If you ask any merchant, regardless of whether they run a brick-and-mortar store or an online store, the most common answer of what’s of most importance to them is customer retention. Large companies even have whole departments dedicated just for this, and you know it to be true if you’ve ever tried to cancel your cable package (see how strongly this cable company tried to avoid cancelling a subscription). Without your customers, you’re nothing more than a business idea and there are already enough of those in the world. SellerExpress takes a look at some of the top tips in regards to how to retain your customers, and why you should be implementing them now.
Tip 1: Keep in Regular Contact with Your Customer
You know the saying, “last said, first remembered”? It’s true. The University of Washington says, “Our brains are organized to think that…the most recent things are still fresh in our memory, so we remember those…” You want to make sure you’re getting into your customers’ brains in a way that they’re constantly remembering you, and email marketing campaigns or sending out newsletters are a way of doing so.
However, the key is to not be overly pushy with it. If you send out emails too often or ones that border on harassment, you can bet they’ll go straight in the junk bin. Remember, you’re trying to sell them something and you want to just straddle the line between assertive and aggressive without pushing them away.
As an interesting side note, the New York Times writes that we tend to remember negative people and events more strongly and longer than positive ones because the information is passed through the hemisphere that required more thinking, leaving the material in there longer. However, this shouldn’t be taken as a sign to bombard your customers to the point of annoyance just in the hopes they’ll remember you longer — they may remember you, but it’ll be for the wrong reasons.
Tip 2: Give a Gift Just Because
Think back to all the (good) surprises in your life, whether it was a mystery tour for your birthday, an impromptu encore by your favourite band or someone leaving you the last cupcake. Generous acts feel amazing to the recipient, especially when they’re truly done out of the goodness of the giver’s heart. They didn’t have to surprise you in any way, but they chose to because they knew how much it would mean to you.
Guess what? Your customers feel the same. While they certainly don’t expect you to shower gifts on them on a regular basis, dropping one every now and then shows them you care. It doesn’t have to be anything terribly big or extravagant, just a little gesture to show your appreciation for their custom.
Tip 3: Talk to Them on Platforms Other Than Your Site
This tip is a little different from just sending your customers emails (which is still a great way to go). Instead, you want to be communicating with them on a more personal level to show two things: that you’re a human on the other side of the business wall, and that you know they’re a real person, too.
This means you should get yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — whatever. Except, you shouldn’t just stop at posting relevant links and material. Speak to your customers, respond to their questions and concerns, and let them know in real-time what’s going on with you and your business.
Tip 4: Think about Rewarding Loyal Customers
It’s hard to think of any business today that doesn’t have some sort of loyalty rewards program, whether it’s air miles, cash back, points, services or discounts. Companies know the value of customers who keep coming back, and show their gratitude with a program.
Finding the right loyalty program that will fit your philosophy and merchandise will be tricky, no doubt, but it’s something that’s worth spending some time on. If you’re at all on the fence, put yourself in your customers’ shoes: how would you feel if you shopped at one store for years and years, and never got so much as a pat on the back? In today’s times, it’s de rigueur to give back to your clientèle in some form or another.