Top Tips for Retaining Customers of Your Business
It is well known among successful entrepreneurs that it is much cheaper to keep an existing customer than to attract a new one. While at the beginning of a business’s life, building an initial customer base is the most important thing, once established, businesses should be placing far more emphasis on how they can ensure that these customers remain loyal.
It is in the interests of any business to offer its customers incentives in order to retain their business and any company that neglects to do so will suffer in the long run. The good news is that encouraging loyalty and repeat business is actually rather easy. So long as customers feel that they are appreciated and their loyalties are rewarded, they will continue to choose your business over other competitors. Below is a quick guide to some of the most effective techniques for retaining your customers business.
Institute A Customer Loyalty Program
One of the simplest and most effective ways that you can encourage customers to stick with your business is to design a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs can takeany number of forms; the more creative you are with your loyalty rewards the more likely customers are to take advantage of the program. Most loyalty programs, at their core, revolve around a loyalty card which customers present when making a purchase. In exchange, they receive points or stamps, which can be redeemed for discounts or free complimentary items. However, the biggest opportunity for any business with regards to its loyalty program is in having the contact details of customers. This means that you can, in addition to the loyalty scheme itself, give participating customers other rewards and exclusive offers to truly make them feel like they are valued.
Always Strive for Good Service
Yes; you should always be striving to offer the best service to your customers and this may seem so obvious as to be redundant. However, it is worth reiterating to your team. Some managers are bound by standards and practices handed down from on high by corporate. For those with a little more freedom to operate, however, you shouldn’t be afraid to offer customers a little bit more, even if doing so is going to nibble at your bottom line. You don't want to have to haggle for every item, but there’s nothing wrong with giving customers a little leeway on price if it will make the difference between a sale or no sale. Think of it as sacrificing a small amount of profit now in return for the money you will make in the long run from a satisfied customer’s repeat business.
Be Receptive to Criticism
Successful entrepreneurs need to have thick skins and need to be humble enough to accept that sometimes they will get things wrong. When customers tell you directly that certain business practices are putting them off, pay attention to what they are saying and respond appropriately. Remember, it is the customers that will keep your business alive and if they aren’t happy with your service you shouldn’t be either.
So long as you follow the above words of advice, as well as your own good business sense, you should have no problem in retaining customer business and growing your business long into the future.