Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seven Customer Retention Strategies

Do you direct all of your energies to getting new customers? If so, you may want to take a closer look at the source of your sales since it is very likely that 80% of your business is coming from repeat customers. If you  find that 80% of your business is coming from 20% of your customers, you may want to consider some strategies for staying in touch with those customers! Retaining customers and serving them over their lifetime can mean thousands of dollars for your business.
Some practical ways to develop action around customer retention strategies might include some of the following steps: 

1 Communicate with your existing customers on a regular basis.
2 Show your appreciation for their business and nurture customer loyalty.
3 Look for ways to build trust between your business and your customers.
4 Don’t make it easy for your customers to switch to the competition.
5 Expand product lines to provide more products or services for your customers.
6 Anticipate the changing needs of your customers.
7 Use cross-selling (selling other parts of your line to the same customer) and up-selling (selling more per order) to increase the average sale to each customer.

If you’ve lost customers, you may want to develop some strategies for getting them back. In order to implement a strategy, you need to have a database of previous customers. So, if you don’t keep a database, it stands to reason that that should be the first step in your strategy: Develop a database!

Next, you need to remind them about your business and tell them you want them back! However, you may first need to find out why they stopped coming to your place of business and, if you failed to meet their expectations, you need to make it right.

You’ve already invested a lot of money in the customers you retain and the customers you have lost. For that reason alone, putting some additional energy into retaining customers, and reactivating lost customers, makes sense for your business.

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