(Chuck Trautman) – You make a sale and get a new customer – that has got to be good right? But do you know what is even better? It is when they come back the second, third and fourth time around to do business with you again.
But, there is an art to getting your clients to continue with your service – and this is why you need to ramp up your client retention techniques. As a small business owner, there are many things that you can do to improve client retention and have them return to you again and again and again. Here are some of them:
Keep your customer service top notch. Did you know that more than half of all consumers are willing to pay more money for better customer service? True, customer service will always make or break your business. Always seek to provide stellar service because this will benefit you in the long run and will encourage your clients to choose you over cheaper alternatives.
Admit mistakes and address issues immediately. A study shows that 84% of customers will tell their friends (and even blog about) a negative experience with a certain business. Imagine how many potential customers you can lose if this happens to you. The key is to admit the mistake and address the complaint as soon as possible – and your client will most likely remain loyal and tell their friends about the service.
Remember your clients and they will remember you. Customers are just regular people, too. They are human beings who want to feel valued and appreciated. Show your loyal clients that you remember them by sending personalized greeting cards. Christmas is a good time to send cards but if December seems too far away, you can always start a customer appreciation mailing program anytime.
Learn about your client’s needs. One of the main reasons why clients stop availing certain services is because they no longer need them. People’s needs evolve over time, so you may also want to improve your products or services to cater to their new needs.
Keep them in the loop. It is also good to keep your clients informed about new things going on in your business. Do you have new services? Have you updated your products? Do you have a new branch that is somehow closer to them? You can keep them informed through in-store presentations, brochures, regular e-mails or even print newsletters.
As a small business owner, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars to retain customers. These are simple things that you can do (most of them for free) to keep your customers happy and coming back to you.
(Mr. Trautman is Founder and CEO for the Arizona Marketing Association. For more information, contact Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org)