We’ve each been met with new challenges and been forced into making tough decisions this year. Businesses large and small have had to rethink their strategies for communicating, promoting, and delivering their products, especially to their existing clientele.
As known to most business owners, acquiring new customers is about five times more expensive than retaining existing ones.
With COVID-19 and lockdown uncertainty, more than ever before, clients are looking for businesses they can trust. Thankfully, ActionCOACH RGV’s business coaches have some essential strategies you can utilize to help keep your clients engaged, happy, and loyal.
As stated before, retaining existing clients makes the most sense financially. Not only is it less expensive, but there is real value in holding on to your clients.
Harvard Business School conducted a study that stated an increase in customer retention by merely 5% increases profits by 25-95%. Additional research shows that loyal customers are 23% more likely to spend on your products than the average customer.
Whichever way you state it, the evidence is clear that existing clients are invaluable to your business.
Now that we know we want to keep our clients, how can we go about that in a real and practical way? Consider the following:
1. Know What Your Customers Value
Customer loyalty is far more influenced by a company’s brand value and trustworthiness than its business value. A study by Google showed that personal value has twice as much impact as business values does, and emotions matter more than logic and reason.
By knowing what your customers value, your business’ message can directly speak to their expectations. Throughout the pandemic, the needs and values of our clients have changed, so your messaging and product delivery methods should change as well. If you can provide stability and a message of value during times of uncertainty, loyal customers will keep your company top of mind in the future.
2. Invest in Your Online Presence
The modern consumer often conducts independent research before deciding on a product or service, and digital communication makes connecting with your clients easier than ever. You can engage with them via live online videos, tutorials, virtual events, social media posts, and a variety of other ways.
Investing in your social media presence will also allow you to communicate with your clients in real-time. There’s no time like the present to begin cultivating and enhancing your online presence.
3. Customer Loyalty Program & Sales
These types of programs can sometimes be considered antiquated and are therefore overlooked as valuable tools. However, when done well, loyalty programs and special sales for existing clients can be essential in building improved relationships with your customers. In fact, more than 90% of companies have some sort of loyalty program and 52% of American consumers will join the loyalty program of a brand they make frequent purchases from.
About half of these consumers are looking for a loyalty program that gives rewards on everyday purchases, with 46% wanting a program that offers gifts or sales. Rewards and giveaways from online events, referrals, or surveys are a few ways you can engage your customers and keep your company’s name in their minds.
These programs also communicate to your clients that you are grateful for their business.
In fact, 68% of customers leave because they believe the company does not care about them. This gratitude will not only make them feel appreciated, but a study by Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California found that gratitude accounts for 40% of a person’s happiness.
Suffice to say, a happy customer is a loyal customer.
4. Communicate Openly
Trust is vital in obtaining customer loyalty.
Between lockdown changes and never-ending news updates, clients want to know what to expect when engaging with your business. Let them know if your hours are changing and provide details on your current safety protocol. These details should be clear and consistent between your website, social media, and in-person messaging.
You can also show your clients that you’re human and there is a real person on the other side of the screen. Generic emails can be seen as disingenuous, so research and valuable insights are key in communicating. As businesses are all going through similar struggles, clients appreciate knowing that you can relate to them on a personal level.
Remind them that you are grateful for their business and continued support, especially during this difficult year.
5. Listen to Customer Feedback
Communication should be a two-way street - look for ways to allow your clients to give feedback. Their feedback allows you to correct mistakes and continue developing successful strategies. This feedback can also identify at-risk customers and increase their happiness with your product.
ActionCOACH RGV uses Net Promoter Scores to monitor customer satisfaction. An NPS is a business support tool that calculates your customers’ responses to a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend this product, brand, or service to a friend?”
The higher your NPS, the happier your customers are, and the rosier your business growth potential looks.
6. Employee Appreciation
Customer loyalty can derive from employee loyalty. Remember, your employees are also going through the same pandemic as your customers. Equip them with the necessary tools and support, and acknowledge that you are grateful for their efforts. Happy, trusting, and appreciated employees create the kind of culture your clients are looking for - it’s a win-win!
Achieving client retention takes work and time. We know that clients and businesses have taken a hit this year in many ways, and ActionCOACH RGV wants to give back with a 2021 complimentary business plan for ten businesses.
Our business coaches can guide you into next year to retain clients, improve communication, bring more cash flow, and grow in the areas needed.
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