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It is far more difficult to acquire customers than to retain them. Interestingly, retaining customers brings your business more revenue than acquiring customers.
In customer acquisition, you have to find your potential customers, reach out to them, and convince them to visit your store and buy from you. Of course, this requires a lot of work and needs a lot of time. But once you have managed to acquire a customer, with little effort and the right tactics, you can make them come back to you for all their future purchases.
What is Customer Retention & Why It is Important?
Customer retention means keeping customers engaged with your business for a long term. It ensures that customers don’t disappear for life after using your service or buying your product once. Instead, you try to make them come back again and again.
Customer retention allows you to reap maximum benefits from your initial effort of acquiring a new customer. Imagine you spend $30 to acquire a new customer. The customer buys a product of $50 from you and never comes back again. You earn a profit of $20. On the other hand, if you gain customer’s trust by providing excellent customer experience, quality product, and efficient after sales support, the customer will be compelled to visit your store again if he ever needs the product or service and may also refer his friend. Thus, you keep your sales rolling and your business moving without actually making any extra effort or spending any extra money.
What Destroys Customer Retention?
You need to be on your toes to keep customers coming back to you and not to your competitors. The following failures on your part will make customers do only a one-time business with you.
1. Failing to make a good first impression
The first impression is the last impression. A good first impression imprints your website on a customer’s mind while a bad impression always haunts them. The problem is you only got a few seconds to make the first impression. If your website is loading slow, if it is not appealing, if the content is not professional, if customers don’t find what they are looking for, or if you force sign-in, you fail to make a good first impression and your customer’s journey ends there.
2. Failing to deliver on your promise
There is no way a customer deals with you again if you have disappointed them the first time. You have to mean what you say and prove it through your actions. If you have promised to deliver the product or service by a particular date, within a particular budget, of a particular quality, or offer money-back, deflecting from it will turn your potential long-term customer into a one-time customer. You may not meet customer expectations as they differ from customer to customer but at least deliver on what you have already promised.
3. Failing to follow up
If you don’t bother to follow up with a customer, he won’t bother to come back to you. Once a customer has shopped in your store, it is only wise to ask him for his feedback. It will do you good both in case of positive and negative feedback. If the feedback is positive, you have the pleasure of a happy customer and can directly ask for repeat business. If the feedback is negative, you have an opportunity to work on your product or processes.
Following up tells your customers that you are serious about your business and help you build strong customer relationships. This translates into customer retention.
4. Failing to make a personal connection
If you think customers will stick to you just for your product or service quality, you are wrong. There may be others who might provide the same product or service better or cheaper than you. So how can you make your customers never leave you for your competitors and make your business apart? Make a personal connection with them.
If you succeed in making your customers emotionally attached to you, they are yours forever. Sending them gift cards, birthday wishes, inspiring stories, and showing interest in their lives exhibits the human side of your business.
5. Failing to engage customers on social media
Everyone uses social media and it’s hard to ignore it regardless of the type of your business. It does not let your customers forget you. You must have active accounts across all-important social media sites and constantly engage your customers by posting news, events, special deals, or new products. Customers can post questions, complaints, or compliments on your social media allowing you to answer their questions, address their complaints, or thank them for their kind words about your business. It’s also good to add your social buttons in the footer of your website.