- Give great service
Whether you are delivering to other businesses or customers, the service you give is the first thing your customer will think about when they consider coming back to you. A customer should be left with only happy memories of you and your product, as it’s those memories that they will rely on to make their next purchase decision. Great customer service is also proven to build customer retention over time, with customers ready to spend more of their money each time they return. The customer experience is even more important than prices for 64% of customers, showing just how much the service you provide can influence your customer retention.
- Build trust and reward loyalty
An important first step in retaining a customer is establishing a sense of trust between the customer and your business. This trust should be solidified over time, as the customer learns you and your business through every interaction. When it comes to purchasing decisions, 81% of customers decide based on which brands they trust. It is then important to reward their loyalty. Everyone likes to feel special, and a customer who is made to feel special is a customer who will return. Practices like a loyalty or rewards programme allow customers to feel rewarded for each time they return to your business, encouraging them to come back and spend more each time.
- Market yourself well
In a saturated market the customer will always be looking for alternatives, so be proactive like 95% of customers want their favourite brand to be. Your marketing should be done in a way that will convince them to stay. Customers should have ‘their hand held’ as they progress through their buyer’s journey. Every piece of content should be well researched, well adapted to your audience and provide them with all the information they need for a transaction to happen. To better understand your audience and design specific content it may be best to develop user personae for your audience. These are built from your customers’ needs and desires, and they allow you to develop your idea of who your customers are and what they want from your business.
- Be transparent and be human
In a world of automated customer service and opaque corporations, customers consistently prefer transparency and human contact. Let your customer know which member of the team they will be dealing with, be open with them on details they may ask about, and just be nice. Bringing this human aspect into your customer relationships allows the customer to personalise every interaction they have with your business. A more personal relationship with your customers functions as a very unique selling point, but it also works very well as a way of turning first-time customers into long-term customers. Let them get to know your brand story, let them engage with your ethos and let them see your hard work. It will all help to convince them that your business is one to stand by.
- Stand out from the rest
For a customer to return, they have to remember you in the first place. The best way to become memorable is to be unique. In whatever your business does, you have to be thinking about what part of it will stand out from every other business in your industry. Researching your competitors can also allow you to learn much about your industry, as well as methods that others have tried which may or may not have succeeded. It is of course much better to learn from the mistakes of others than to make mistakes yourself. Making yourself a customer’s preferred brand means that they will go out of their way to do business with you, 61% of customers will make that extra effort to shop with their favourites and will spend on average 33% more than a new customer.