A good customer retention strategy is one of the criteria small businesses need to succeed.
Getting customers to come back time after time will increase your ROI and create a strong brand loyalty – but many small businesses are so focused on bringing in new customers that they forget about the old ones.
Customer retention strategies vary from industry to industry, but there are common mistakes that crop up again and again.
Why customer retention is important for your small business
The costs and efforts required for getting customers to return is lower than the cost to get new customers.
Your current and past customers already have one foot in the door, which is why focusing on retention is both easier and more profitable.
This doesn’t mean your small business shouldn’t acquire new customers; it just means you should have a solid strategy in place to get repeat business from your old customers.
Track customer behaviour and buying patterns
If you want your customers to return, you first have to understand why they did business with you in the first place.
That allows you to target them with marketing that fits their interests.
You can get this intelligence through a combination of website analytics (such as Google Analytics) and chatting with your customers.
Market to old customers, not just new ones
When planning your marketing, the default tendency is to think about how to attract new customers.
That’s great, but you should also think about how to retarget your old customers.
It’s been proven that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer, according to Forbes.
Engage with unhappy customers
If your customers are unhappy with your products or service, it’s often a good idea to accept responsibility, even if your small business isn’t at fault.
Make your unhappy customers part of the solution process. That way, they’ll know you value their feedback, which will make it more likely they’ll give you repeat business.
Keep in touch with your customers
Maintain regular contact with your customers, whether through newsletters, social media engagement or text messages.
The idea is to not only keep them informed of new developments and special offers, but also build trust and brand recognition.
This will make them more loyal to your small business and increase your customer retention.