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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Why Your Small Business Can't Afford to Ignore Customer Retention

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Customer Retention is Critical

    Customer retention is critical for the success of every small businesses. Experts estimate that acquiring a new customer can be up to 10 times more expensive than keeping a current one, and established clients tend to contribute about 67% more money towards your bottom line than a new buyer.

    While nurturing leads into clients to increase your reach is important, every small business needs to understand that customer retention is critical. Even if your marketing budget is limited, you should focus on directing funds towards retention. Here are some top tips to increase your ROI by focusing on customer retention:

    Customer Service Matters

    It's a little-known secret that customers rarely take their business elsewhere simply based on price or quality. Perception of your company's customer service matters three times more to your clients than price. You can't control your competitors' prices, but you can make an effort to significantly increase your outreach to your current client base. From segmenting your email list to make sure you're sending relevant content to putting the spotlight on some of your loyal buyers, make exceptional customer service a strong presence in your retention strategy.

    Ask for Feedback

    Strengthen your current customers' investment in your stock by allowing them to provide input on your products or services. Online clothing retailer ModCloth has gained a lot of attention for their savvy social media efforts, and one of their best ideas to date involved crowdsourcing designs from their social media fans. Followers were asked to vote on Facebook for their favorite designs, and the company quickly designed and sold 7 of the winners. Giving your customers input on changes in your business can help them feel invested, and lower the chances that your updates will fall flat. Customer retention is critical, and letting clients talk can give them incentive to stick around.

    Give Incentives

    Even though customer service is king, giving your clients opportunity to save money won't hurt the chances of keeping their business. Some companies have found that providing incentive for referring new clients benefits everyone involved. The company's bottom line swells from the business of low-cost client acquisition, and the repeat customers can enjoy saving money. Word of mouth referrals still matter, so reward your clients when they help you out. Customer retention is critical, and introducing financial incentives for repeat buyers can be a successful initiative.

    Offer Rewards

    Rolling out a customer rewards program doesn't have to be a complicated system with a unique language. Introduce a simple points system to introduce rewards to your repeat customers, and make sure to use simple scoring and an understandable system. From punch cards to simple electronic swipe cards, many companies that understand customer retention is critical have been able to increase loyalty by offering rewards to repeat clients.

    Sell to Your Clients

    Offer logical upgrades, opportunities for re-order and complimentary products to your current customers. Selling to your established clients will probably be about 70% easier than making a sale to someone in your leads base. Relevance matters a great deal when it comes to marketing automation, so be sure to draw a clear connection between the products and services you are offering and their purchase history. Offering items of value to your clients can increase sales and loyalty.

    Customer retention is critical, and sometimes even repeat sales need nurturing. Make customer service top priority in your client retention strategy, and establish marketing automation and social media outreach to make your customers feel valued and important. From crowdsourcing product suggestions to providing incentives for word of mouth referrals, your customer retention practices should provide real value to clients.

    Image Credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles

     

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    Topics: Inbound Marketing