The majority of small businesses and consultants rely on a customer acquisition strategy to drive sales and fuel growth. What ends up happening, in far too many cases, is that the business eventually hits a wall where sales are flat or even in decline. So, what do most do? They ramp up their acquisition strategies in an effort to drive more traffic. Perhaps what is needed, ultimately, is an ongoing customer or client retention strategy. Most marketing experts are well aware of the fact that it takes around seven times the effort, and the resources, to being in a new customer as opposed to retaining an established one. In fact, according to standard marketing research, if a business or consultant retains just a measly five percent of their active customer or client base every year, that can account for a whopping 125% or more in profit.
- Your customer or client retention game plan revolves around an excellent CRM program as well as having the retention mindset securely in your sights. A retention strategy and program must be as much of a priority as your acquisition strategies and efforts. With your customer relationship management software firmly in place, you can begin to keep track of all of your customers and clients. This allows you to get personal with them and individualize product and service messages to trigger a greater sense of emotional evolvement for them.
- Begin to shift your focus away from specific sales and more toward ultimate value. Start evaluating your customers and clients by how much business they have sent your way, or product they have purchased, over time rather than focusing on what they bought. In this vein, you must be certain to properly budget for your customer retention marketing efforts. It must be integrated into your overall marketing strategies and programs.
- Service and communication are the keys to success with this type of program. Your customer service must be impeccable and everyone in your company, not just your customer service team, must be as highly trained as your sales teams. Ignore this at your peril. Your customers and clients are the sole reason your business exists. Be in constant communication with emails and offers to them for special discounts and prizes. Get the conversations started out at your social media platforms and give them the feeling that they are a part of your extended community and family. Make regular customer appreciation events a part of your yearly schedule of events and put it on video and distribute it around your website as well as your social media platforms. Your regular customers already know you and like you so why ignore them? Let them know they really are appreciated and they will assuredly return the favor.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer