It’s well known that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining your existing ones.

But what makes a customer choose to stay with a brand? Knowing the answer to this question can help you create a strategy that keeps customers happy and creates a source of income that spans the customer’s lifetime.

Let’s look at some ways you can retain your customers so that you have a long-term relationship with them and grow your business.

Create excellent customer service

This requires a post on its own but it goes without saying that if you want customers to stick with you, you have to have strong customer service. It only takes one bad customer service experience to lose a customer for good and even worse – develop a bad reputation that’s hard to shake off.

Let’s look at a few practical ways you can offer brilliant customer service that keeps customers happy:

  • Respond fast to customer requests, comments, or communication. Avoid missing or ignoring communication made by customers on any platform, whether it’s social media or your customer support desk
  • Provide employees with tools that allow them to get help tickets and respond to them easily. Good support tools matter and will make the job easier which makes them better service providers
  • Provide training to develop a consistent style of communication that is friendly, helpful, and responsive
  • Create extensive documentation, help sections, tutorial videos, and more on your website to enable customers to find solutions they need

By helping your customers and being available to listen to them, you’ll give your audience good reasons to stick with your business.

Express your appreciation

When you have great customers, you have to take the time out to let them know that they matter to you.

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Create an offer for your existing customers. Holiday discounts, anniversary offers, or a free addon to your products will win their appreciation
  • Send reports on their progress and your own too. In our business, we make an annual report about the state of our product and how our customers are part of its growth. It gives a detailed picture of the advances our customers have made by working with our product. We make this report available for a limited time and when sending it out, we make sure to let our customers know that we appreciate them
  • Whenever you have a business anniversary or experience some other milestone, send an email blast to your customers. Thank them for helping you get there and also showcase your business’s accomplishments

Offer free training

Another way to appreciate your customers and support them is to provide them with free training.

Creating training and tutorial content isn’t just about helping customers use your product correctly. It’s also about filling in success gaps.
Success gaps are the overarching goal that a customer has that goes beyond the specific goal your product or service helps them achieve.

For example, one of our products is a form tool. And while our customers use them to communicate with their audience or create event registration forms or more, these functionalities are not their ultimate goal. Their ultimate goal is to make their business a success or to help others. The gap between what our product does and what they really want is a success gap.

Doing live webinars where you help your clients use your product better or creating free video tutorials will create a bigger impact on your customers. They’ll be more compelled to continue working with your business.

Listen to customers

Customers move on from a business when the business’s products and services are no longer competitive.

In practical terms, this means that you should listen to customers and understand what they need and want. A few ways to do this are to create surveys and send them out. And you can also add a ‘Feature Request’ form on your website.

When you address customers’ pain points and add features to your product that meets their needs, they’ll be far less likely to drop you for your competition.

Create a loyalty program

Loyalty programs create the feeling that your customers lose something by buying from your competition.

One of the reasons why people keep using brands like Starbucks and Uber is that they have a solid loyalty program that rewards people for using their product or service.

You can create a simple points program where you can give users in-store credit for buying from you. Or you can offer freebies and other rewards like birthday discounts.

Your main goal is to give customers rewards for actions they take – like buying a product. And to give them a reason to come back to your business – for example, a ‘buy one – get one’ offer after they reach a certain number of points.

When customers see meaningful rewards from your loyalty program, they’ll have very little reason to switch to your competition.

Conclusion

There you have it. We’ve covered a few different strategies that you can use to retain customers in your business.

The key is to offer value more value than your competition does and to do this in different ways either through better customer service or a better loyalty program.

The longer a customer stays with you, the more you earn from them over time. You’ll also keep your marketing expenses down and ensure that your business thrives.