You may have seen a substantial uptick in customer acquisition during the holiday season, but what happens when the gift exchanges are over, the gift cards are spent, and there are still months until the next shopping rush?
That holiday season surplus of revenue will obviously need to be replenished, and a great place to start is with retaining the customers you’ve already acquired. In fact, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase future profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.
So, don’t get too comfortable sitting on the seasonal profits you piled up. With these customer retention tips, you can enjoy your holiday success while keeping the revenue rollin’ in.
First and foremost, keep a laser focus on your product or service
Your product or service is the nucleus of your business and should be treated as the number one driving force in your company’s success or failure, so focusing on fine-tuning, improving, and learning how to make it better is fundamental.
An influx in sales, such as the one you may have experienced over the holidays, may have also brought you a tidal wave of product reviews and customer feedback. This is a great opportunity to put your ear to the ground and see what customers are saying. Using their feedback to better your business is a sure bet in keeping customers coming back.
If you need a little help collecting reviews, try a service such as Capterra. Or, you can build a gallery of testimonials all on your own.
ShortStack Testimonials template
Provide excellent customer service
Setting up your business to provide quality customer service can have a direct return on investment. In fact, 7 out of 10 US consumers say they’ll spend more money to do business with a company that offers great service.
7 out of 10 US consumers say they’ll spend more money to do business with a company that offers great service
But providing said customer service is sometimes easier said than done. Customer service agents have a high turnover rate for a few reasons. The job can be considered entry-level and pay wages accordingly. On the contrary, front-line customer service reps have a demanding, high-stress job with lofty employer expectations that include a thorough knowledge of products, processes, and industry norms (that may be constantly changing), as well as the ability to turn angry customers into happy ones – a task that can be especially draining.
Smart businesses understand that, second to the product or service, customer service is a top moneymaker in its ability to impact customer retention. Therefore, invest in your customer service superstars with training and wages that reflect how important they are to your business.
Offer regular discounts and promotions
It’s the weekend and you plan to pack up the fam and head to the beach, but your beach chairs were met with an untimely demise when your new puppy chewed their fabric to shreds. Needing beach chairs in a pinch elicits the thought, “who’s having a sale?”
Whether it’s beach chairs, couches, an oil change, or a brand new car, be the company that customers think of when they look to see who’s having a sale. Even if you’re not offering a promotion at that moment in time, by offering regular promotions, coupons, or discounts, you’ll be the business customers look to first.
Host contests and giveaways
Contests, giveaways, trivia quizzes, and the like offer the same benefits of promotions and discounts, but with the ability to foster engagement between your business and your customers.
Contests and giveaways also allow you to be creative in the type of contest or giveaway you’d like to host. For example, you can try a scratch and win giveaway in which multiple prizes are awarded instantly over the span of a few days. Scratch and wins, or any type of giveaway that offers immediate results, is sure to attract a lot of participation.
Built with Shortstack’s Scratch and Win template
Photo and video contests are also a popular way to engage your audience. A photo contest or video challenge can get your audience involved with your brand in a way that offering a simple discount never could. In this example, a dog walking company used the power of dogs’ cuteness to host a successful photo contest, increasing their brand’s exposure in their local area.
Built with ShortStack’s Photo Contest temlpate
Be good stewards of customer data
In the last few years, data security has become a prominent topic in news headlines, making the world more aware (and cautious) of how companies use our data. So much so that legislation has been passed in the US and Europe to help protect our data and change the way businesses manage it. Failure to be a good steward of said data will send your customers running straight for the hills.
As a business, if you’re able to gain enough trust to coax a name and email address, or even credit card info from customers, make sure you handle that information with the greatest of care. Follow all protocols related to internet and server security. Delete information when requested and never, ever sell or share information without explicit permission.
Beyond security, there are a number of best practices that should be followed to be a good steward of your email list. We’ll talk more about that in relation to our next topic: email marketing.
Use email marketing (the right way)
Email marketing is still a driving force when it comes to customer retention and sales. In fact, 81% of small to medium-sized businesses rely on it for customer acquisition and 80% for customer retention. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a boat-load of statistics out there to prove that email is still the reigning champ when compared to social media and other forms of marketing.
But if you’re going to use email marketing, there are a few tricks to maximize your customer retention success. To reiterate what I mentioned before, be a good steward of your customer’s data – never spam, or sell, or share it. Then, you can use data to personalize your email marketing, which can boost open rates by as much as 50%.
So, next time you’re shopping for email marketing software, make sure it offers features such as merge fields and filtering to help you personalize and target messages to your audience. Also, it’s imperative your email marketing software comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR and the CAN-SPAM act.
To sum things up…
If you’ve become a little too comfortable with the profits you posted for Q4, and it’s giving you tunnel vision until the next big shopping season, you may miss out on what the rest of the year has to offer. In other words, the customers you’ve recently acquired are brimming with revenue potential. So instead of going back to the well to look for new customers, focus on retaining the gold mine of consumers you’ve already acquired.