Customer retention is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses when so many choices are readily available to consumers. They may engage with you once, buy from you but then abandon your business for a competitor for one reason or another. So how do you retain them? How do you keep them coming back? The answer lies in various techniques that can be employed to keep them interested and engaged. This could be product related such as quality, innovation and competitive price or related to service experience or brand image. Having an approach which is customer-centric is crucial to retention. Here are a few ideas on how to ensure your clients keep choosing you:
The first thing your business should do is identify customer needs and expectations. Once you have these mapped out, you can tailor your products/services in a manner that not only meets but also exceeds their expectations. Understanding what customers want and developing your solutions and processes to better serve their needs will help in creating more loyal clientele. Put yourself in their shoes to get a clear picture of what they want. For instance, customers might be expecting round the clock support from your business while you’re only offering 9-5. Similarly, your product pricing might be higher than their expectation or the experience you’re offering does not match the perception you have created in their minds through your marketing campaigns. All this needs to be analyzed to ensure they come back again. Once customers have made a purchase, stay in touch with them and get their feedback to evaluate what needs to be added to ensure long term retention. Analyze interactions at every touch point and stay relevant for your customers. Make all your processes simple and easy to ensure more convenience for them.
Customer happiness is important for retention. For this, you need to make people feel valued through your words and actions. Your business needs to stay in touch and keep reminding them through gestures that your company cares. Simple steps such as sending them free samples every time you launch a new product, giving them discount vouchers on every purchase or sending them a little gift basket on special occasions will make them feel valued. Offer them more than your competitors in terms of both product and service, treating them like a loved one. Loyalty programs, surprise gifts and giveaways are all efforts in the right direction. While such material benefits are a great way to get their attention, human contact is what enriches experience and will make them remember you. Listen carefully to what they want, answer their queries with patience and in detail, follow up regularly and solve their problems, these are some customer service best practices which will play in your favor.
As a business, you not only need to get attention but also make sure customers keep thinking about you every time they decide to make a purchase. Having a customer-centric approach helps in creating stronger relationships. Communication is essential when it comes to relationship building. From the first touch point where the customer becomes aware of your business till they’ve made the purchase and what follows, how you communicate is what will impact them. Focus on the tone, language and gestures used during interaction. Train your staff to show empathy and use emotional intelligence for more personalized interaction. Keep the sentiments of customers in perspective throughout their journey to create a stronger bond with them. This will help in creating the right impression in their minds. Similarly, organize different events where you can invite and connect with them in a more personalized manner. People buy from people and they are more likely to stay with a company that has gone the extra mile to build a connection with them.
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