WORKPLACE / SEP. 23, 2014
version 5, draft 5

6 Customer Retention Strategies

Businesses all over the world give great importance to customer retention. With the great amount of cost incurred in customer acquisition, organizations have to be innovative and get a proactive task in retaining the current and new clients.  Experts feel that the cost of acquiring new clients is three to five times more expensive than retaining the existing customers. 

It is a known fact that customer profitability will easily increase the life of retained customers. And this will be an added incentive for the business as it will allocate more resources to sharpen the customer retention strategies. The steps given below are some of the basic customer retention strategies which would give a clear picture on how to retain customers and improve the goodwill of the company. These points address the various corporate problems and provide the required tips which can be implemented to get maximum customer retention.

1. Know customer expectations

Basically, the first important step that contributes to better customer retention is knowing the expectations of the client as early as possible. The earlier the better and avoid waiting for the perfect opportunity for it. One of the best means to foster loyal clients is to under promise and over deliver.

Now by setting expectations early and a bit lower than what you can provide, you easily eliminate the uncertainty with regard to the services that you have to offer to ensure that the clients are satisfied. However, you do need to keep in mind that a small mistake on your part of not delivering on time can have a drastic effect on customer retention. Clients never forget the negative experiences that they are subjected to and will often keep in mind about it.

So if you have delivered on time for the past ten occasions and once you go overboard with regard to the delivery date, then your client would no doubt quote the negative experiences as the major reason to cancel the contract with you.

2. Building relationship

As per the old saying, it is better to do business with individuals whom you can trust. Trust is important in business and creating relationships with your clients will easily help in garnering the required trust. You can easily gain trust by knowing the shared values of your customers.

Cultivating share values means you have to take an interest in your customers and their business too. You may need to do some extensive research about their business and try to understand on how you can play a great role in the day to day activities of the customers. Using this information, you can strengthen the relationship with the client.

3. Making use of automation

Automated tools help in making the time consuming activities less tedious and standardized. Since it is a repetitive task, companies need to leverage automation as it will easily help in minimizing the downtime and ensure that the client’s network is performing at its best. As companies are bound by contracts, it would ensure that their services are apt and make them highly accountable to their clients. So, by leveraging automation tools and streamlining the repeatable processes, organizations can easily meet their commitments. 

4. Anticipating Services

This is a proactive approach in customer service. Here, instead of waiting for issues to happen, an organization can easily implement anticipatory services so that it can eliminate all kinds of problem before they happen. Now to achieve and implement this harmony, it is important that today’s organization have to establish a dialogue with customers in order to show the awareness of their needs and the respect for communication directly. The more contacts made with customers, the stickier they become.

When customers are constantly provided information (i.e. valuable ones), then this stickiness will gradually develop into a durable bond of loyalty. Also you do have to be proactive, as it can save you from reactive problems on a long run and create a perception that you are a company that is offering anticipatory services to their customers.

5. Creating and developing relationships online

Since your clients are online, it is very important that you build a relationship with them online. With the rise of social media, most of the people are glued to their computer or mobile screens. So connecting with your customers through these mediums would make sense. Here you need to focus your efforts on developing social profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

The majority of your customers will be having active profiles in any one of the social media websites. Connecting with clients and building communities will take more time and effort when compared to typical social media acquisition strategies. It is important that you use these channels to communicate aggressively with your customers.

The first thing that you could do is start linking out the relevant and valuable contents, share your thoughts and views on various topics, and try to encourage customers to  leave feedback and comments. Now for companies who are struggling to get topics to post on their social media channels, they can take up the following topics –

  • Case study related to your clients
  • New updates of your products
  • Provide short pieces on key news like high profile system outages, new inventions, etc
  • Review new software

6. Implement Feedback

You can easily avoid the customer churn by just listening to them. Customer feedback surveys are quite valuable for learning on how your services are performing with regard to the expectations of your client. It is important that you monitor the customer feedback on individual levels. Doing a comparison of feedback across a broad range of clients would just be a waste of time.

In addition, you need to narrow down the data to specific clients to check out what they think and then take action from there.  You even need to trend the feedback across a period of time. Here it involves in tracking the feedback survey to survey so that you can see which areas have been improved and which have drastically suffered.

The above given six customer retention strategies would not only empower you to strengthen the client relationship but even boost the reputation of your organization.

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