Proven Methods of Customer Retention
It is accepted business wisdom that a returning customer is best customer for Customer Retention. In a competitive market where the customer has a plethora of choices, returning customers indicate that they are satisfied with their first purchase and that they trust you.
Trust is an invaluable component in any business relation and if maintained and nurtured, is an assured asset which will yield returns over and over again.
So a crucial part of your job in retaining your existing customers is to keep them thinking of you. You cannot afford to neglect or ignore them at any stage if you want them back. So you have to make provisions for free gifts, discount offers, add-ons, etc. and make arrangements for mailings and follow ups in order to sustain their interest.
It is easy if your customers come through Internet campaigns, for you can then use email lists to keep them informed and interested.
But in the more traditional brick and mortar world, all this is a bit more taxing and cumbersome for you have to invest in print or media ads and direct mailings. These routes are as effective as your email lists, and to have a better chance, you should add the attraction of special offers, sales, and free gifts.
If you use only email, you need to be especially careful and make sure that you are providing your potential customers sufficient reason to continue being on your list. You could try and make available to them significant information about their interests and preferred topics. If you are able to lure them to your website through your email, you could introduce them to other products and offers.
In the snail mail world, it is to your advantage if you can use coupons to put products on sale. This allows you to compare and measure the relative successes of your different approaches or campaigns, and to evaluate the merits and drawbacks of each.
Send out one sales mailing to half of your customer list, and a different one to the other half, and assess the conversion rates of the mailings. The same strategy can as well be used with email.
Connect with your customers and make records about their interests, wants and preferences. You can then provide customized products and information for their guaranteed satisfaction.
Another simple and effective way of Customer Retention is to build relations with your customer is to send them greeting cards containing a simple expression of your appreciation for them.
You could send out the cards for birthdays or anniversaries, on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or New Year. You could even use these cards as invitation to attend your special sales or for other more direct announcements.
The advantage of greeting cards is that they are more discreet, more personal and more warm, things that your customer may remember you by.