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Mastering the Art of Customer Retention

Presented By: Amanda Winstead

 mastering the art of customer retention  

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The nature of a business is to expand and grow, gaining new customers along the way and evolving company practices to reflect the changing landscape of the business itself. It can be easy, though, to get caught up in the whirlwind of mining consumer sentiment and generating new leads, leaving your present customers feeling somewhat neglected. When all is said and done, your current customers are the ones who feed your business. In turn, you are responsible for giving them countless reasons to remain loyal.    

Customer retention requires effort and scrutiny. It is crucial to create a strong, lasting bond between your customer and the service/product you provide. We’ll guide you through effective customer retention practices and examine how customer retention is the life force of your business.

Internal Operation Enhancements for Customer Retention

To enhance customer loyalty, it is important to foster an environment where customers feel all their needs are met. This means establishing a project management chain where each member is responsible for attending to individual customer needs, such as answering inquiries sent via contact form.    

To achieve proper organization, you’ll need to use customer relationship management (CRM) tools. This system allows the entire team to see what customer retention tasks must be completed, who is in charge of completing them, and what has already been addressed. Adhering to deadlines and establishing clear lines of communication between team members will only enhance the customer experience. They’ll benefit from the attention to detail and your company won’t face potential losses by spending valuable funds on new customer engagement marketing.    

Customers also value a business’s effort to incorporate their direct feedback into everyday operations. To do so, you must create a feedback loop – this includes establishing a means of receiving feedback while using that data to evolve your business, and keeping the customer informed along the way. They want to see proof that you’re listening to them, and a great way to do so is with a monthly newsletter.     

Outline all the ways your business is improving and the exciting new services, products, and advancements your team has put together. Create a section of the newsletter that specifically focuses on addressing feedback and providing valuable solutions. For example, if your customers have been complaining about long customer service hotline wait times, this would be a great opportunity to unveil via newsletter a collaboration with AI chatbot tools that will reduce hold times and improve user experience.    

This leads us to another important customer retention tactic – making problem resolutions as easy as possible. This means scrutinizing your company’s customer service department and providing proper training to each team member. Conduct weekly to bi-weekly training that includes updating team members about current and past products/services. Review feedback and address unfit internal policies. Doing so will strengthen the department as a whole and restore customers’ faith in your business’s ability to resolve their issues.

How to Exhibit Customer Appreciation

Sometimes, it isn’t enough to simply have an efficiently operating business. Customers want to see you go the extra mile, even if it’s doing something small. One simple way to keep your customers happy is to establish a loyalty program. This program can help retain customers and make them feel appreciated. Some loyalty programs provide regular discounts based on certain tiers which customers reach based on their monthly spending, much like Sephora offers with their Beauty Insider rewards program. Offer exclusive access to product drops, higher holidays discounts, and fun annual events top-tier customers can experience. This will prompt them to spend more and feel like an important part of your company.    

Beyond the motive of customer retention or trying to get customers to purchase more frequently, it is a great practice to send out “thank you” postcards at least once a year, especially around the holidays. This can be a virtual practice via email, or physical mail customers receive at their homes. One helpful tip is to make the note feel as personal as possible. Address them by name, use a handwriting font, and include a heartfelt message that exemplifies how truly appreciative you are of having them a part of the company family.

Why Customer Retention Matters

This may seem obvious in many ways, but customer retention has big benefits and is an undeniably crucial aspect of running a business. The last thing you want is to encourage a customer to engage in a one-off sale – you want to give them a reason to keep coming back. Comparatively, it is much cheaper for a business to retain customers than attract new ones who may not end up being as loyal as your previous clients.    

Having long-term relationships with your customers also provides your business with valuable market data. You can get a better grasp on how a demographic operates, especially with clients who have been with you for years. This way, your business evolves in a way that is truly palatable and beneficial for your audience, elongating the life of your company for decades (or even centuries) to come.