Whether you sell a one time product or a long term service, customer retention needs to be a top priority. After all, you’ve spent tons of time and money to get people to buy your product, why would you throw all of that away? Every customer becomes a valuable asset to your business, either in the form of referrals and repeat purchases.
Yet, many companies fall flat when it comes to retaining customers, especially businesses that sell one time products. They assume that have a customer service department is all you need to retain customers, but that’s only the first step. People only contact customer support when something is wrong, but just because the product works as intended doesn’t mean you’ve retained them.
A customer who is actively interested in your company is one who will refer others to you and, if possible, buy other products. Customer support isn’t enough; your marketing team must get involved. Here’s how your marketing can improve customer retention and earn you more money.
Give Them Reasons To Stay In Touch
It’s a hard sell to get people to sign up for weekly email newsletters, especially after they’ve already bought from you. Getting a follow on social media is equally difficult, because nobody wants to see blatant advertising for a product they’ve already bought. Yet, if you want to retain customers, you have to stay in touch in some way or another.
Make sure that the content you’ll be providing for customers is actually something they want. If the emails they get are the same sent out to potential leads, all you’ll be getting is extra people unsubscribing.
Curate and create content that is relevant to them, especially around the product or service they’ve purchased. Some good starter ideas for content could be tricks or tips on getting the most out of the product, showcasing what other customers have accomplished, or simply content that would be interesting to your customer base.
Then, once you have that content created, showcase it when asking people to join a mailing list or follow you on social media. A request alone isn’t effective, but if customers know what they’ll be getting in exchange and it is interesting to them, they will sign up.
If a customer can’t remember your name, even if they love your product, it won’t help you out in the long run. If somebody asks for a referral and your customer draws a blank, it does you no good. Your company branding needs to be on point, and that branding needs to resonate with customers.
First, you need to take a hard look at how effective your branding is. A good branding matches your product and can help sell it. A great branding does that and helps your company become memorable.
It’s not just your company that needs good branding, your products need it too. That can help you stand out in a person’s memory and make it easier for them to describe it to others.
Provide Incentives to Sticking Around
Incentive programs are a great way for encouraging return customers or even future referrals. It’s why nearly every sandwich and coffee shop has a punch out card where the 10th sandwich or coffee is free. It gets customers to come back and build loyalty. Incentive programs can play a major part in retaining customers.
As part of your marketing to them, offer incentives to customers that match what you want from them. Looking for more referrals? Have a reward system for when customers refer people to you that matches what they want. Want to get repeat customers? Offer discounts for multiple purchases or even send little freebies to thank them for their continued business.
The wrong way to do incentives though is to have a sweepstakes or raffle. With those, all you do is make one or a few customers very happy and the rest disappointed. An incentive program should give each person who participates a real reward they can work towards.
Work with Client Managers and Customer Support
To have effective marketing to current customers, you need to learn more about their situations. What are their struggles with your product or services? Why are they leaving your company? Are there concerns you can address?
To gather that information, meet with those working the front lines with your customers. For some, that might be customer support; for others, it’s client managers. These departments can help you gain insight into the needs of customers and how they vary from leads or your target market as a whole. They should also be able to provide you with hard data if they’ve been performing customer satisfaction surveys. That way, you aren’t just creating content on assumptions. Your marketing will actually address real issues and engage with customers. Having that better understanding means more retention, and in turn, more referrals and repeat purchases.
Getting your marketing team involved in customer retention is a must-have in today’s world. Developing brand loyalty in an every competitive business world will be incredibly important. That will allow you to have a good solid base for profit by getting the most from your customers. Do this by providing the right incentives, helpful content, and strong branding.