Continuing a small business without a carefully curated customer retention strategy can feel similar to filling a leaky bucket. All of your planned initiatives and accomplishments can go down the drain or aggravate a deteriorating situation if you do not have a customer retention strategy in place. As a small business owner, you may lean toward acquiring new customers to increase your consumer base.
But what if we tell you that building a long-term professional relationship with your existing customer may prove more profitable than potential future consumers? Statistics by Invesp suggest that customer acquisition is five times more expensive than customer retention.
The good news is that there are many effective ways to retain customers and/or clients. To help you with it, we have highlighted 5 straightforward tips for small businesses to retain clients.
1. Calculate your customer retention rate
You must determine your current customer retention rate before making any changes. You can calculate it using the formula below.
Customer retention rate = [(number of new customers at the end of a given period – number of acquired customers during that time) ÷ number of existing customers at the start of the given period] × 100
When calculating the result, don’t compare yourself to businesses that are not in your field. Every company is different, so one’s company retention rate could differ from another’s, depending upon the line of the business. But it still provides realistic figures to influence your KPIs.
If you want to learn more about such calculations and other robust methods of retaining clients, you could consider enrolling in a higher education degree, such as an associate degree in business. Enthusiastic small business owners can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, diplomas, or training programs to hone their skills.
A business owner could consider obtaining a bachelors of business administration in management to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities in entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, global business trends, project management, leadership, and technical systems. This education can also help improve customer service, which can benefit client retention.
2. Inculcate constructive criticism
Don’t be afraid of negative criticism, as they are as inevitable in just about any line of work. Moreover, it matters how effectively a business can handle complaints and feedback from customers and clients.
After you spot the issue, be sure to work towards improving it. Use surveys, feedback forms, or customer satisfaction ratings to gather valuable insights.
Respond to your customers by addressing their complaints, accepting their opinions, and thanking them for their valuable feedback.
Use this as an opportunity to spot silent, unhappy customers before they mention it to others in their social circle. Word-of-mouth marketing can either build your customer base or ruin it in the long term.
After all, customers gravitate towards those businesses that prioritize hearing, responding, and caring about their customers’ and clients’ needs and requirements.
3. Use the advantage of aftersales
Imagine you are a reputable electronic store selling smartphones. Selling a phone to a customer may seem like that’s the end of your interaction with them, but that’s just the beginning. How do you hook the customer? Well, you could also open up services for repairs for these devices and incentivize customers to choose your store by giving them discounted rates.
You could also offer a loyalty program, offering exclusive benefits, such as discounts on mobile accessories or future purchases. This means you will be available to provide services to customers who have already purchased devices from you.
These after-sales techniques come in handy to keep yourself top in the game. This lets the consumer see the long-term benefits of continuing business with you.
4. Launch SMS messaging as a marketing tool
Text message marketing can be a relatively cheaper alternative than billboards and advertisements. It lets you communicate directly with your existing customers through their mobile phones.
As it opens a whole realm of direct communication and engagement with the customers, research suggests that 51% of consumers are more likely to make an immediate purchase if they get an SMS message containing a discount coupon, QR code, or ad.
Furthermore, QR Codes are gaining immense popularity now. This technology can even help you track your customer's journey. But, not all QR Code solutions offer this, so do pick the best QR Code generator available to create stunning and trackable QR codes.
It is also highly effective when it includes images, and most consumers do not mind as long as they receive relevant content on SMS messaging. Even interacting with your customers one-on-one through 2-way texting can be an interactive experience to clarify their queries, address concerns, and provide an exclusive customer service experience.
5. Build personalized relationships
As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to understand your existing customer’s needs, preferences, and challenges. Personalization improves customer satisfaction and establishes brand loyalty.
By tailoring the content, offers, and experiences through customer relationship management (CRM), a business can store customer’s information and create relevant experiences that promise high customer retention in the long term.
The importance of loyal customers cannot be overstated, as the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% but only 5-20% for a new customer, according to statistics by Invesp.
Thus, a small business can effectively increase its revenue and build a loyal consumer base by focusing on retaining as many customers as possible.
Overall, it all comes down to keeping your customers happy. Try your best as a rising business to offer the best possible service, set affordable pricing, and create an engaging shopping experience for them.
Remember, investing in client retention not only promises financial security for your business but also maintains a solid foundation for long-term success.