If you work in a job where you are responsible for sales, or if you own your own business, retaining your customers is one of the most important things. With all the technology we have, it is more important nowadays than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Why?
Because in today’s “Internet world,” your best customer is just one click away from your competition.
Building a good relationship with your existing customers can make a great difference in the growth of any business. The well-known fact is that it is 10 times cheaper to retain your customers than to find new ones. So it is well worth doing something about it.
To start with, forget about all those complicated techniques and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) techniques.
By far the best way to retain your customers is to think of them like of your spouse or your friends. Do you remember what have you done to your spouse in order to win her or his heart? If you do, then you are your way to retaining your customers for life.
1. Give your customers extra value
When dating, remember how willing you are to do just anything imaginable on this planet to improve your partner’s life? You take extra care, just to make sure your partner was happy.
Think of improving your customer’s life by adding some extra value.
One of the great ways to add extra value to your customers and which won’t cost you a fortune is to give them useful, free information which can drastically improve their lives. This could be done in the form of a free e-book or a free video bootcamp. For example, if you sell heating devices, write a free e-book on how to save money on central heating, or if you are an internet marketer create a free video bootcamp on how to improve a list building strategy.
2. Remember anniversaries
Your spouse remembers your anniversary, so you better remember it too (if you don’t want to risk some serious talks).
Your customers also have their anniversaries or special days.
The best surprise you can make is sending a message or a postcard to your customer for his or her birthday. If you don’t have this data, then you can send a nice message thanking them for their purchase or business on the anniversary of the first time they did business with you.
3. Surprise your customer
Life can be dull if there are no surprises, when everything is predictable.
Remember how happy your spouse was when you brought a bouquet of flowers home on a regular working day, with no particular reason? Or, what a surprise you made when you prepared an exceptionally nice dinner with all these candles on the table for your friends?
To retain your customers don’t think of them just when you are preparing your new offer. Call them sometimes just to say hello and ask them how life is going. And don’t talk about your product or service. They will definitely remember your call and they will buy from you again because they will feel somebody is taking care of them.
If you have a large database of customers, send them a personal message just to remind them you are thinking of them. Some life quotes work nicely, especially if you add a personal comment.
4. Try to be less formal, more personable
Of course, some businesses have to be formal to be credible. But even behind a very formal business, there are still people. So why not finish your next letter with “Have a sunny day” instead of a well worn-out “Best regards”?
5. Find out something you have in common
Find out at least one thing you have in common with your customer on a personal level. It could be that you both have a dog. Dog owners always make a strong connection with each other. There is always so much to say about dogs. It could be a hobby, a preferred dish, whatever as long as you both enjoy doing or having it.
Finding something personal you have in common with your customer could be a big winner and also a very enjoyable way to retain your customers.
6. Speak on a personal level
People are striving for a personal touch. They are tired of the corporate, lifeless attitude.
Telling your customers about some of your personal experiences can make a big difference. It could be just telling them how you spend your weekend with your family on a trip to the mountains or how your kids were competing in a dance tournament.
Things are changing even in big corporations. A few months ago Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, openly confessed he is a gay. What happened after that?
Financial Times selected him for Person of the Year–not just because of his great work at Apple but also because of his open-minded speaking of his personal life and not fearing rejection.
7. Be straightforward
To be straightforward is a delicate thing but it could win your customer’s heart.
Just remember times when you have told your spouse exactly what you thought and it happened to be just the opposite of her opinion. Okay, it didn’t always work very well but then again she might appreciate you more for your honesty.
Sometimes taking this kind of risk pays off when you want to retain your customers.
Let’s say you have a fashion boutique and a customer wants a skirt you, as a professional, think doesn’t fit her. Tell your customer what you think in a polite way and your customer will probably appreciate your honest opinion. You could follow up with a suggestion for a different skirt that you think would look great on her.
Forget the old saying, “Customer is king”. Nowadays you will do better if you think, “Customer is friend”. And if you are a real friend, when necessary, you say things as they are.
8. Ask your customers what they think of your service or product
To successfully retain your customers, you must constantly improve your service or product. Ask your customers how they would rate your service or product from 1 to 10. They will appreciate it because they will feel you take seriously their opinion.
You can even send out comment cards or email your customers for anonymous feedback. There are great online services that will help you track your customer’s responses and get the feedback you need to improve. Don’t stop improving.
9. Give your customers bonuses
Bonuses always work and they are a great way to retain your customers. They work much better than discounts.
When you put a discount on your product, you are telling your customer that your product is not as good as you thought it to be. But when you give your customers a bonus, something extra, they see it as getting something special and so they feel special, too.
10. Be an interesting person
Think again of your efforts to win the heart of your spouse: Your spouse liked you (and hopefully still does) because of your character, because she or he likes the way you talk and the way you think.
You need to understand that your customers buy you first and only then your service or your product. When trying to retain your customers bring out your personality.
So, the next time you write an email or pick up the phone to contact your customer, think about what works great in your relationship with your spouse, or your friends, and you will not just successfully retain your customers but you will also enjoy the process.
Featured photo credit: Adult Bag Bags Buy Buyer Consumer Customer Cute/PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com