Among the biggest challenges small businesses face is the ability to gain new customers and retain those you already have. Your rivals are busy creating new ways to attract new customers (including yours). Don’t let them steal your customer’s focus. Instead, employ these unique strategies to keep your customer’s engaged and stand out from your competition in order to garner new ones.
Be an Ever-Present Brand
To sell, you must be seen. This means showing up for marketing opportunities, such as conferences, charity events, community events, and seminars. Be everywhere your customer could be and you’re on the right track.
Showing up is only half the battle. Your brand must stand out. It must be ever-present and notable. This is done through visual marketing. Your logo should be prominently featured on everything from the clothes you wear to the tent over your head. Check out the 7-11 branding on this heavy duty pop up canopy. 7-11 is a household name brand; yet, this type of branding is still a priority for them. You should follow suit if you want customers old and new to know who you are.
If you’re an online-only business, meaning you can’t be face-to-face with your customers, you can be ever-present in their inbox. This isn’t to say you should spam your customers, but you should use email marketing to touch base often. For tips on writing high-quality subject lines, check out this page: How to Write Email Subject Lines for Business.
Give Away Promotional Items and Services
People love swag. Even something as simple as a branded pen is a great promotional item to offer customers and potential customers. Gifts help customers feel appreciated, especially the gift of free products or services. Regularly offer your customers coupons, discounts, and the occasional BOGO (buy one, get one free).
Offering incentives will ensure your customers stick by you even when a competitor is running a promotion. If a customer attempts to cancel to change providers, remind them of the many incentives you offer. It’s helpful to also have a special customer retention offer, such as matching you competitor’s promotional price or a free month of service. Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu almost always offer their canceling customers a free month of service to retain them.
Don’t Make Them Wait
One thing people hate is long queues – whether in person or on the phone. Offering reliable and fast service will result in loyal customers. Strive to always be early or on-time in terms of delivery. Strive to keep customer service wait times down. And, strive to be early to market with new products and services. You will find that customers are attracted to this commitment to speed because they hate waiting.
It also helps to have live customer service representatives. People don’t suffer robots well. It’s okay to automate some customer service inquiries, but not all. Always make sure you’re well-staffed with intelligent, thoughtful, and efficient customer service representatives.
Exploit Your Customers Weaknesses
There’s nothing wrong with scrutinizing your competitors and challenging yourself to do better. This isn’t to suggest participating in corporate espionage. Simply review their sales methods, services, products, and support methods. Is there anything you can improve upon? Are there areas you can reduce your costs, so that you can undercut their pricing? These things should help you attract some of their customers, as well as keep your own for the long-term.
Companies big and small all face the same challenges when it comes to retaining current customers and attracting new ones. It’s a never-ending process that requires dedication to quality and service, especially when it comes to customer service. If you’re diligent, do your research, and provide enough incentive, you should do well in the customer retention arena.