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Customer Retention - 10 Essential Tips

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Customer Retention - Get good at it or go out of business. Learn the ESSENTIALS of customer retention with 10 great tips you can implement immediately.

Customer retention starts with the pre-sale and ends ... well, it doesn't end - at least not on your part. It only ends if and when the prospect says it does. And even that is open for debate and readjustment as we shall see.

Customer retention - think about it. Reduce customer churn and your customer base grows. Eliminate client turn-over and your repeat business grows. Build customer retention or lose your up-sale opportunity.

As marketers we are often so intent on gaining new customers that we fail to service and hold onto those we already have. We work so hard on the front end but neglect to maintain that effort and focus on the back end. As quickly as they walk in the front door we lose them out the back door.

Customer attrition is the death knell of business.

Don Downs
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Customer Retention - 10 Essential Tips

  1. 1. April 5th, 2013 Published by: StellarFutureA Customer Retainedis a Customer Gained- 10 Essential Tips forCustomer Retention   Learn Vital Tips to Improve your Customer Retention - 10 Essential Tips for Customer Help Automate the Process with High Tech - High Touch Retention Tools Source: Customer Retention – 10 Essential Tips Is Customer Retention Important? Wow, seems like such a simple question and one with an oh so obvious answer. But first before we get into it lets define our terms. Just what is “customer retention“? According to the ubiquitous Wikipedia … Customer retention is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce customer Customer retention – think about it. Reduce customer defections. Successful customer retention starts with churn and your customer base grows. Eliminate client the first contact an organization has with a customer turn-over and your repeat business grows. Build and continues throughout the entire lifetime of a customer retention or lose your up-sale opportunity. relationship. A company’s ability to attract and retain As marketers we are often so intent on gaining new new customers, is not only related to its product or customers that we fail to service and hold onto those services, but strongly related to the way it services its we already have. We work so hard on the front end but existing customers and the reputation it creates within neglect to maintain that effort and focus on the back and across the marketplace. From Wikipedia, the free end. As quickly as they walk in the front door we lose encyclopedia them out the back door. Attrition. It’s a dirty word but often the death knell of a business. Don Downs So, back to our original (obvious!) question. Of course customer retention is important. Customer retention starts 303-684-9186 with the pre-sale and ends … well, it doesn’t end – at least not on your part. It only ends if and when the prospect says it does. 1
  2. 2. April 5th, 2013 Published by: StellarFuture And even that is open for debate and readjustment as we shall companies realize that it’s far more expensive to findsee. new customers than keep existing ones, and therefore it has become absolutely mandatory to invest in existingCustomer retention – think about it. Reduce customer churn customer relationships and ensure that they keep growingand your customer base grows. Eliminate client turn-over and in a mutually-beneficial manner. Experiential marketingyour repeat business grows. Build customer retention or lose attempts to connect consumers with brands in personallyyour up-sale opportunity. relevant and memorable ways.As marketers we are often so intent on gaining new customersthat we fail to service and hold onto those we already have. Your daily activities reflect the value you We work so hard on the front end but neglect to maintain that place on customer retention.effort and focus on the back end. As quickly as they walk in The truth as they say is in the pudding. The evidence speaks –the front door we lose them out the back door. loudly I might add – for itself. Unfortunately knowing a truthAttrition. It’s a dirty word but often the death knell of a does not necessarily translate into the corresponding If merely knowing right and wrong, merely knowing good, bad and better were the only issue the world would be a veryIt has been found that, generally speaking, a businesses makes different place indeed and doing business, including customer80% of its revenue from 20% of its customers – therefore retention, would have gotten a whole lot is essential that you at least become effective at customerretention with that high revenue producing 20%. Alas, there IS more to it. Texting while driving is dangerous but many still do it. Smoking kills but most smokers continueAs your business improves and perfects it’s ability to keep to do so. Living by a personal budget is a good idea. Exercisingexisting customers from leaving and going to the competition regularly is a healthy habit. No argument – retaining myyou will earn more money from each customer you bring in. clients and customers IS really important …In light of the truth that the total expense of acquiring new You might begin by asking yourself the obvious questionscustomers is many times that of servicing existing ones – it about customer retention?is no wonder that at the core of most business strategy isthe essential priority of retaining their current business – i.e., • How much is a new customer or client worth to me?customer retention. • What is the lifetime value of that customer?It is estimated that is costs a business 6 to 7 times more moneyto acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing • How will a continued customer benefit me in terms of:one. Studies also suggest that a salesperson is 4 times more o repeat businesslikely to close additional business with an existing client thanwith a brand new prospect. o upsale revenuesWe all know the well worn adage, “People do business with o and Referralspeople they know, like and trust.” Well surely a current client Add up the numbers. Numbers don’t lie. So, how much time,or customer is much higher on the “know, like and trust” scale how much energy, how much planning, how much executionthan a new prospect. in your business strategy is targeted at customer retention?It is painfully obvious is it not? In fact not only is client So, what are some customer retention ideas? There are ofretention important – it is absolutely vital to almost every course many aspects to an effective client retention Consider the fast food king McDonald’s. What if But let’s take a look at these 10 tips.every customer that ever walked through their doors nevercame back but only made that one initial purchase? What if the 10 Customer Retention Tipslegendary Sam Walton only managed to bring in his customerto Wal-Mart for just a single shopping visit? Of course the 1. Increase the frequency and regularity of customer touch.answer is so obvious it needn’t even be stated. In fact one of Simply staying in touch more consistently with yourthe pervasive truths about these two retail giants is that they customers will help keep you and your business top ofhave and continue to do so well at bringing their customers mind. When they have a need in your area of expertise, inback again, and again, and again. your niche, do they think of you, your product, and yourBut how do you do it? Fantasize? Hope? Wish? service first? 2. Make your marketing unique and memorable.Customer retention is customer Information overload – we all get way too muchrelationship maintenance which in the email. How could you package your marketing in along run – produces loyalty. more memorable way? Are you effectively brandingPradeep Narasimh writing on the Experiential Marketing yourself and your company or do you just blend in?Forum says Once the buying decision has been made and Differentiating yourself and your business is key. Asa customer has been acquired, a different process begins: Brian Tracy has said, “Your company’s most valuablerelationship maintenance. Customer retention techniques asset is how it is known to it’s customers.”can help ensure that the customer stays loyal to the 3. Keep your customers informed. Do you have a newbrand and is not lured away by competitors. Modern product or new service? Are you offering a price cut? 2
  3. 3. April 5th, 2013 Published by: StellarFuture Do you have a new incentive? Are they aware of your 10. Implement faithful follow-up. If the average sale is made customer loyalty program? Do you have an upcoming only after the 7th contact why have you only contacted event they might want to know about? Engaged your prospect 3 times? Often times an unclosed sale is customers are definitely more loyal. merely a future sale in the incubator. It is coming … just 4. Proactively stay in touch. “An ounce of prevention is not yet. Let your prospect turn their wandering eyes and worth a pound of cure.” Head your customers’ problems fickle fancy elsewhere and you will have lost them. So be off at the pass. Don’t wait for the problem to surface and faithful. Don’t give up to soon. As they say, the fortune dissatisfaction to mount. Give them the solution before is in the follow-up. they even encounter the problem. Again as Brian Tracy has so aptly stated, “”Offer your customers a long-term But I’m so busy with everything else how relationship, then do everything possible to build and can I effectively and consistently work on maintain it.” customer retention? 5. Befriend your customers by getting personal. This one As an essential and in fact vital part of your business strategy, is hugeNo one wants to be just another number or just you need a commitment to procuring customer retention. another revenue source. Remember your clients and Then you need a well-oiled process and plan to ensure it customers in a personal way on their birthday, during the actually happens. If there is any way you can automate the holidays and on any date apropos to your relationship process, any way you can make it more efficient, any way to with them – perhaps as a Realtor remembering them and help effectively accomplish it “en mass” then that is the way keeping in touch with them on the anniversary of their to go. home closing would be a nice personal touch. But don’t make it just another marketing piece. Take the time to If it is cumbersome, difficult, tedious or mundane –it will be “get personal” and express your honest appreciation for done half-heartedly if at all and most likely will eventually just them. You will get back what you give. Building personal not get done. How many Januarys have come and gone with relationships with your customers can result in fierce the simple commitment made and broken to simply send your loyalty and a steady stream of ongoing business referrals. customers, clients and prospects Thank-You cards on a regular basis? It’s not that you don’t recognize it to be a good habit. 6. Provide education & instruction to your clients. Jim It’s not that you don’t want to do it. But as always the tyranny Rohn has said, “One customer, well taken care of, could of the urgent crowds out this important task – especially that be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” of customer retention efforts. Are you taking care of your customers? Are your clients fully aware of how they might implement and utilize your Do you have a Customer Retention system in place to help service or product most effectively? The more value they assure you are doing your very best not only to acquire new perceive your product or service to offer the more loyal customers but to retain your existing ones? they will be towards continuing to use it. If your product Ask yourself these client retention questions about you and or service has a learning curve … shorten it. your company? 7. Re-connect with your lost customers. In many ways a Do you and your company need to: lost customer is more valuable than a hot lead. They know you. They’ve already come through the door. Have • Increase the frequency and regularity of customer touch you found out what might have gone wrong if anything? • Make your marketing unique and memorable Why have you lost them as a customer? Is it something you might easily remedy? Timing is everything and • Keep your customers informed perhaps now IS the time for them – but you’ll never know • Proactively stay in touch if you don’t try to re-connect. • Provide education & instruction to your clients 8. Send a giftand secure their second visit. It is true that there is a huge drop off between a customer’s first • Befriend your customers by getting personal and second visit. Getting them to come back just one • Re-connect with your lost customers more time is often the bridge towards a permanent relationship. Is there a special something you can send • Provide education & instruction to your clients them, perhaps a welcome kit, a gift basket, or a coupon? • Befriend your customers by getting personal Sending a gift just might provide the impetus to turn • Re-connect with your lost customers your one time visitor into a repeat customer. • Send a gift and secure their second visit 9. Campaign your inactive clients. Like a loveless marriage these customers may not have filed the divorce papers • Campaign your inactive clients but the thrill is definitely gone. Did they leave because • Implement faithful follow-up they flew into a cost cutting frenzy but now things have improved on their fiscal front? Were they looking for a CLICK TO LEARN ABOUT A GREAT CUSTOMER service or feature you didn’t have but now you do? Get RETENTION TOOL back in touch with them. You may find them ready to renew their vows! 3
  4. 4. April 5th, 2013 Published by: StellarFuture together High tech convenience and automation with High Touch personalization and uniqueness. Click here to learn about a tool and service that will help simplify and automate your customer retention strategy. This system allows you to streamline your customer retention efforts in a cost effective, time saving, unique and memorable way. With this service businesses can automate their client and customer retention efforts towards a single client or to 5,000 customers at the same time – at the click of a mouse. Among other features with SendOutCards you can send top quality cards easily and quickly – personalized with your photo, company logo, personal handwriting font and personal signature. They will be stuffed, stamped and mailed out forAmong various tools and tips hailed as essential to you the very next day, affixed with a first class stamp.maintaining and improving quality customer retention effortsis the power and simplicity of the personal note or card. Top Take the advice of the worlds most successful leaders andbusiness persons, thought leaders, coaches, entrepreneurs, find a way to connect with your clients both past, present andtrainers and motivational speakers the world over extoll the future. Don’t just get by (or worse fail miserably) , excel andvirtue and power of the written note and card to profoundly become an expert at client and customer retention.influence people and make an impact on them. And as Paul Rolich, a contributing editor of TechFor 12 straight years, automotive salesperson and eventual Decisions magazine smartly notes …Never let of “How To Sell Anything to Anybody”, Joe Girard sold Getting customers in the door is the hardest thing wemore vehicles than any other person in history and garnered can do. Consumers are fickle and capricious. Theya spot in the Guinness Book of World records, 12 times as don’t always make rational decisions. If using a lizardwell as becoming the only salesperson to be inducted into the or a cute girl in your advertising brings customersAutomotive Hall of Fame. His secret … the Greeting card. your way you must be doing something right. But the proof is in retaining that customer. Customer serviceHarvey Mackay, a successful businessman, New York Times after the sale is the real measure of success. And thatbest-selling author, world renowned speaker and civic leader is what keeps great businesses successful.has said, “I still value and use hand-written notes. The power ofthe personal note cannot be underestimated. In my first book,Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, Lesson 10 If we can answer any questions or help you in anyis about how “Short Notes Yield Long Results.” In sales, never way please drop us a line by email or give us a call.underestimate the importance of the personal gesture, and at We’d be happy to help! Contact us at 303-684-9186 orthe top of the list: the handwritten note.” if you’d like to know more about SendoutCards or if there are any questions we canThose handwritten Thank-You notes are worth their weight in answer. We can walk you through what our system has to offergold” according to Tom Hopkins - Developing the Thank You for you and even let you try it out with a free test drive.Note Habit, ©Copyright 1998 Tom Hopkins International,Inc.The power of a heartfelt card, the genuine thank you, is the Don and Vonda Downspower behind Appreciation Marketing. It is the glue and the downsteam.comfabric of what builds strong relationships. And in the business 303-684-9186world this in turn creates repeat business and frequentreferrals because your recipients have genuinely come to donandvonda@downsteam.comknow, like and trust you. You don’t need to manipulate orscheme, you need to give. Truly, give and it will be given to you. If you found this article helpful we’d love it if you passed itThink about it. along through some of the social networks below. Also, feelDoes your business need to save limited resources while at free to leave a comment or submit a review below.the same time providing top notch service and products toyour customers? Do you desire to reduce consumer turnover If you need help with this all important task of client retentionand drastically enhance your client loyalty? Do you require a and would like to learn more – watch our Free Webinar oncontinual, predictable stream of revenue? Would you like to Client Retention.sell your product and service with less effort? Do you strive toobtain more profits out of your existing customers? Is it your Click here to learn the Straight Scoop on SendOutCardsgoal to considerably enhance your referral business?If any or all of your answers to these questions are yes – andI am sure they are – then take a look at SendOutCards andwhat this company can do for you. SendOutCards has brought 4
  5. 5. April 5th, 2013 Published by: StellarFutureDowns Team5549 Wetlands Drive Frederick, CO, 80504 5