Social Media Magazine

How to Retain Your Best Customers

Posted on the 08 July 2016 by Jureklepic @jkcallas

The core of every stellar business plan is customer retention. Often overlooked, it’s really a make or break focus for every company. Those companies who truly value their customers are the ones who run at the head of the pack.

We’ve all heard the adage it takes years to build a customer and only seconds to lose one, and it’s true. Unfortunately, when it comes to customers, most leave us with little fanfare, and we might not realize we’ve lost them until it’s way too late.

Customers require constant stewardship. This means you must thank them…often. Listen to them. Offer them specials and treat them like they’re the heart of your business—because they are.


New leads and building business is always important, but it costs six to seven times MORE to gain new customers, than it does to simply keep your existing ones. A simple 10% increase in customer retention results in a 30% increase in your company value. There are serious dollars at stake, when it comes to customer churn.

So how do you hold on to your nearest and dearest customers and keep them feeling the love?

Customer Service Bar None

Customer service is the top indicator in customer satisfaction—not price, value, or even timeliness. If your service shines, your customers will stay. The majority of online customers report they require support while making a purchase—if you can offer them the support, you will retain them.

Customers remember excellent service. Using a CRM to manage customer relationships results in up to a 66% increase in customer satisfaction. It’s about remembering the important stuff—deadlines, contact information and problem solving. It’s about measuring the effectiveness of your customer interactions, but remembering the humanity beneath the data and adding a personal touch.

Thank Them

Following up with customers to thank them, and ask them about their experience shows respect and value. How often do we really hear “thank you” for our business? Remembering important dates, adding reminders, and simply responding when a customer makes a purchase can go a long way in terms of building customer relationships.

Customers are the foundation of your business. A little thank you goes a very long way. Even offering something as small as a thank you note, a personal email or a quick phone call will really make your company stand out from the crowd. It is unusual, and it won’t go unnoticed.

Offer Loyalty Perks

Your business might not be ready for a full customer rewards program, but if you’re offering incentives to new customers, don’t forget about creating incentives for your existing customers as well. Paring with partner businesses, offering incentives on multiple purchases, or for repeat business can be a great way to recognize and encourage customer retention.

Customer loyalty programs should be based on your analytics, marketing campaigns and customer trends. See what’s attracting your customers, and create your loyalty program based on those factors. Loyalty programs help your customers form a bond to your company, and retain their interest.

Engage with Your Customers

One of the amazing things about social media, and technology is the way we can constantly interact and engage with our customers in the ways THEY prefer. The opportunities to add a personal touch to customer interactions are ample, and constantly increasing.

Different customers prefer different platforms and means of contact. Some like Facebook, some like emails, and others prefer face-to-face or a phone call. When a customer adds a hashtag to their Instagram photo, or Tweet, use it as an opportunity to like, share, or comment on their post. Post to social media regularly, and get your customers engaged with a blog, regular newsletters and emails. Interact with your customers in the way that makes them most comfortable.

Studies show customers respond to daily interaction with an 87% increase in loyalty and advocacy. Weekly interaction brings a 64% increase. When your customers engage with you, it keeps you on their mind, and they will be ready to turn to you whenever their needs arise.

Ask Them What They Love

Personalize your marketing campaigns by finding what really speaks to your customer. With integration through programs such as MailChimp and constant access to customer data, you can really customize and target your marketing campaigns.

If you find yourself unsure of what really matters to your customers, do a simple survey or questionnaire to obtain more data you can customize and use to really speak to your customers.

Don’t forget to gather customer testimonials and feedback as well. These valuable bits of information can become great content for social media, to be shared on your website, and to obtain future business. Word of mouth marketing is the most trusted method of referral, and customers trust recommendations from friends far more than paid advertising. Keep your customers positively talking about your brand.

Win Them Back

While it’s far more difficult to win-back customers once they’re gone, you can do a few things to touch those “lapsed” customers and get them re-engaged with your brand.

First, remind them you’re still around. Letting communication lapse with your customers can really take a toll on your business. Manage your marketing and email campaigns, blog posts, and social media updates, to ensure consistency and regular contact.

When you’ve done something wrong, acknowledge it, apologize and try to make it right. The lesson of the quick, sincere apology, is a valuable key to customer service. Snafus happen in business—things get messed up, and mistakes are made. If you acknowledge the feelings of your customer and sincerely try to make things right, chances are good you will be forgiven.

Lastly, learn from your mistakes and don’t lose track of customers in the future. Mistakes can cost you customers, but they can also be real opportunities for growth and help you avoid future (potentially larger) mistakes. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and resolve to move forward with the value of your customer in mind.

Original article: How to Retain Your Best Customers

©2016 UNSPOKEN. All Rights Reserved.

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