The Essential Guide to Proven Customer Retention Strategies

Let’s face it: customer acquisition is tough and getting tougher. There are plenty of articles out there that explain why, but suffice to say that we are going to keep it simple here by giving you a reality check on a few ideas that can be implemented immediately.

Just remember…

  • The more customers you have, the harder it is.
  • Your competitors are fighting over those customers as well.
  • In you’re not niche, customers today have endless options from which to choose when they need your product or service.
  • Your existing customers will not stay with you unless you make them want to.

So how do we go about doing this? What has worked for many salespeople, marketers and small business owners when it comes to customer retention is this; in addition to asking your customers or clients in a polite and respectful way to remain your customers, you need to take the initiative and provide them with interesting incentives (something interesting in exchange for their loyalty), which we like to call CTAs or compelling trust actions.

Listed below are six of what we consider the most effective strategies for customer retention. In summary, they require you to regularly reach out actively to your existing clients or customers in an attempt to develop a personal or professional relationship. Here then, are the six customer retention strategies that will help you get more customers to stay with you longer:

The Thank You Letter

This strategy calls for sending thank-you letters to your customers after they have made their first or subsequent purchase from you. Sales managers often do this when they meet with their salespeople in order to congratulate them on making another sale. It’s one of the easiest things anyone in your company can do when it comes to customer retention because it requires little money at all, .just time! A personal written thank you note goes a lot further than an emailed one too!

“My Partner For Life” Program

This program is designed specifically for clients who subscribe to your product or service on a monthly basis. It sets the stage for an ongoing relationship with your customer and therefore ensures that they remain your customers as long as you can offer what they need. The program provides incentives to the client by rewarding them every month with something free or at a significant discount for continuously staying loyal to you. Example: A health club offers its monthly members a free one-hour massage; a computer store gives its clients 10 per cent off any product in stock and so on.

“my partner for life”

A “my partner for life” is marketing that sets the stage of an ongoing relationship with clients or customers which ensures repeat visits and loyalty. The idea is to market a customer as a “partner” rather than just a client or customer, someone that will help your business grow together.

Birthday Club

Have your company send out birthday greetings cards to all of your clients and customers who subscribe to your product or service on a yearly basis (so every 12 months). This sends the message home that; we recognise you, know when your birthday is and we care for you enough to acknowledge it. More so, your telephone customer service staff can send out birthday messages to clients if your customer base isn’t huge.

The Anniversary Club

This strategy is similar to the Birthday Club, but requires you to send out cards every time your client or customer’s subscription with your company reaches a month milestone (so they’ll get a card on their 1st, 6th, 10th, 12th months etc.) This way, they will feel more connected with you! And who knows? It might encourage them to remain loyal to your company just so they can see what present you have in store for them next. This club can also be run in conjunction with the birthday cards to make it even more personalized and memorable.

Referral Program

Depending on what business or service you are in, there are all kinds of referral incentive strategies available that range from free product giveaways, cash awards and even trips! These strategies work best when you, as a representative of your company, call up a customer or client and ask them if they would be so kind as to refer other prospects to you. A referral incentive program works by rewarding customers who refer new business to you or your company, rather than giving an award for future purchases made by those referrals. This form of marketing sets your company apart from many others because it shows that we appreciate our clients and we’re willing to give something back in return for their loyalty, not just expect it!

Let your clients know that the more customers they refer to you who subscribe to your product or service, the better their chances are at receiving some sort of benefit from you later on down the road. In fact, many companies have been known not only to reward their customers just for referring new business but also to give them a monthly discount off every purchase made by whomever they referred.

Sneak Preview Program

Sneak preview program is essentially a way of communicating what’s coming next in your line so when they do come out, you’ll have already built up trust between yourself and your clientele because now they know about it ahead of time when others do not. This strategy allows you to offer your customers a sneak preview of what’s coming next in your product or service line. Not only does this strategy encourage customer retention, but it also allows you the opportunity to up-sell too. The basic idea is for you to keep your customers informed on upcoming products / services that might interest them. Nowadays, many companies are sending out emails, newsletters and other communications tools where they send out advance notice of new products or services about to hit the stores soon. This information gives their current customers additional incentive to remain loyal because now they’re “in the know” ahead of time.

The Bottom-line

The main objective for implementing any one (or more) of these strategies into your business plan is to ensure that every client or customer that comes into your company’s doors remains loyal to you as long as they can. These strategies have been tested and have shown to be successful in retaining customers of various types of businesses. Customer retention strategies enhance your customers experience by ensuring they are engaged with what the company is doing. Never forget it is always easier to keep an existing customer than find new ones. With this in mind, this tips should help springboard your business into more of these practical retention ideas.

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