Our friends over at ClickTime, a powerful time tracking and expense management system, wrote a great piece on customer retention that we wanted to share with our audience. In the article, they explain how to use a mix of data, psychology, automation and personal connections to keep those customers loyal, and increase those loyal customers. Check out an excerpt of the article below and you can read the full piece here.
Depending on who you ask, retaining customers is either valuable — or really, really valuable.
By some estimates, a repeat customer is the equivalent of striking gold. One study found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increased a business’s profits by 25% to 95%. On the other hand, the cost of acquiring a new customer can be steep: anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than the cost of retaining an existing one.
Cut down on expenses and increase your profit, all in one marketing strategy. Customer retention doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when your business is well established. Focus less on reaching new customers, and more on increasing the frequency and spend amount of the customers you already have. Here are five ways to increase customer retention and start growing your revenue to new heights.
1. Figure out where you’re losing customers.
There are two benefits to digging into your retention rates to see where you’re losing customers. The first, obviously, is you begin to identify areas where your customer experience can begin to improve. Are people frustrated trying to navigate your online ordering process? Is your customer service failing to resolve their issue? Do they feel disconnected from your brand after being loyal customers for so many years? When a customer closes their account or decides to stop frequenting your business, send them an email to find out why. If sending a personal email feels uncomfortable, send them a survey. You can also start to pay attention to your online reviews — and follow up directly to learn more about your customer feedback. When customer experience is the root of the problem, a better time tracker can make employees more aware of their tasks and ultimately provide better service.
The second benefit? By asking these questions, you begin to build a personal relationship with your customers. Not many companies take the time to connect directly with their clients. Even if you may not convince someone to return to your business, you will start to build a reputation as someone who cares.
2. Increase customer retention by building personal relationships.
Customers — especially millennials — want the brands they shop from to be more “authentic.” What does that mean? They want transparency, great customer service, and a personal touch. Again, customers want to see that there’s a human person behind the businesses they frequent. Look to Everlane’s “Radical Transparency” or Harry’s Shave Club for inspiration on how to make transparency work for you.
To be more authentic, you need to be committed to being honest, open, and personal. If a customer doesn’t trust you, they will find a company they can trust. Look for ways to recognize your customer as an individual with personal touches: hand-written notes, small gifts and remembering birthdays are all details that can go a long way. Even when you mess up — and every company messes up at some point — be sincere about what went wrong and open about your process to fix the problem.
Keep reading ClickTime’s article to learn the other three customer retention tips.