Thursday, July 16, 2015

5 Ways to Retain Customers

Building a loyal customer base is a key component to a successful retail business.  Loyal customers will spend more money and will refer your business. Here are 5 ways to increase your custom retention and enjoy customers who keep coming back for more!

Loyalty Program
Never under estimate the value of your existing customers.  Many businesses spend a lot of time attempting to gain new customers, they forget the current ones keeping their doors open.  Reward them with a loyalty program. Offer a VIP program providing special promotions, or run a simple points program for every dollar spent they earn a point.  Points can be redeemed for discounts or special gifts.  Provide a loyalty card to all customers. This makes the customer feel like a VIP and allows you to track program participation via your POS or software system.

Mine your Data
Collect your customer data. Determine how many of your customers are repeat buyers, what products or services are moving, and how many of your promotions are being redeemed.  Another way to obtain good information is to ask your customers directly. Create a quick online survey. Offer a discount or free gift for completing the survey.  You will gain inspiration on ways to improve your customer experience and increase loyalty.

Be in Service
Excellent service isn’t just the right product at the right price.  Make the customer's life easier by anticipating needs or challenges. Wowing customers goes a long way to securing their business. Hire mystery shoppers to uncover any snags in the buying experience and fix them.  Be quick to admit mistakes, apologize and offer amends.  Thanking a customer for uncovering an issue builds customer trust.

Be the Expert
Become “the” source for the latest products or services in your industry.  Invest in continuing education, webinars, new technology and new products to make your business cutting edge.  Customers want to go where all their questions are answered by knowledgeable and friendly staff.  Stand out from the crowd by being the trusted expert.

Get Connected
Engage with your customers beyond the storefront.  Collect emails and mailing addresses. Create an email campaign calendar.  Have dedicated staff updating all your website and social media sites.  Frequent postings on Facebook or Twitter keep customers interested. You send customers polls or showcase new offerings. Hold contests for free products or services to get followers involved. Pinterest is also a great way to showcase visual products. Direct mail can grab attention in the over saturated digital space.  Target low cost postcards for holiday or special offers.

Retaining your customers creates a consistent profit base and builds credibility.  What has your business done to help improve customer loyalty? Please share below!

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