When it comes to the customer journey – the stages your customer goes through from learning about you to becoming a brand ambassador – one of the most critical stages is retention. Getting the first sale from a customer is great, but the goal is to have “sticky” customers – people who come back over and over and even recommend you to others.
Are your customers “sticky”? Do they feel like you give them the love and appreciation they need?
If you are going to have “sticky” clients, your customers need to connect with you, feel satisfied and appreciated. Every buyer has options! Brands often spend a lot of energy wooing their customers in the beginning but then neglect them after the initial sale. Eventually someone else – your competitor – will begin the wooing process and before you know it, you’ve lost a customer.
Here’s 4 ways to improve your customer retention:
Start a Loyalty Program. Many businesses use them already because they work. They can be as simple as a punch card where if the customer buys X number of products or services, they get the X number free or a percentage off all orders. Loyalty programs don’t have to be complicated and are a great way to get your customers’ email address to add them to a newsletter, send them news, or give them special coupons. By creating a special loyalty program or insiders club, you make them feel special because they are getting access to something extra.
Make it Personal. Customers love when you market just to them. For example, if you can obtain information from your client like their birthday (month and day are fine) you can send them a special, personalized email or offer just for them. Other special occasions work too depending on your business. Regardless of what your personalized offer is, your customers will appreciate your efforts and special recognition. Have a small group of clients? Send snail mail versus digital for the added wow factor! Wo
Go the extra mile. Sometimes taking that “little extra step” can make a huge difference. From helping a customer bring items to their car to following up to see how they like a new item they may have purchased. Your customers also provide you valuable feedback – some willingly, and others might require an ask. You should know what matters to your customers, why do they choose to do business with you over a competitor. The most important feedback is the unfavorable one – allowing you to see your weak spots and create a solution to overcome them. A sparkling recovery from a mistake is often where you can earn a lifelong customer.
Celebrate them. Consider hosting a customer appreciation event – it doesn’t have to be formal, but a gathering to say “Thank You” with some treats and maybe a coupon or freebies. If you launch new products or services, you can also give your “sticky” customers first dibs at buying or seeing it. Making your loyal customers feel special is the #1 way to create Brand Ambassadors.
There are so many ways you can engage with your customers to let them know they matter. Think about your own experiences and what you liked. What makes you a loyal customer? Now step into your customer’s shoes. Talk to your customers, peers, friends, and family for other ideas.
At Litchfield Bancorp we always want you to feel like you matter. Every Customer Counts – it’s our motto for a reason! Have questions, concerns, comments, or just want to say hi, stop into any of our branches – we love talking to our customers!
Litchfield Branch Manager, Vice President