Your customers today have a wealth of choices and information.
Efforts to retain them are more crucial than ever — and profitable.
Many businesses focus primarily on finding new customers. However, a strict emphasis on prospecting will actually under-represent the majority of your sales. By neglecting customer retention, businesses fail to maximize the profits that could come from loyal customers. This is a major loss because customer retention efforts are hugely profitable.
Ultimately, businesses that spend even 5% on loyalty marketing are 25% more profitable. Since it costs 10 times less to retain a customer than to recruit a new one, ROI for retention programs is generally very high. In addition to increasing your revenue from existing customers at a low cost, a focus on retention can make your customers evangelists for your brand — which helps to bring new customers in the door through word-of-mouth.
Build loyalty through the brand experience.
With the wealth of choices and information available to consumers in the digital age, companies must go above and beyond to earn the trust and loyalty of customers. Customers today will not wait for the next brand experience: they want to have a say in developing it. This means customers can no longer be retained simply by providing a quality product and sitting back. Companies must strengthen and build the touchpoints of the customer experience in order to guarantee repeat business, and to increase cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. What can your company do to strengthen the customer experience? Begin by performing an extensive analysis of the current customer experience, and brainstorming specific strategies and initiatives to improve this brand journey.
Plant your seeds where the potential lives.
The next step is to create a customer outreach calendar that centralizes all existing and new initiatives, in order to be more proactive in customer engagement. Your efforts should be focused on customer relationships with high growth potential. Let’s suppose you’ve been getting 90% of a company’s business for 20 years. Chances are, you’ll benefit less by investing in that relationship than you would by investing in a budding relationship where you only have a 30% share. Customize your engagement strategies to favor these clients with the most potential, and track them specifically from customized sales decks.
Ask your customers for their thoughts.
As you determine how to best improve your relationships with customers, reach out to existing customers for feedback on both current offerings and product development. Some of our clients, for example, establish customer advisory boards of 5 to 10 clients are assembled to gather in-depth information and perspective. You can even consider holding a customer summit. This is an event where key customers are invited to discuss thought-leadership topics along with your company’s offerings, in a relaxed bonding environment.