5 Tips To Keep Your Customers Coming Back
Acquiring new customers is costly and difficult, so wouldn’t it be great it all of your first time customers kept coming back again and again? This is what we like to call customer retention.
So what is customer retention exactly?
Forget Websters. Here’s our definition.
Customer Retention: The act of turning a mere purchaser into a raving fan.
With a mere purchaser, there is no affinity towards your particular product. Once someone has purchased your product, technically they are a customer…but that does not imply any level of loyalty.
Often purchases are made out of convenience or immediate necessity, not because someone truly cares about your product or your brand…and these people are likely to not come back.
Raving fans, on the other hand, will come back again and again. Their purchase decisions cease to be price based. They were will choose your brand and your product even if it is the more expensive option.
That is the great thing about fans. Fans will irrationally spend their last dollar on you. Because it’s more than just a purchase. There is an emotional connection. There is a relationship.
We usually talk about fans when referring to musicians or sports teams, but fan-mentality applies to all sorts of things. Musicians and sports teams are simply great case studies.
Think about it…why would someone stand in line for days and spend far more than they can afford to see a concert lasting just a couple of hours? You cannot rationally answer the question why. This is the magic of creating fans. And you can replicate this phenomenon in commerce and in your company to keep customers for a lifetime.
Why do you need a customer retention strategy?
It’s simple really. It’s much more efficient to spend money on existing customers and get them to repurchase than it is to acquire new customers.
With new customers you have to go through the “getting to know you” phase. You have to build trust and convince them of your product and your reputation. Existing customers already have this level of knowledge and trust (assuming you’ve delivered on your promise) and will more easily give you their trust again.
And once you turn them into true fans, their value multiplies exponentially.
With fans, it becomes far more than customer retention…it becomes customer expansion. Raving fans will tell their friends about you…And that is incredibly valuable.
These fans become your ambassadors and essentially do your work for you, acquiring new customers…for free!
What are the 5 key aspects of a strong customer retention strategy?
1) Quality Product
This should be pretty self explanatory. If you don’t have a strong product, no matter what you do, customers will not come back to purchase again.
2) Strong Brand
In order to create fans (the end goal of your customer retention strategy…in case we haven’t made that clear), you need to have a powerful story behind your company. There needs to be a reason or a meaning behind your brand. This is what creates the emotional connection between you and your customer that will turn them from mere purchasers into loyal customers.
3) Excellent Service
I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of customer service time and time again…and we won’t tell you anything different. Customer service is key…but it’s not just through the selling process. It extends to every touchpoint that you have with your customers, whether in person, on your social media page, through your website, or a marketing campaign.
Customer service is not an end in itself. It is a tool to create an excellent overall customer experience.
Engagement is about creating value for your customers. It is not about constantly bombarding them with sales and promotions through every possible channel. True engagement is like building a relationship, becoming a friend. Provide value through your content and interactions beyond your product. It can’t be all about the sale.
5) Surprise and delight
If there’s one thing people love, it’s upgrades and perks…especially when they come unexpectedly. This is the final key to turning your purchasers into raving fans.
How would you feel if you walked into a hotel to check in and found out you’d been upgraded to the penthouse suite from a standard double room? Just imagine it. Most likely you’d be overjoyed, tell all your friends, and certainly return to this same hotel on your next visit on the mere possibility that this could happen again. Don’t you want that kind of customer?
If you do, here is the key: Don’t just deliver… Over-deliver.
Now, surprising your customers with unexpected perks is expensive…so build in extra margin to your products so that you can afford this final step. Trust us, it’ll pay off.