How To Keep Your Customers Coming Back For More
Customer retention, or repeat custom, depending on your business, can be hard work. From recommendations to make your prices more competitive, to giving away free stuff, there is a load of information we can access that will tell us how to keep your customers.
Most of the information given, while providing practical solutions and actions for you to take, often misses one vital ingredient. People like to feel special, to be acknowledged or recognised, and to be listened to. Giving a free gift, or lowering prices is okay and appears to tick off the items mentioned, however both, along with numerous other ideas reduce your profit margin. This practice goes completely against the point of being in business in the first place!
Before you plan any sort of customer retention campaign or scheme, you need to consider the actual customer. Write down these three questions:
- What will make my customer feel special?
- How do they want to be acknowledged or recognised?
- What are they asking for or telling me?
A vast majority of the strategies written about make gross assumptions about the customer and their wants and needs. The best way to find out exactly what they want is to ask them. So ask them!
Another great way to find out what they want is to keep all customer feedback; the positive and the negative. Read reviews, or check out what they’re saying about your business specifically, or your industry generally.
If you’re not up for reading criticism or negativity, have someone else review the feedback and collate it. Although it is often written really badly, and hurtfully, there are some gold nuggets in there that can give you a real insight into how you’re going.
Free gifts, discounts and similar strategies are usually aimed at getting new customers, not keeping them. It also sets up a system where your customers will look for the free or cheap, rather than quality. Is that the sort of customer you want?
If you want to keep them coming back for more, give them what they want. This isn’t to say ignore the stock standard advice, just tailor it to match what it is they’re actually telling you they want. Reward customer loyalty, remembering it is only a reward for them if they get something out of it.
Rather than simply reducing prices or running special offers, add the sort of value your customers have asked for. This will provide more value, and more of the cheapest form of promotion and marketing for your business – word of mouth!