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Tips for retaining customers

Published May 4, 2020

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, customers/clients are the most important key to business success. No matter what product or service you offer, you need customers/clients to make money.

 

Many businesses focus most of their marketing efforts on recruiting new clients, instead of retaining the ones they already have.

 

Customer retention is a great branding exercise to impress your customers so they become your brand ambassadors – if they like you, they’ll refer others to you.

 

Here are some tips to keep your clients engaged and satisfied with your service.

 

Proper onboarding processes

 

Onboarding teaches new customers how to use your service. Rather than learning on their own, customers are guided through the process by a representative of your business - to ensure the service meets the needs of the client and to help them achieve their goals. 

 

By assisting clients with onboarding, you can prevent frustration because clients don’t know how to use the system. It will save clients time and help them use your services optimally. 

 

Communicate well

 

Make sure you stay in touch with your clients, informing them of any changes or updates on your side. Open lines of communication will prevent misunderstandings and let your clients know about the latest developments in your business. 

 

If you make use of marketing materials, such as email newsletters, make sure your client has agreed to receive these to avoid frustration and information overload. These tools will remind customers of your brand every time they open their inbox.   

 

Furthermore, make sure you communicate well in both positive and negative customer service situations. If a problem arises, make sure your customer support actions are properly managed. When a client sends an email, be sure to respond within 24 hours. Don’t let clients hold the telephone line for too long, as this will lead to frustration on their side. 

 

Encourage interaction

 

If you offer a service, give clients the opportunity to rate your service and provide comments and share this information with your employees. This way you can identify potential problem areas early and provide solutions in a timely manner. Managers or supervisors should make time for courtesy calls to clients to ensure they are heard and feel valued. 

 

If you haven’t heard from particular clients in a while, be proactive and reach out to them. This can go a long way toward keeping your brand first in your customers’ minds.

 

Capitalise on social media 

 

In addition to encouraging interaction, social media platforms are useful in maintaining contact with your clients after the initial sale. Social media offers great opportunities to engage current as well as potential clients and can provide useful insights into the lives of your clients - their likes and dislikes, their interests and other information that can help you tailor your service for their needs. 

 

Consumers often turn to social media platforms to ask questions, register complaints and resolve product issues. Take advantage of social media to show how your brand is transparent and cares about its clients.

 

Furthermore, you can ask clients for their testimonials and post it on social media to attract new clients. People relate well to the experiences of others and often consider this when making a decision about services. 

 

Focus on solving problems

 

When clients experience problems or are dissatisfied with your service, make sure they can speak to a sympathetic person, either in person or by phone. Even in a digital world, people like to communicate with other people and they want to feel like their situation is taken seriously - they don’t want to be just another number in the system. Asking already frustrated clients to hold the line or send an email, could worsen the situation. 

 

Empower your employees to fix problems when they arise. Employees who are well-informed and receptive to clients’ views can solve the problem without losing the client.

 

Take ownership 

 

Your business is only as good as its reputation. When problems arise and you are found to be in the wrong, admit to your mistakes and apologise to the client when necessary. Honesty and transparency will prove to clients that they can trust you. Furthermore, it assures your client that you are willing to correct your mistakes and put processes in place to prevent future problems. 

 

Keep your promises

 

No matter what you promise your clients when they first enter into business with you, ensure you stick to those promises throughout their journey with your business. Whether it is a set turnaround time, delivery deadlines, discounts or promotions and loyalty rewards, make sure you keep your promises. 

 

Never underestimate the value of effective customer retention. Maintaining a positive customer experience is crucial to the success of your business. 

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