Video:How to Retain Customerswith Jonathon Stewart
Learning how to retain customers is necessary in order to keep a business alive. Here, see tips and tricks for retaining customers.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Retain Customers
While revenue and profitability often appear to be the most important aspects of sustaining your business, neither of these exist without your customers. As the lifeblood of your business, knowing how to retain customers must be your priority, especially when there are so many competitors and choices available in today's economic landscape. Here a few tips on keeping customers loyal.
Tips for Retaining Customers
Loyalty clubs are one of the most popular ways to keep customers coming back for more. From grocery stores and sandwich shops to ice cream parlors and car washes, retailers realize that a loyalty club just works. It is a simple premise. Sign-up is free and, in return for coming back and buying a certain amount of merchandise or after a certain amount of visits to the store, the customer is elligible to receive some type of perk. It can be a gift card, a free item, or a deep discount of some kind that other customers do not get.
More Tips for Retaining Customers
Customers like being rewarded for their efforts, and recognize the value of the offer they are receiving for just simply coming back again for something they're likely to buy already. The second tip is to offer loyal customers exclusive incentives, such as coupons or early access to just-in merchandise. Using exclusivity as a marketing tool is a way to not only keep customers feeling as though they are all that matters to you, but it also works to motivate them through a concept called social proof.
Additional Tips for Retaining Customers
Offering exclusive access through your website, for example, is the digital equivalent of putting a velvet rope outside of your nightclub, leaving passersby to wonder what could be worth the wait, and then letting your VIPs breeze past the line. Because customers have access to so many choices, including all the competition that has now appeared online, it’s important to focus on keeping your product and service offering as fresh and exciting as possible. As the third tip to retaining customers, this means creating a strategy to bring in new merchandise on a regular basis and then sending out messages direct to customers about exclusive items or new trends that await them on their next visit. Be sure to note that you are the first to have a certain item when applicable. This tactic appeals to the emotional connection customers have with the retail experience and also establishes a greater value proposition for your offering over the competition.
Retain Customers Using These Tips
The fourth tip is about communication, connection, and promises. While these may seem relatively straightforward, you would be surprised how many retailers do not actually actively develop these core concepts. First, communication is vital. It lets your customers know that you are interested in them and what they have to say. From acknowledging and listening to them when they step foot in your store to interacting with them on a Facebook Fan page or email exchange, communication needs to be regular and it needs to be a dialogue for customers to feel connected and loyal to you.
Second, this connection needs to nurtured through ongoing contact. You can make connections through personal correspondence, such as sending them a birthday and holiday card with special coupons as well as getting to know their personal tastes so you can call them when a favorite brand or item has just arrived. Lastly, keeping promises is essential, especially when the general mood in society today is one of mistrust. If you do what you say and follow through on taking care of any issues that come up, your customers will reward you with their loyalty and trust. This alone is often more important than any marketing campaign or coupon.
Along with these strategies and tactics, you must also ensure that you have the right attitude. Be positive, engaged, and supportive of your customers in an authentic way. Note the aspects that make each of your regular customers unique in their needs and wants, and make sure you acknowledge them. After all, every customer wants to know that they alone are a VIP.
I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.