“The Purpose of Business is to Create and Keep a Customer”. Peter Drucker
Retaining your existing Customers is what every business should be focusing on. Over the last few years you have spent your time in finding and winning new business. Therefore you probably have customer contacts saved on written forms, in spreadsheets, on disparate hard drives and if you’re really up to speed, in a centralised customer relationship management (CRM)** database.
If you do not have a CRM, get one installed with the help of those who will be using it and get your data centralised and shared through the business. Next, get all your data cleaned and marketing compliant and perform an 80/20 profile so you know who your best 20% is. Concentrate on this segment before moving on to the 80% to get them up the value chain.
“80% of your future sales will come from 20% of your customer base.” (Small Business Trends, 2020)
To retain your Customers follow this strategy:
- Keep your Customers informed with relevant updates to match their requirements
Now is the time to talk and empathise with your existing customers to understand what their concerns are for their future and how you can help them – not sell to them. Once you know this, keep them informed with relevant resources that will help them get the most out of your products or services such as PDF’s, how-to videos and helpful e-books.
- Agree an engagement process that your Customer is happy with
Every Customer has experienced a journey with you, from the time they first contacted you, to becoming a Customer. You need to understand what that journey is and ask your customer how best to keep in touch with them i.e phone, email, social media, etc
- Customer retention starts with your team
The relationship you have with your Customer starts from the first moment someone in your organisation either gets in contact or is contacted. Make sure that the products and services you provide fits with the requirements of your Customer and provide the benefits they are looking for. This is the start of what should be a long term relationship so building trust is paramount. It has to be a good fit for you and your Customer.
- Get feedback from the solutions that you provide to your Customer
Keep asking your Customers, within reason, how they are using your products/services. There may be things that you can do better or maybe something that the Customer may want further down the line. Again this enhances the relationship. Select your top 10 Customers and have an in-depth discussion with them to find out more about them and why they are happy to do business with you.
- Treat your best customers as VIP’s
This comes back to your top 20%. Nurture and support these customers and they will become advocates for your business. This in turn will mean that you get some positive testimonials and also referrals to other contacts of theirs. Loyalty has to be earned so make sure you treat your top Customers with special attention like access to up and coming developments, invitations to unique events and even gifts to celebrate personal events like moving home or birthdays.
Creating and KEEPING your existing Customers should be the main focus of your business. It costs 7 to 10 times more to win a new customer than it does to keep your existing ones.