Last week, we talked about confidence and how it can grow your business. This mindset helps in gaining new customers, along with other marketing strategies like:
- Online presence through your professional website, Google My Business, and social media.
- Leads through blogs, newsletter and email campaigns, and social posts.
But what most marketers take for granted is the third aspect of marketing, that is, customer retention strategies and nurture marketing.
Focus on Keeping Customers, too
Marketers focus too much on a marketing strategy geared towards customer acquisition. You may think this is the secret to grow your business. However, this can hurt business if not balanced with strategies that retain customers.
Imagine a water tank. No matter how much water you put to fill it up, if there’s a huge leak that drains the water, your efforts become futile and wasteful.
It’s common knowledge in marketing that having loyal customers boosts business more than having new customers. Increasing your retention rate by 5% will boost your profit 25-100%, according to Fred Reichheld, author of The Loyalty Effect.
So how do you boost customer loyalty?
Is it with special offers? Great customer service? Content marketing? Social media engagement? Rapid response time?
Here Are the Keys to Creating a Loyal Customer Base:
1) Know your customers
2) Listen to your customers
3) Engage with your customers
4) Be loyal to your customers
Let’s tackle the keys to keeping customers around:
1. Know your customers.
Knowing the pulse of your customers enables you to react according to their needs. Does your target audience consist mainly of millennials or baby boomers? What social media do they engage in? Do they want apps they can access 24/7, or would they rather receive email reminders in their inbox?
Will they respond to special offers or discounts? Or will they appreciate built-in services that make their lives more efficient?
How did you get these customers? Was it through networking or social media blast? You’ll gain insight into what they need and what increases customer satisfaction when you have a baseline knowledge of their preferences.
2. Listen to your customers.
Often, customers leave a company and search for other products or service providers because they feel disrespected, neglected, or unheard.
When was the last time you asked your customer about the value of your service? A good customer tends to fall in the fringes of our attention simply because we don’t hear anything from them. But if we want to build a long-term relationship with them, we must continue nurturing the relationship with strategies that engages them.
What about the hypercritical customers? Should we say goodbye to them?
True, negative feedback or review can spread like fire, but studies reveal that you can convert an unhappy customer to a loyal one by merely listening to them and addressing their concerns in ways more than they expect.
Often, it’s the negative feedback that pushes the company to improve or innovate. Sometimes, they can provide a solution to your underlying problems. Allow them give that feedback, all be it not praising. Some of them merely needed to vent off their steam. We all feel validated when we are listened to. And listening without being overly defensive opens the door to the next step.
3. Engage with your customers.
Once they feel seen and heard, they open up and engage. Some customers tend to be more forgiving with lapses in skills and knowledge when the attitude of the service provider exhibits humility, sincerity, and honesty. Acknowledging your mistakes and limitations often assuage most of the dissatisfied customers.
How do you make your existing customers feel like their input matters, especially when your business starts to grow?
The beauty of digital marketing is it enables you to reach your target audience in a personal way, even in a virtual manner.
Social media, for instance, creates a dynamic space where you can engage them wherever they are and whenever they want. However, make sure that you have dedicated personnel who regularly checks your channels. Social media will lose its engaging quality if your response time is slow.
Blogs and engaging content make a customer feel in-the-know and part of your family. The next time you get in touch with them, ask them what kind of content do they want to receive and how often?
Check your analytics for bounce rate and open rate. It’ll give you an idea of whether your content is valuable or if it’s merely cluttering their inboxes.
4. Be loyal to your customers.
When you have a new product or service, make sure you offer these to your existing customers. They would feel offended if they hear that a new customer got a much better deal from you.
That’s one sure way to earn disloyalty points.
And what about those who leave and opt for another service provider? Do you merely dismiss them or shrug your shoulders?
Remember those exit interviews that some companies conduct to employees who leave? You want to know why they opted out. What would make them stay or come back? Are their demands realistic? Will giving in to them improve the quality of your service? Is there room for adjustment of services without breaking your bank? Strategies to keep your customers from leaving need to be discussed with your marketing team. How do you elevate complaints?
Those who are in charge of chat boxes, social media, and Google Reviews need to have a firm grasp of such strategies.
When you are loyal to your customers, they will tend to be loyal to you.
We hope talking about business owners having a marketing mindset has helped you on your own journey. Stay tuned next time for more insights!
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