In the quest for customer retention is imperative to maintain constant communications with constituents. Clear and timely communication is key for establishing a long-term relationship with customers. But this is only the tip of the iceberg; because customers require much more attention to remain loyal, and to remain contributing, to your business.
There are several general tips that can help you keep customers coming back for more, they fall in three areas: operational effectiveness, marketing and promotions and financial advantages. Let’s start backwards and take on financial incentives first.
Create a Magical Connection
What if your connection with customers where a magical one. A relationship with no risks, no questions asks, full on support, personal treatment, constant mailings, appropriate discounts, what it you managed the customer’s feelings? What if you approached your business like it where poetry, thinking how readers would feel after finishing every line. I think this is the core mistake of most businesses. They don’t really care about how I feel. But my feelings towards a person dictate how often I communicate with them. Shouldn’t this be the same for businesses?
Make Every Improvement an Event
It’s not just that you’re launching a new product or feature. You’re incrementally making your customers’ life a little bit better. This is the app that will save them 50 dollars a month or hours every week. Your work will make their lives better, so this is not your product launch but a customer’s life improvement event. Act and plan accordingly.
Customers are greedy, and price conscious; traditionally, they’ve always wanted the best value for the money. But today, their sophistication has reached new levels and now they’re looking for even greater financial incentives. Today, customers want the best “long-term bang-for-the-buck”. Selling long-term gains is a clear area of differentiation in which you can set your business apart from the competition and retain customers for a longer time. If your product will save customers money in the long-term, then customers will be more likely to stay with your business for extended periods of time to realize such gains. This strategy is used by car manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company to sell hundreds of cars to its corporate client base and retain them for decades.
Your Branding Matters
Marketing and promotions are the typical fashion in which business owners think they retain customers. Yet, this is only an illusion. Businesses can only “invite” customers by using promotions. They broadcast a renewed invitation and have customers show up for more. But a more sophisticated way of retaining customers is branding. Branding means that customers will associate your brand with things close to their lives and thus give you unparalleled long-term trust. Think of marathon sponsorship, giving back to the community and special communications as some of the most common types of branding efforts. Branding is the key to long-term customer retention thru marketing.
Operational Effectiveness is Also Key
Finally, we have operational effectiveness, the golden key of customer retention. You see, everybody “promises” results, but few businesses deliver on those promises. By being relentless about performance and maintaining top-of-the-line levels of service, customers will become “addicted” to your brand’s value proposition and service levels. This type of situation is best seen on Apple products, which are more expensive than their competitors, yet customers keep buying them and stick longer with the brand, because their expectations of service and performance cannot be met elsewhere.
Bonus: Embrace Objections and Complaints
Make the best of them. By catering to different complaints you can increase the probability of retention of new customers. Customer feedback is the best way to map the priorities of product development and feature selection. It also trains you to listen to the needs of the customer. By listening to their needs you gain first hand market intelligence and can soon start differentiating your offerings in the marketplace. If well done, this can work wonders for your business. Make a list of top complaints and go over them with the top members of your team. Identify trends in user complaints and develop accordingly.
Follow these simple guidelines and raise your organization’s performance to the next level. Ask for your employees’ cooperation and keep improving at every step of the way. Your customers deserve it.