An increase in sales is an important cog in the profit formula, but increasing sales in a vacuum isn’t enough. Rather, you should always aim to increase while spending as little money as possible.
Perhaps the best way to achieve this is through customer retention—keeping the customers you’ve already worked so hard to win over!
The truth is, however, that no business is immune to losing customers. If you’re not intentional about customer retention, your business will quickly become a revolving door for new customers.
Fortunately, there are ways to stop the bleeding and retain more of your customers. As a result, you’ll be able to spend less time, energy, and money on the vicious cycle of earning and losing new customers.
Of course, this is only possible when you create a customer retention plan and consistently execute it. Here are some key tips to help you stop losing customers and increase repeat sales!
1. Create a Customer Retention Benchmark
The first thing you should do is start tracking how many customers you are losing and how that compares to a handful of important metrics—such as customer retention in years prior or the average customer retention statistics in your industry, for example.
Suppose you are able to calculate that you’re losing roughly 5% of your clients. Well, that figure might mean very little to you with some context. Is 5% high? Is it low? Compare that 5% to your percentage in years past and to industry averages. This way, you will have a much better idea of how it stacks up and how much room you have to improve.
Once you have a benchmark in place, you’ll be able to set very specific, measurable goals and objectives as you flesh out your customer retention plan!
2. Wow Your Customers (and Let Them Know About It!)
Your ability to generate repeat sales and improve customer retention is dependent on you delivering an outstanding customer experience.
Of course, delivering a great service is only effective if your customers actually know what they are getting in the transaction. Otherwise, they can easily try out your competitor’s products and services instead, and they may never know about the value they are forfeiting.
I once did extra work for my client behind the scenes in order to save him a significant amount of money on his tax planning. I made a mistake, however, in failing to tell him!
The following year, he used a different CPA only to be left with an $80,000 tax bill. Keep in mind that he had never owed more than $20,000 in years prior. As you might imagine, he returned to me after that incident, and I accepted him back as a client.
I learned an important lesson, however. Always let your customers know about the value you are providing them. Don’t assume that they will notice!
3. Stay in Touch with Your Customers
If you hope to retain a customer, you need to make sure they feel valued. This starts with regular communication.
If a customer has a complaint, make sure you address it promptly. If they have a question, make every effort to answer it quickly. If they have feedback, acknowledge it and thank them for it.
Next, identify different methods of checking in with them on a regular basis. It might be via a weekly email update, a monthly newsletter, or a personalized message every so often. These simple tips will not only make them feel heard and valued but it will also keep your business top of mind. Don’t assume they will remember you otherwise!
4. Perform a Customer Audit to See How You’re Doing
Another way to not only stay top of mind but also get constructive feedback on how you can improve your services is to issue a survey or questionnaire. Of course, you don’t want to waste too much of your customer’s time or make it difficult to generate feedback, so keep your survey to only a handful of your most pressing questions.
Better yet, implement a callback system through which you check in with your customers every few months or so.
You would be surprised at all you can achieve with a simple call—gather feedback on what you can improve on, pitch more sales with discounts and exclusive offers, upsell other services, cross-sell other products, and ask for customer referrals!