6 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty and Retention
The phases of business development are well-known. You launch the business, you make it work, you stabilize it, and then you grow it. For most business owners, growing their business is their ultimate goal; they’re often too focused and impatient about growing their business that they fail to realize what’s more important: increase customer. You may be astounded at what we’re saying; is there anything that can possibly be more important than growing your business?
Think about it: growing your business means reaching out to new customers. Ultimately, this should serve in increasing your profits and improve your positioning. What if this impatient effort exerted for growth results in the loss of current customers? Wouldn’t it be better if you directed this effort into retaining your current customers and increasing their loyalty instead?
Every successful business owner knows that this is the most important phase of any business. That being said, here are 6 tried-and-proven ways to increase customer loyalty and retention.
1. Develop Your Products and Services
It stands to reason that it all starts with the quality of the products and/or services you provide. If your products are underdeveloped or your services are lacking, there’s nothing you can do to keep your customers coming back for you. Sooner or later, they’ll find a better competitor who satisfies their needs and forget all about you. Even if you were the best in the market once you started, that doesn’t guarantee your spot will be reserved if you fail to keep updating your business to match the changes.
2. Upsell and Cross-Sell Products
Every store-and-brick manager knows this trick: you lure your customers into buying more by organizing your products smartly. If they’re looking through the home-office section, they’ll most probably get these decorations or candles in addition to the desk. You remind them of all the accessories and items they can be interested in based on their interests. E-commerce managers do the same by utilizing upselling and cross-selling strategies. This smart organization of products ensures that they’ll check out with more items in their cart while giving you a better idea about their interests.
3. Personalize Their Experience
Every customer is unique, and they love it when you personalize their experience to let them know they’re unique. Put yourself in their shoes, would it like it better if you get a generic email that’s obviously directed at all customers, or when you get an SMS that addresses you directly by your name? The answer is obvious. This can be simply done by investing in SMS authentication software that allows you to customize and personalize your SMS campaigns to connect with your customers on a deeper level. On the plus, this software will enable you to send verification codes, confirm orders, and engage with your customers every step of their journey with you. Likewise, email marketing and social media engagement should be effectively personalized.
4. Reward VIP Customers
Your CRM system should have all the information you need on your customers. Not only will that help you in personalizing your campaigns, but it will also keep track of your customers and their level of activity. Be sure to follow up on all customers, especially VIP ones that engage with your business the most. Let them feel appreciated by offering them rewards for their loyalty, which can be in the form of free incentives, giveaways, or points.
5. Offer Loyalty Programs and Subscription Plans
Speaking of points, creating a points system is a great way to increase loyalty and retention at the same time. These loyal programs will tempt customers to use your services or buy more products to accumulate points with which they can get even more services and products. Some businesses get creative in this aspect, allowing the points to be used in a variety of ways instead of just making purchases.
For instance, you can allow them to donate the cash-equivalent of these points to charity. Likewise, offering them discounts in the form of subscription plans can encourage them to deal more with you.
6. Provide Value
It’s important to realize that a purchase is not the end-point in dealing with your customers. You can transform their perception of you by providing them with the value they need. This can be in the form of informational blog articles on how to use your products, tips, and tricks to deal with common relative issues, or any kind of valuable information that piques their interest.
Retaining customers can be one of the trickiest parts of running a business. Not only is the market in a constant state of change, but customers themselves keep changing their interests and expectations. To keep up with these rapid changes and maintain your customer base, it’s important to keep experimenting with techniques and implement proven strategies for customer loyalty and retention.