The Importance of Retaining Customers – and How to Do It
January 20th 2013 | By Sarah McInerney
When economic times are hard, it becomes even more essential to retain existing customers. Not only that, but it is also imperative to actively so what you can to keep them happy, encourage them to buy more from you and prevent them from going elsewhere. It’s all too easy to become complacent about your valued customers, thinking they will always be there. But quite simply this is not always the case.
There are several things you can do to keep your existing customers. The most important thing is to let them know that they are your highest priority; that their business does matter to you – and of course, to do a good job and deliver quality above all else.
Here is a selection of other good ways of keeping your customers:
Keep in touch regularly. This could mean emails but should also involve telephone conversations and face-to-face meetings too. Ask your clients how you think things are going and allow a dialogue to form so they can give feedback and have a chance to raise any concerns.
Continually plan and think of ways that you can offer added value. What do customers need in the long term? It’s no longer enough to think that you have their custom and so can sit back and do the bare minimum; you need to be proactive and constantly thinking about how you can help them. They will appreciate your commitment and your forward thinking.
Offer something extra that sets you apart from your competitors. An added extra will deter customers from being tempted away by competitors. Think about your type of business and what could work well. Could you for example offer a free cleaning or servicing service for all watches that are sold through your jewellery business?
Make it convenient for your customers to work with you. This applies to all points in your business from being able to contact you to placing an order. Your website is a big interaction point between you and your customers so ensure that this is regularly updated, meaningful and interesting to them.
Invest in your employees and representatives. It is important to make sure they have the right skills to effectively do their jobs, especially if they are interacting with your customers, as this will have a reflection on you. If they are passionate and committed to what you are doing then this will have a positive impact on how they work and form relationships with your customers.
Remember that in the majority of cases, most business comes from existing customers rather than new customers, so it really is important to keep those existing relationships buoyant. Think about ways to maintain and grow these relationships and you will reap the rewards. If you need help with updating your website or with customer relationship management strategies, get in touch.