It’s not unusual for a start-up business to focus a large percentage of resources on customer acquisition. Whether through traditional face-to-face marketing techniques, outbound telemarketing or new customer campaigns, concentrating efforts on finding new business is critical for building a new brand or company. But once you’ve found your first customers, you then need to keep them – and this can be achieved by encouraging customer loyalty. A recent study by Bain and Company has revealed that just a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a profit advance of up to 95%! So what can a small business do to increase customer retention in 2015? Here are some up to date techniques which can help you boost your return sales for this year.
Training Customer Service Teams
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most successful. One of the main reasons that customers do no return is because they receive poor or inadequate service. Investing in training and monitoring for customer service teams can dramatically change the way that customers perceive a business. Reputation is everything and this is shaped almost entirely by frontline customer managers – so be sure to train your team.
Customer Management Software
Investing in technology can sometimes bring about big benefits. Good customer management software can improve efficiency and accuracy; it can help to eliminate discrepancies which often cost a business the price of return business. Today, the market offers a wide range of specialist software for every industry and sector; a great example is the Phorest customer retention software designed specifically for the salon and beauty market.
Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the quickest and most affordable ways of bringing back the ‘lost sheep’. ‘Lost sheep’ are the customers who have shopped with you once before but never returned. In many cases, if a company attempts to make contact, they are likely to come back again. There are many ways of doing this including existing customer telemarketing, mail shots, SMS marketing or email marketing. Whilst mail shots are expensive (and often lost within large piles of letters and leaflets) and SMS can sometimes be seen to be too invasive, email marketing is the perfect middle ground – and it’s one of the most successful marketing techniques.
Create a Loyalty Scheme
Focusing all attention on new business only can be very bad practice. Customer loyalty is extremely important and one way of doing this is to create a loyalty scheme; the more you spend, the more you get back. Loyalty schemes can be offered as a loyalty card or it can be points which accrue on an online account – however it’s done be sure to include this USP in your marketing and shout about it to your customers.
For more tips on boosting customer retention in your small business, visit MarketingDonut.co.uk.