The numbers are clear: it costs a business much less to try to get the same customers to come back again and again than it does for that business to try and gain new customers. In the book “Leading on the Edge of Chaos,” Mark A. Murphy and Emmet C. Murphy reveal that it costs five times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain a current customer. Increasing customer retention by 2% can have the same impact as cutting costs by 10%. If you’d like to shift your company’s focus from constantly chasing new clients to getting repeat customers, there are a few things you can do to build loyalty.
Your interaction with your customer shouldn’t end because he or she has handed over the payment, gotten the product or service he or she came for, and walked out the door. There are a number of ways you can reach out to your customers after the transaction is over, to see what they thought of it and to let them know you are there to meet any needs they might have. If your company does business primarily online, you can send emails to new customers after their first purchase, asking them what they thought and letting them know you are there for them. Follow up an in-person meeting with a phone call.
You can also start to offer personal recommendations to customers based on the products or services they have already purchased from you. Doing so shows that you have an interest in their wants and needs and increases the chance that they will buy from you again.
Change Your Tone
If you shift your focus from highlighting what your company offers to highlighting the ways in which your business can help your customers, you’re likely to see an increase in loyalty. Think of it this way — would you rather a company present itself with “here is what we have” or with “this is the way our products can help you”?
Another way to help your company change its tone and the way it interacts with customers is to find out what it is that they want from you. Customer surveys can really help shine on light on what your company is getting right and where it has room to improve. As an incentive for completing the survey, you can offer customers a percentage off their next purchase.
Improve Customer Service
To keep your customers coming back, adopt a policy that really puts the customer first. As your company grows, you might want to consider implementing a written customer service policy, so that employees know exactly how to handle situations where a customer might be a little upset or where there might be an issue with the service or product provided.
If a customer has an issue with your company, you have a small window of opportunity to make it right and retain the customer. Companies that ignore customer problems or that are slow to correct issues are likely to lose not only the unhappy customer, but any he or she shares the experience with.
Customer loyalty perks encourage people to return again and again. They don’t have to be particularly expensive for your company, either. For example, one perk might be a special line for customers who sign up for your company’s loyalty program, so that they don’t have to wait long for assistance. Another simple, inexpensive perk is to offer customers a discount or free gift on their their birthday or during their birthday month.
Hanging on to the customers you’ve already got will not only save your company time and money in the long run. It can also help you gain new customers, as happy clients are likely to tell others about their experience.
If you are looking for ways to grow your business and keep customers coming back, the team at New Direction Capital can help. Contact us today to learn more about how our virtual CFO can help your company.
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