Customer retention is much less costly and time-consuming than new customer acquisition. Yet, many firms in the industrial space miss opportunities to build client relationships that stand the test of time.
The Risk of Not Retaining Customers
Customer retention provides bedrock stability to your business. It is easier to know how much you can expect to make in a given quarter and year if most of your customers stick with you. Likewise, every customer you lose could turn others away by sharing their negative experiences with your brand.
Here are seven keys to superior customer retention:
1 Have an Onboarding Process
An onboarding process empowers you to manage customer expectations in a way nothing else will. Plus, it sets the tone for a more effective relationship because customers know how to get started and where to ask for advice.
2 Solicit Customer Feedback
Customers love knowing their voices are heard. Be sure you are actively soliciting feedback in a way that gets noticed – if they overlook email, call them on the phone. Try to touch base at least quarterly.
3 Use Email for Continued Marketing
When leads become customers, they should “graduate” to the retention segment of your email marketing. This enables you to continue marketing to them, keeping your brand top of mind for their needs.
4 Reward Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is a two-way street. Reward customers in relevant, targeted ways … and not just when they’re considering extending their agreement with you. Unexpected rewards foster positive brand sentiment.
5 Focus on Customer Success
Time to first value is the lag between the customer acquiring your solution and seeing ROI as a result. The shorter the delay, the better. Create educational resources to help customers get up to speed quickly.
6 Respond to Customer Feedback
Responding is the second part of the customer feedback equation. If there’s a long delay in response – such as a new feature request – make time to point out how the customer’s influence made a difference!
7 Have a Terrific Website
A website should serve as a central command center for getting in touch with you and using the resources you have to offer. That means rolling social media, blogging, email, and more into one branded package.