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Client Retention: Why Existing Customers are as Important as New Customers

When you’re looking at business strategies, it’s easy to focus entirely on new customers. However, getting customers to return to your business is just as – if not more – important.

Admittedly, getting customers to return to your business is difficult work, but it’s certainly not impossible. Essentially, all you have to do is build customer satisfaction and customer experience levels.

Studies show that the cost of keeping a current customer is only around 10-15% of the cost of acquiring a new one, so a retention strategy could save you huge sums of money. Plus, of course, the longer the relationship lasts, the stronger the brand loyalty of the customer, and the lower the overall costs.

So, how do you keep the customers that your business already has? In this post, we take a look.

Customer Loyalty: Let Existing Customers Promote Your Business

Customer retention is an essential part of business. If you manage to retain customers, then they will likely become brand advocates. Not only are they more likely to buy more from your company on return visits, but they’re also likely to verbally refer your business to other people. If the original customer is happy with your business, and the referral also becomes happy, then you’ve got two customers for the price of one. If you’re lucky, you can also create a chain by the new customer also telling their friend. By building customer relations, you’ll be able to boost your base to include customers you hadn’t even considered targeting.

Even in the 21st century, word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, as it creates brand loyalty without cost. A happy customer who has friends who are customers of the same business is highly unlikely to ever switch to a competitor.

Customer Loyalty: Existing Customers are Low Maintenance

Not only are returning customers likely to refer your business to other customers (essentially giving you free marketing), they’re also likely to take much less of your time. By ensuring the customer experience is up to scratch, and that your customer care levels are good, you’ll have no problems with customer retention.

Customers returning to your business will already know who you are, what items you sell, how your business works and how to use your website. This means that they take very little attention in terms of maintenance and staff time. So you can focus your efforts in other areas.

How Do I Keep My Returning Customers?

So, how do you keep your customers and ensure they return? Here are just three ways.

Actively Encourage Loyalty

Customers are far savvier than they used to be. If you don’t actively give a customer a reason to be loyal, they’ll look elsewhere. So, give them an active reason to come back for more.

Customers respond well to incentives, which is why many coffee shops now offer loyalty cards to their customers. However, this may not work for your business, and you have to select an offer that suits you, such as: voucher codes, money off vouchers, special pricing, gifts, bonuses or loyalty points. The choice is yours.

Customer Service Training: Train Your Staff

Customers you treat well are also more likely to return. As such, you need to ensure that your staff all know the importance of customer service and undergo customer service training. This way, your customer relations should improve, as should your customer satisfaction levels.

From speaking to customers on the phone, to handling their in store queries, offering expert advice and even resolving complaints, your staff members play a key role in getting customers to return to your business.

Ensure that they understand the role they play, and remember the old cliché: a problem is a second chance to get things right. A customer complaint isn’t the end of the line, and you can coax them back with incentives. Never miss an opportunity to improve your customer care.

Have a Refer a Friend Scheme

Finally, think about how you can actively make people refer their friends. Little schemes such as money off incentives for referring someone else can make a huge difference and, in terms of marketing costs, they’re relatively small. So give it a try.