you’re dedicated to making improvements to ensure a better customer experience. You may already be responding to reviews on Yelp or Google. But you can go one step further by sending out customer satisfaction surveys.
You could set up a page through which people can submit their feedback, like Lufthansa has done. Through this page, your customers can easily submit their complaints or feedback at any time. This allows you to address those complaints, and identify opportunities for improvement.
You could also collect customer feedback using on-page pop-ups like Unbounce does. Using these pop-ups, you can collect specific information about your service, and how people feel about it. And since site visitors can complete the feedback process with just a few clicks, you won’t have to worry about wasting their time.
It’s not enough to just collect feedback from your customers. You also have to listen to the feedback, and use it to make changes as necessary. Some feedback may be completely outrageous, in which cases it would be unwise to implement it. But other feedback can help you discover various aspects of your business through the eyes of your customers. And that kind of feedback can be valuable for making improvements.
Engage Through Social Media
The best way to retain your existing customers is by building strong relationships with them. To build those relationships, you need to engage with them on a regular basis. And what better way to do that than through social media? Social media offers a cost-effective solution to connecting with your existing customers, and engaging them with your content.
You can use social media to share news of your latest updates, such as an upcoming product launch, or a special offer. You can also use it to interact with fans on a personal level. The goal is to connect with them as you would a friend. This can help you build long-term relationships with your existing customers.
Taco Bell does a great job of engaging fans through their Twitter account. Through social media, the brand has created a funny and friendly persona. They come up with relatable and hilarious tweets, as you can see in the screenshot below. They also provide their followers with the latest updates on their menu items.
Showcase Customer Experiences
Another way to engage your customers is by sharing customer-generated content. You can showcase customer experiences, and share them with other customers. Encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand on social media. You can assign a special hashtag to help you keep track of the submissions. You can then share the user-generated content from your social media accounts. You can also curate them, and post them on your official website.
There are two main benefits of showcasing customer experiences. First of all, it’s a great way to show your appreciation to your existing customers. When you show them how much you value them, it can boost their loyalty to your brand. Additionally, positive customer experiences are a form of social proof that can help you win over new customers.
BlackMilk Clothing regularly shares photos of customers wearing their clothes. Every time they share a photo, they update the link in their bio so other users can get the same item.
The brand goes one step further by also sharing customer-submitted photos on their product pages. Many of their product pages feature fans wearing the item, like in the screenshot below. They also encourage others to submit their photos using a unique hashtag for a chance to be featured.
Read more about retaining customers here on Tech.Co
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