When starting your first business, you may think the most difficult task you’ll face is finding customers. However, retaining customers can be just as difficult – and, in many cases, even more challenging. Below, we’ve rounded up five ways to keep them on your side.
1. Offer the best service
It sounds obvious, but offering the very best service is the number one way to keep customers coming back to your business. With so much choice and competition, you need to work hard to keep customers happy at all points on their journey – whether that’s pre-sales, customer support or the complaints process. Never miss an opportunity to engage with a customer – ask them how they’re doing, how you could make your product or service better, and be prepared to take their feedback on board and act upon it in a timely manner.
2. Be prompt with response times
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling – customer service is so important. Make sure that you have the correct procedures in place to respond to customers as soon as possible, and consider our call answering service for business if you offer telephone support. This service is simple – you can simply divert your calls to one of our Planet Numbers local lines, and one of our team will answer your call professionally and cheerfully. We’ll take details from your callers and pass any information to you via email or SMS.
3. See what your competitors are doing
If you want to maintain strong relationships with your customers and prevent them from switching to other companies, you need to keep tabs on your competitors. Look at what they’re doing online; check out their blog, their social media presence and their advertising, and be prepared to follow in their footsteps if they’re doing something better than you. The same goes for their products and services – if possible, enter as a “customer in disguise” and see how they do things differently. Do they have a unique selling point that you could steal?
4. Offer a loyalty scheme
Customer loyalty cannot be bought – it has to be earned and can take time. Launch a scheme that rewards loyalty and repeat business, whether that’s a stamp every time they order a morning coffee or a percentage discount on their next purchase. Marketing Donut has put together an excellent piece on creating a customer loyalty scheme that you should consider if you want to encourage customers to stick with your business.
5. Run a focus group
It’s all well and good asking customers for feedback and using customer retention data to pinpoint the problems in your business, but you’ll never get to the bottom of your issues unless you speak to customers directly.
Run a focus group where you speak to loyal patrons and see what they’d change about your business if they were in charge. This is a powerful market research exercise that should not be avoided if you care about retention.
There you have it – five of the best ways to retain your customers and keep your business in profit. If you’d like to find out more about our call answering service, get in touch with a member of the team today on 0800 0886 886. We look forward to hearing from you.