5 Ways To Attract and Retain Customers
9th September 2019
When you manage a service or product-based business, attracting and retaining new and existing customers is key to ensuring you are on the right track in terms of sales growth and success of the business.
The more customers you can keep and continue to sell to and develop a relationship with, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals.
Here we share five strategies to practice attracting and retaining your customer base long-term, from integrating new marketing plans to creating your own customer community.
1. Target Your Marketing
Start by structuring a new effective marketing plan and setting up new email campaigns to target specific customers. You can target your emails, depending on your audience. For first time customers, you can send out a friendly “welcome” email to encourage them to view products on your website and make their first purchase with you. You can also use email campaigns to send out promotional codes, news updates and blog entries to keep your customers in the know! Make use of social media to inform your customers of new services, products and business updates. Keeping the lines of communication open with your customers will help you to retain them as members for life.
Setting up a monthly e-newsletter containing health and exercise tips to target a very niche market, for example could be a great way of gathering interest from individuals who want to sign up to a new gym plan, or try a new healthy eating plan. Your customer base will really value and appreciate you educating them on new things! Also, keep your communication personal and tailor each marketing campaign to a specific audience. If you can use names, or think up quirky subject lines, then do so. Emails are more likely to be opened if the subject is addressed to the individual on a personal level. Generic email headings are often overlooked and put straight into the junk folder. Reaching a smaller number of the right customers is always better than reaching a far greater number of the wrong customers.
2. Keep Your Customers Happy
The key to successful customer service is to make sure your customers are happy at all times. If they have a query or concern then always deal with it in a friendly and professional manner. If they need to make a complaint then make sure there is a simple process in place for them to voice their concerns. If a customer of yours is unhappy with a service, or product they have received then be prepared to offer a discount code, or partial refund and exchange. Attending well to your customer relationships will result in direct sales growth.
Incentivise your current customer base to keep them coming back for more and encouraging them to make referrals to friends and family. Give them special deals or a “members only” package. Make all communications personable by sending them gift vouchers on their birthday and reminding them that you care.
3. Effective Communication
Always maintain close customer contact and gather valuable customer feedback from new and existing customers. Respond quickly, effectively and personally on all levels. Invest in your own in-house customer service team to manage online chats, incoming phone calls and queries about your products and services. The most effective way to communicate is fully, often and truthfully during any transaction or service with a customer. Make it as easy and hassle-free as possible to do business with you. Have instructions at the ready when it comes to making a purchase online and send a number of automated emails to the customer to let them know the next steps including delivery time and instructions. Most importantly, speak your customer’s language. Don’t use business jargon they can’t understand. Be informal in your approach with customers to show that you are on their level.
Win back lost customers by sending out re-engagement emails when they have stopped buying from you or failed to renew their subscription. This is a great way to keep customer retention rates healthy and address any issues that may have led a customer to disengage with your business.
4. Hold In-Person Events
Get to know your customers on a personal level. If you are a local gym, then hold public workout sessions or yoga classes in the park. If you are in the drink’s industry, then have a public tasting session in the street. Create a unique marketing campaign for your event and have business cards and information packs at the ready. Make sure you have a special hashtag for your event or hold a social media contest to involve new customers in your online marketing. This is a great way of meeting new people and networking with others. It is also good for conducting customer surveys and finding out individual opinions upon testing your product or service.
Be proud to share things that your business does well. Make videos, write blogs and take pictures at events to share online with your community. Become an expert at what you do. Have your employees network for you and build time into their work schedules to seek out potential new customers. Send them to conferences and nights out to promote your business. Supply them with coupons and freebies to give away.
5. Build A Customer Community
Create a community for your customers where they can come together and experience all the perks of joining your business. Set up reward cards, discount offers for retail and leisure sites and link up with other businesses, to share these rewards with others. You could, for example, offer a weekly 10% discount on cinema passes, or a free £5 voucher to spend with Amazon. Make people envious of the incentives you offer and encourage them to sign up. Knowing current customer trends and keeping any offers fresh is a major component in customer retention. Keep an eye on customer habits and patterns including what they are interested in buying and how they react to new product and service trends in the industry.