Maybe I have The Brady Bunch in my subconscious these days for this is my second “6” post in a little over a week. Last go round it was the 6 Reasons Your Website Visitors Are Not Turning Into Customers. This time it’s all about bringing customers back again and again.
Your best customer is the one who keeps coming back to you. Yes I know, hardly breaking news but worth the not-so-gentle reminder. No business can grow without retaining its customers.
It’s very important to develop and maintain a loyal customer base. After all, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it takes to retain a current customer. In fact, customer retention can improve your bottom line as well. However, sadly more companies concentrate on customer acquisition than on customer retention.
So, how does a company improve customer retention rate and turns first-timers into regular customer? Given below are six valuable tips:
1. Take Care Of Your Reputation
“Customers like to shop from businesses that enjoy a good reputation,” says Simon Wadsworth, Managing Partner of Igniyte, an online reputation management agency. He further adds, “Businesses need to take steps to maintain their reputation. However, it’s not an easy thing to do in today’s environment where word of mouth spreads faster than wildfire.”
Companies have to up their game and control how they’re perceived. According to a survey, 93% customers agree that a company’s reputation is fairly important to them. Quite frankly how that number is not 100% is mind-boggling to me.
2. Make Customers Feel Like Royalty
It’s an age old saying, but it still holds very true in today’s fast changing world. Most people find online shopping boring. There is no direct contact and you do not even get to physically inspect what you’re buying. Companies need to overcome this barrier by improving the overall customer experience.
There are many ways to connect with your customers and making them feel special. You can thank your customers by sending them an email when they make a purchase or writing to them inquiring about the product and their experience. This will make sure you stay in your customer’s mind and they think of you when it’s time to buy another similar product.
BUT when you do send out this type of communication do not try and sell them anything else. There is no law, as far as I know that states every single branded communication with a customer must contain sales language.
3. Know Why They Came In The First Place
You have to understand what motivates a customer to come to your business. It can be anything from discounted prices to excellent customer service. Whatever is causing customers to purchase from you can be your USP.
For example, if it’s the price, make sure to keep your prices around the same otherwise you’ll begin to lose buyers. Or if you do raise prices do so in a very transparent and honest way. Or maybe they arrived as a result of a recommendation from a friend or family.
Regardless of how they arrived at your proverbial doorstep, you need to find out why so you can in turn help others arrive at the same place.
4. Don’t Lose Track Of Your Customers
Stay in touch with your customer and track their behavior. This information can also be obtained through cookies and analytics. You can also use heatmap software to understand your customers better. These tools will tell you what your customers are interested in and allow you to plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
For example, if your customer makes a purchase in the first week of every month, make sure to send them promotional emails around this time so that they have you on their minds. Emails and newsletters are underutilized, and can provide ROI as high as 4,300% if sent at the right time.
5. Give Them Something To Come Back For
Plan each sale smartly. You can offer customers special discounts on their second purchase to entice them to come back for another. Also, send them relevant emails to increase your chances of retaining customers.
For example, if a customer bought a gaming console, you can send him emails about latest games and available discounts. It’s understandable that someone who just bought a console would be interested in purchasing games. The key word here is relevance AKA The Nine Letter Word Every Marketer Needs To Remember At All Times.
6. No Resting On Any Laurels
Even the biggest of companies can lose buyers if they fail to change with time. A good example would be Nokia which lost its numero uno position due to its failure to evolve.
Customers get bored of seeing the same thing. They want something new to keep them interested. It’s your responsibility to stay abreast with the latest technological changes and adapt them. This is the era of mobile phones and most customers prefer to shop through mobile phones than desktop computers. Businesses need to have mobile friendly sites with apps for all platforms to be able to retain customers.
The secret lies in making your customers happy. Understand what your customers want and provide them just that if you wish to continue to grow.
Originally published on Forbes.