Let’s talk retention!
I heard this quote the other day.
“Think of how many customers you would have, if you never lost any.”
Dang, that hit home! For me, that answer is thousands.
The reality of never losing customers is just not a realistic one. But, when you have a good retention plan, you can definitely increase your probability of keeping your customers AS CUSTOMERS, for a much longer time period.
- Follow Up.
Your customers need to know you care. They need to know that they are more than a dollar sign to you, and that their happiness is important. They need to feel appreciated and wanted, not forgotten. After a customer purchases a product or service from you, don’t forget about them. Follow up to ensure they were satisfied with their purchase. Does this take some extra time? Yes absolutely, but your ROI will be well worth it.
- Check In.
My email is CLUTTERED with sales pitches. (and I mean CLUTTERED. Hundreds of emails I either never open, or trash immediately.) I make it my goal to check in with my clients once a quarter and have absolutely NO ulterior motive. We check in with our customers by phone call and email. Now, please understand, there is a fine line between great customer service, and being really freaking annoying. If you emailed in Q1, make sure you call in Q2. A check in for us goes like this, “Hi Mrs. Smith, Kaleigh here from COMPANY NAME, I just wanted to check in with you and see how everything was going!”. This is not the time to remind them of their overdue account, sell them a new product, or invite them to an event. This check in is ONLY used to do just that…check in and let your customer know that you are thinking about them.
- Ask for Feedback.
You are NOTHING without your customers. Let that sink in. Do a lot of customers give unsolicited advice, while you fake smile through the awkward conversation and know in the back of your mind that their idea will never work. YES. This happens to me every day. It used to annoy me, but now I can see that my customers, like me, just want me to grow and improve. Don’t be a “know it all boss” and ask for feedback. Survey Monkey is a great way to make free and easy surveys that you can send out to your customers. Give them a chance to let their voices be heard. I love anonymous surveys because you get honest feedback and it shows you how happy your customers are with you and your company as of now.
- Handwritten Notes
Believe me, when I say that handwritten notes are NOT a thing of the past. If a customer mentions they are sick, their dog died, their dad is having surgery next week, or mom just found out she is pregnant, you better believe that within 5 minutes of that conversation, we have a handwritten and personal card going out to that family. This goes a LONG WAY in forming great relationships with your clients. We send thank yous, get well soons, congratulations, and thinking of yous! We try to be there with our clients in their times of joy and heartache, and be more to them than just a business or monthly bill, but a genuine family.
- Christmas Cards.
Okay, I’ll be honest, this is one of the most expensive things we do. We spend over $500 dollars on ordering the cards, buying stamps, return labels, printing addresses, writing notes on each, and mailing them out. It’s very time consuming and honestly, a lot of work. Why the heck do we do it then? Because Christmas is a family holiday. Christmas cards are reserved for family and friends. By giving our clients Christmas cards, we are showing them that we think of them as family. (We also include deals and discounts on our cards, so it’s like a little gift to them!)
- Provide Free Value
Give your customers a greater need to stay your customer than just the product or service they are interested in. Give freebies, create an email list, give special tips and tricks to your customers. VALUE. (I don’t mean sending a pointless newsletter. I mean tell them something life changing that genuinely improves their lives.)
- Create a Community
When you go to Walmart, do you feel a sense of community when you walk through the door? NO. (If you said yes, let me know where your Walmart is!) When a customer walks in to your store, or joins your online group, or joins your MLM, they should feel a sense of unity and family. You need to create an atmosphere of belonging. Customers don’t leave a community they are part of.
- Build Trust.
You need to under promise, and over deliver! No one will take you seriously, or trust you in whatever it is that you do, if you can’t stand true on your promises.
- Own your Mistakes
If you believe in your brand, own your mistakes. If you messed up, eat that cost, and do the right thing. Rules are meant to be broken and even though you say “No Refunds or Exchanges”, it doesn’t mean you can never give a refund or do an exchange. Do what is morally right and that will go a long way, especially with word of mouth.
- Mix Business and Personal
Say whatttt??? I know you’ve been told the exact opposite your entire life. I disagree. Don’t be a figurehead. Don’t be a robot. Be you! Let your customers know YOU. Who are you outside of work? Tell them your hobbies, your likes and dislikes, build a friendship, build a relationship beyond your cash register.