A little effort to improve your customers’ loyalty can result in exponential profits. A Harvard Business School study found by improving customer retention rates by just five percent, a business can improve profits by a whopping 25 to 95 percent.
3 Simple Ways to Improve Customer Retention
When evaluating budget and marketing plans, paying attention to the customers you already have over fishing for new acquisitions should be a worthy consideration. Here are three simple ways to boost customer loyalty and turn those buyers into brand advocates who spread the word about your business for you.
Give Perks for Purchases
Customer loyalty programs that offer rewards for purchases and frequent visits inject “game-ification” into the transactional process that ignites excitment in consumers looking to “win” their next reward–think punch cards, keychain scanners and web purchasing accruals. If a purchaser has the choice between two similar brands but can earn prizes or upgrades by choosing one, they’ll be more likely to go with that brand.
There are myriad ways for brands to distinguish their loyalty programs through innovative incentives. Walgreen’s, for example, doesn’t just reward customers for in-store purchases, digital convergence platform Social Retail reports. The brand gives loyalty points for healthy living acts, such as jogging and quitting smoking. This is an example of a company that doesn’t just make customers feel great with what they buy–they make customers feel great by living healthy lifestyles.
Offer Outstanding Customer Support
Brands who sell products then say “see ya” after the sale won’t stand a chance in retaining customers. Companies that offer exemplary customer service, conversely, work to display investment and emotional caring in those they do business with.
One way to show customers you value them is to offer a satisfaction guarantee. Michelin tires, for example, doesn’t just give customers 30 days to exchange their tires for better ones if they’re not satisfied. The brand also presents tire purchasers with three years of flat tire changing assistance, as well as a mileage warranty. Offerings such as these show consumers their happiness is a priority for the business, and that the company is willing to go above and beyond in helping make drivers safe on the road.
Engage on Social Media and Through Email
Social media and email marketing provide free avenues for your business to form personal relationships with customers. Not only can social media and email channels act as additional forms of customer support, they’re essential tools in educating customers on new products and offering promotions they can then share with their contacts.
Want to really make your brand stand out on social channels? Get your CEO involved. A 2015 study by The Economist Intelligence Unit found 58 percent of companies reported higher profits when their CEOs were in charge of customer experience. Some easy ways to make your CEO accessible to its customers include:
- Having them lead social media chats, such as Twitter parties
- Sending email communications in the voice and with the signature of the CEO
- Giving customers the CEO’s contact information so they can directly communicate with him or her
By promoting the value of transparency and openness by using your CEO as the face of customer engagement, your brand’s focus on the importance of relationship-building will be enforced.
A straightforward way to begin devising strategy for increasing customer loyalty is to view your brand’s customers as friends: people you care about, people you want to stay in contact with, and people you want to make happy and reward. By injecting emotional values into your marketing, you’re on the way to building solid connections with your customers.