How to Retain and Regain Your Customers

Between paid ads, blogging, email and social media marketing, cold calling and more, companies spend a lot of money trying to acquire new customers. However, many act as if the battle is won after the first sale. Not so! Companies that fail to invest in their existing customers are likely to lose their most significant assets. A survey by SAS and Loyalty 360 found that 68% of new business comes from current clients. And, since it can cost five to 25 times as much to attract a new customer as to keep an existing one, keeping your churn rate as low as possible will help you get more mileage out of your budget.

While some customer loss is natural, there are ways you can reduce attrition and turn dormant clients into active ones. Here are a few strategies to help you establish long-lasting relationships with your clients.

Deliver on Quality

Quality can be subjective. Some customers interpret quality as the number of features relative to a competitor’s products, while others consider reliability and long life as its best markers. When it comes to an outsourced service, such as telemarketing, clients want you to solve their problems so they can forget about them and focus on other aspects of their business. By doing so, you gain your market’s trust, and in turn, increase customer retention.

After you’ve won the sale, you can improve your brand perception by offering clients better support than your peers. That often means making it easy for them to interact with you and providing answers human-to-human. It means reaching out to find out what other problems you can help to solve. After all, in B2B sales, the human relationship forms the bond.

Deliver Amazing Customer Service
You don’t want your customers to be merely satisfied. That’s a low bar. They should be so delighted by your service that they enthusiastically relate their experience to their peers. To make customers happy, your company needs to be truly customer-centric. Every employee must strive to respond rapidly to meet and exceed client expectations. They must take responsibility and feel empowered to do whatever it takes to leave a smile on the customer’s face. That means delivering on promises, surprising clients by offering added value and going all-out to execute projects flawlessly. If all your employees rally to the call of the customer, you’ll not only retain them but also gain referrals that attract new business.

Make Sure Your Clients Gain Maximum ROI

Focus on making sure that clients get the most out of your product or service and maximize their return on investment. When they do, they’re more likely to stick with you.

Make sure they’ve discovered the product features or aspects of your service that can help them the most. For example, if a client invests in our lead generation services, we will educate them on other techniques they could benefit from, such as lead management and response management. You can conduct live webinars to explain your offering or personalize the experience through one-on-one web conferences.

Of course, communication is not a one-way street. You also want to learn as much as you can about the client’s business and needs, so you can serve them better and form a true partnership.

As you interact with customers, you’ll receive questions. Add them to your FAQ section on your website. Make sure reps internalize the answers or have an easy way to access them during a call.

Another method for educating customers is content marketing. While companies often use it for lead generation, they are less likely to employ it for customer retention. Consider adding in-depth pieces such as white papers and articles to educate customers on new approaches to problems and opportunities.

You can also use the FAQ list to generate content ideas. And, of course, buyer persona research is essential for developing information resources your customers need. It helps you to find out what keeps your clients up at night. Then you can share your expertise on how to overcome these problems and creative ways to use your solution.

Benefit from Teamwork

To support your customers, you need the expertise and resources of a cross-section of departments, for instance, marketing, sales, customer support, customer service and IT. These departments cannot operate in silos. They must work together, communicate openly within and between departments and follow proven processes. For instance, if there’s a bug in your solution, the first rep to hear about it should inform others quickly, so all team members are ready to address the problem and ensure customers receive the best service.

Communicate Frequently

Staying in touch with your customers and building strong relationships is a powerful way to retain them. You’re more likely to understand their needs, hear if they have any concerns and demonstrate that you care. So create a customer retention cadence that includes email, phone calls, cards and events. Send thank-you notes for new orders and provide special offers. Automate the communications so they occur naturally as part of the post-sales process.

Customers love to know you value them and that you are always thinking of ways to help them. It helps them to feel that they made a wise decision to do business with you and they’ll likely want to stay in the fold.

Treat Complaints Like Gold

Make it easy to complain.

That may sound a little crazy, but you’re better off hearing about an issue than letting it fester. For one, you may learn about product or service problems that affect more than one customer, enabling you to address them proactively before these issues negatively impact your bottom line. Secondly, when you hear about a complaint, you can wow your customers with your response.

Resolve the problem as rapidly as possible. Also, try to provide something of value to compensate for the inconvenience your company caused. By doing so, you turn an issue that could have resulted in customers defecting into one that strengthens the bonds of customer loyalty.

Invest in Customer Win-Back Strategies

Your chances of winning back lost customers are a lot better than getting new ones. Many customers who no longer buy from you will be likely to come on board again if you approach them correctly.

To reclaim errant customers, you will need to find out why they left. Was it because of an unaddressed issue? Did they find a better product? Did you lose touch with them? Drill to the core of the problem, and then determine if and how you can win them back.

Contact lost customers to discover why they are no longer active. Try to overcome any objections they may have and show that you value the business relationship.

The information you derive from talking with lost customers is not only useful for winning back clients but also for preventing them from leaving the fold in the first place.

The Bottom-Line on Retention

The better you serve your market, the more brand equity you earn and the more repeat business you win. Satisfied customers will voice their approval to their peers, helping you to gain more business. Since it costs more to land a new client than to keep a current one, investing in retention strategies will pay off in the long run.