More, more, more…
We hear a lot about finding ways to acquire new customers. Strategies, data, technology, marketing tactics… It’s all out there in mass quantities.
But what about keeping the customers you already have?
Businesses are finally starting to realize that customer retention should be much higher on their list of priorities, and for good reason.
Well, more specifically, seven of them:
7 Reasons Customer Retention is More Important Than Ever
1. Customers expect more
Put simply, customers are more educated and have more options to choose who they give their money to. In order to keep them coming back to you, you need to make sure their experience is one they can brag about to their friends.
2. Competition is fierce
And not the fun kind of fierce either. Increased options for customers means a steep rise in competition for their business. Your competitors are using new, advanced and data-focused tools to gain that extra edge. Smaller “mom and pop” retailers are now more readily able to compete with the larger enterprises.
3. A good product is not enough anymore
Today’s customer values the purchasing experience more than the product they buy. You could have the best products in your industry, but if the buying journey is not something that leaves a lasting memory with your customers, you will quickly be forgotten.
4. Every customer is a critic
Social media has turned every customer into a potential reviewer of your products and service. This is a double-edged sword. Leave a good impression, and that positive experience can be shared to your customer’s entire network. Leave a bad taste in their mouth, and the potential for that negative experience to spread like a wildfire multiplies greatly.
5. Consumer budgets are tight
It’s no secret that many economies around the world are in deep recessions. And with recent catastrophic financial collapses still on the minds of many, people are clasping their wallets just a little bit tighter. When you finally manage to make a sale with a new customer, you’re going to want to make sure they keep coming back.
6. Traditional loyalty programs just don’t cut it anymore
Nobody wants to walk around with a wallet full of loyalty and rewards cards. While traditional loyalty programs may have been effective as little as 10 years ago, today’s consumer demands something special. Mobile ordering apps, personalization, recognition, these are the things millennials look for in their buying experiences.
7. It costs less
Acquiring new customers costs 6-7 times more than retaining the ones you have. Ignoring the customers you have while searching so desperately for new ones is simply a terrible financial decision.
What can I do about it?
Winning over customers to your side is only half the battle.
Once you’ve got them on the hook, you need to figure out how you can keep them coming back to you. And that’s the really tricky part.
The wireless industry, in particular, is incredibly volatile these days. Wireless carriers are spending insane amounts of money to convince subscribers to switch to their networks, while consumers are bombarded by more choices than they can handle.
While there are a variety of strategies to improve your customer retention, I’ve got a specific avenue in mind, and it centers on data.
You have new data-focused tools at your disposal to help you stand out from the pack.
We are in the midst of a new information age. Incredible amounts of customer data that was previously unavailable to most small business owners can now be unlocked. You just need the right tools to do it.
That data is the key to better understanding your customers, meeting their unique needs, and building long-lasting relationships with them.
Invest in those tools. The ones that make building relationships with your customers a delight, instead of just another task on your list of things to do.
If you’re able to make a genuine human connection with your customers, you’ll have no problem keeping them for life.
Because, in the end, what will set you apart from your competitors is…
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