September 24, 2018
The single most important thing you can do to grow your home business is establishing a loyal, returning customer or client base. While sometimes a great product or service is enough to generate customer loyalty, it often requires a more proactive approach. If your customers don’t feel valued, they’ll shop elsewhere — which is costly for you. According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere between 5-25% more expensive than retaining an existing one. The following tips will help you strengthen relationships with customers and keep them coming back for more.
Create a loyalty program
Rewarding clients or customers for loyalty will encourage them to stick around. 69% of U.S. companies with loyalty programs estimate the average lifetime value of each customer to be $1,803. Free products, coupons, or discounts on services are tempting rewards for customers who make frequent purchases. You may even find it beneficial to run a points system where customers collect points to access greater rewards, which also encourages them to buy more. Whatever route you take, make sure you don’t end up losing money, Corporate Business Solutions advises. It should work out so the customer makes so many purchases that you can eventually afford to give a discounted service or free product.
Personalize your service
75% of consumers are more likely to buy from someone who recognizes them by name or knows their purchase history. So look for ways to personalize your service to establish customer loyalty. This can be as simple as including a short personal thank you note when you sell a product. Another way to personalize your service is to get feedback. Conduct surveys or simply ask your customers if they’re happy with their experience. You’ll find out what customers love about your business, as well as what improvements are needed — all before any unhappy customers are lost.
Provide proactive customer service
Proactive customer service is one of the best things you can do to create loyal customers or clients. It involves anticipating potential problems before they occur and taking action to solve them. This can be as straightforward as contacting a customer to provide them with necessary information or ask if they have any questions before they contact you. Anticipatory customer service lets customers know you value their business and respect their time.
Think of customer retention as another necessary investment in your home business growth. It costs more time and money to find and market to new customers than it does to retain existing ones, after all. Implementing an effective customer retention strategy is essential for helping your business thrive long term.