Retain customers with these 3 simple tipsHannah
In business, there’s often a lot of focus on customer acquisition as a growth strategy. However one of the least risky strategies is to sell more (either the same product/service or new product/service) to an existing customer or market.
Acquiring a customer is costly in terms of time, effort and money. Retaining a customer and selling them more is not only financial sense, the probability of the customer buying is increased by 60-70%, and existing customers might spend up to 67% more than a new customer.
It might be that you have existing products or services that you can sell to your customers or you might look at adding additional products or services to your portfolio.
It’s more than just selling more though
Customer retention is about creating loyalty. It is the experience of the purchase that will also influence the decision of whether to repeat buy or not.
Having a single, consistent, customer-orientated agenda throughout your business or organisation will help ensure that everyone delivers the ‘brand promise’. It shouldn’t just be down to the sales and marketing people. Finance, HR, IT: everyone needs to buy into this attitude and belief to create an effective customer culture.
Neilsen research shows there has been a shift in customer loyalty since 2013 and switching brands, retailers, or service providers is now more readily influenced by price (70% vs 54% in 2013). Whilst it is never sensible to compete on price it is worth noting that customers are more fickle than they ever have been and that to retain customers you will need to ensure a strong level of brand loyalty.
Successful brands use psychology to create loyalty. Throughout our life, we are establishing our own identity and wanting to build relationships with people around us that are in some way “like us”.
Being identified with a brand is a useful shortcut to achieving this. As consumers, we buy into the image that is associated with the brand and so it becomes part of who we are. Interestingly we use our consumerism to signal to people around us who we are.
Additionally, there is a thought process involved in choosing one brand over another that works like a medical placebo – there can be a change in the customer’s feelings – people genuinely believe in brand benefits – and will go as far as to recommend them to others. Loyalty is often confused with familiarity – we are creatures of habit and change is uncomfortable. As a result of this we find it easier to shop in the same store week in, week out, rather than go to an alternative; simply because we are unfamiliar with the layout, the brands on offer, the service, etc.
There are some simple things that you can incorporate into your promotional action plan to aim to retain more customers:
- Create a Comms Plan – this will keep you on track with where customers are in their journey and keep the communications channels open with you (email, telephone, SMS, DM, social).
- Have a great team in the business – people deal with and buy from, people. Having a great team can go a long way to improving customer loyalty. Your team is the personification of your brand.
- Make it easy for your customer to stay with you – can you introduce a subscription or retainer option?
What could you do in your business?
If you’re thinking about introducing a customer retention programme as part of your business growth strategy then talk with the CDI Alliance – we can help you, and at the moment can provide part-funded support through our partnership with Calderdale College