Many small businesses place the vast majority of their focus on customer acquisition, the process of obtaining new customers for your product or service. It is important to keep in mind what many large companies have come to know all too well. It is much cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. Additionally, customers who are happy with your product and company are a lot more likely to make purchases of other goods and services that you offer. Not only that, but they can easily become one of your best customer acquisition tools. Therefore, it is important to assure that you have a robust customer retention program, and one that you are continuously working on and improving.
In previous articles, we have discussed using your newsletter for transparency and communication and even increasing the frequency at which you send it. Keep in mind that your company newsletter is one of the simplest and cost-effective ways of retaining your customers. At the very least, they act to remind your customers of your brand whenever they open their mail.
Another of the trends that has received a boost by the pandemic is customers’ desire for convenience and customization. You have probably noticed businesses, from those you shop to your competitors, making changes to respond to this. Some easy examples are many tools that have been implemented to allow customers full ability to customize, order, and pay for food items in app, whether it’s coffee, a meal, or ice cream. These are both convenient and address safety concerns at the same time.
As part of your customer loyalty program, you should consider adding a referral program. Customers can be encouraged to make referrals through discounts on future purchases or other incentives which best fit your business. If properly constructed this will increase customer acquisition and increase sales from your current customers. Concurrently with that, it will increase your customer satisfaction. The key is to concentrate on powerful and fun incentives in order to get your customers invested, and to get them to become advocates for your brand.
Second to your customer service programs, it is always about what you can do for each customer to make them feel like they are your only customer. It’s surprising how many companies do not have a COVID relief program, or think it does not apply to them or that there is nothing they can do to help struggling customers. While these programs could be specific to your customers, they could also work hand in hand with any social responsibility programs that you can implement.
Your customers are very sensitive to everything your business does, things it buys, sells, or advertises to its entire audience. You need to make sure that your business does as it says and that there are no inconsistencies between the two. It is important to have your relationship with your customers include more than just products and services. Make sure that you think of their core values and create programs that allow you to get involved with your customers in their communities or personal goals can go a long way to cement deep relationships.
Not only will you need to think through your own aid and assistance programs, but you also must create a regular communication and strategy to assure that every customer is aware of what you are offering them during this tough time. The act of simply providing a discount or ability to put a customer on-hold provides them with the confidence and loyalty to come back as a stronger customer when the time is right.