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Increasing customer retention means higher small business profits

September 23, 2013

Customer feelings are largely based on their most recent interaction with your business.  Try some of these ideas to make sure each interaction is one worth repeating.

It’s not just a handy marketing cliché: Keeping customers really does cost less than acquiring new ones, which means customer retention has a direct impact on your profits.  The incentive for your small business to get repeat customers is high, so use these customer retention strategies to start or improve your company’s repeat customer program.

Stay in touch with your customers

Brick-and-mortar shops, e-commerce sites and service providers alike need to maintain contact with customers if they want to see them regularly.  Email marketing is an easy contact method. Hand-crafted messages based on trigger events have a place in almost all businesses. This contact method won’t be too time-consuming for a small business if automated email marketing campaigns are set up. You can also try postal mail, which really stands out – if you can make customers feel these messages are tailored specifically to them as individuals. A key part of customer retention is making your customers feel valuable.

Be consistent in your quality of service

It’s no accident that Starbucks is so successful.  People know they’re going to get their favorite coffee drink and good service every time.  Your start-up may have nothing to do with coffee, but people everywhere appreciate consistently good experiences and reward those businesses with their loyalty. Stand out from your competitors with quality service and your customer retention rate should increase.

Pick the right employees to help increase customer retention

If you have staff, make sure you hire those who want to do well and understand the importance of their role in customer experiences.  Pay a bit more than the going rate to attract employees for your small business, and make sure your employees are top of the line when it comes to helpfulness, friendliness, and positive customer response.

Own up to mistakes

When things go wrong, face any mistakes or complaints quickly and work with your customer to resolve the issue.  If you have employees, empower them to resolve problems rather than fall back on the old “I need to check with my manager” line.  Seize the opportunity to turn a disgruntled client into a raving fan with your response and you may just have a customer for life.

Share your customer retention strategies

We hope you found these strategies helpful. What kinds of customer retention strategies have you found to be effective in your small business? What do your favorite businesses do well to keep you coming back? Share in the comments below!