When you own a small business, one of the biggest concerns you can face is retaining customers. Even though it is important to bring in new customers to your business, if you are unable to turn them into repeat customers, you are not truly helping your business. Following are some easy strategies that will help you in your customer retention efforts.
Strong Employee Support
Your employees can be one of your greatest assets in your efforts to retain your customers. If you train your employees to be knowledgeable and helpful, they will be able to better able to explain your products and services to your customers. When your employees can give that kind of superior customer service, your customers will remember it and be more apt to come back to your store. So, make sure you do an excellent job training your employees on every aspect of your business. However, also make sure your employees know what information they should not share or for what issues they should direct the customers to speak with a manager or to you. It is also your responsibility to make sure you hire the right people who will do a good job communicating with your customer base without being too shy or having an off-putting attitude.
Ask Your Customers Questions
Customers generally know what they want. The best way to learn this information is to go right to the source and ask them. Create surveys for your customers about your products and services. Find out what they want to obtain from your business or how your business can help them and make their lives easier. Their answers can help you tailor your business plan to meet your customers’ needs and desires. Further, knowing what your customers need and want will help you provide them with better customer service.
Over time, you will be able to see which of your products and services are in most demand by your customers. Time will also tell you which of your customers are coming back regularly. Start offering promotions on the products and services that your repeat customers repeatedly use. This act will help you strengthen your relationships with these customers.
Begin a Loyalty Program
Customers are not like your children. With them, it is okay to play favourites. If you offer benefits to your regular customers, it helps to build stronger relationships with them. Having a loyalty program for your regular customers will let them know how much you appreciate them and will make them feel like they are special. When you promote these feelings with your customers, it helps to foster a relationship that will last for a long time. These customers will also likely spread the word about your business to friends and family, so you can also increase your customer base at the same time you are working on customer retention.
Use Social Media
It is important for small business owners to use social media outlets to their advantage. Social media provides the perfect platform for business owners to connect with their customers in a fast and convenient way. Social media can be a two-way street as well. Not only can you reach out to your customers, your customers can contact you as well. In a matter of seconds, customers can share their experiences with the use of words, photos, and videos. Social media can also help you diffuse a negative situation. If a customer posts a poor review, respond to it with a kind comment, an apology, and a solution. Doing so can bring a dissatisfied customer back for a better experience. If the situation warrants it, leave contact information so the customer can contact you to speak about the situation personally. If a customer posts a positive review, comment that expresses your thanks and offer a perk for this customer.
Taking just a little bit of extra effort with your customers and following these guidelines will help you increase your customer retention and improve your overall business.
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