Five Ways To Better Retain Customers In 2020

  • Jan 6, 2020

How do you plan to hold on to your clients this year? What are you doing to ensure they're motivated to continue buying from you? Most clients have abundant options, making it all the more important to pay attention to customer retention.

Alexandra Levit, a best-selling author and columnist, says customer retention isn't an exact science but it's still something sales leaders should examine. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Levit's five examples of smart customer retention programs.

1. Education. In a world where individuals are increasingly responsible for their own professional development, people will be grateful to your organization if you help them keep their knowledge fresh. Education offerings can take a variety of forms, notes Levit, from online courses and podcasts to information repositories and access to subject matter experts.

2. Pop-up engagements. Surprise reciprocity refers to the act of giving unexpected and delightful thanks to your most valuable customers in the form of a memorable gift or note. Your offering need not be pricey if it's delivered with care and thought, says Levit. Some of the best examples of surprise reciprocity are highly personal.

3. Real-time social media dialogue. Among client retention programs, Levit admits this one is the toughest to pull off. After all, many businesses offer phone or email customer service, and many engage with customers on social media. However, few have mastered the art of actively responding to brand-related comments on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This type of program ensures that customers have an additional vehicle for getting in touch with you and promotes the message that you are flexible and open to feedback.

4. Human-centered follow-up. Customer retention programs are only as good as the humans who power them, notes Levit. And even if a customer buys something from you once, there's no guarantee they will repeat the purchase when someone else dangles competitive pricing in front of them. Do your best to bring customers right back into your funnel by picking up the phone. Your objective? Thank them person-to-person and share tips and tricks for making the most of their purchase.

5. Personalized targeting. Segmentation strategy involves dividing your customers into groups by demographic, behavioral and psychographic characteristics, and serving up targeted marketing messaging accordingly. Many businesses have recently taken segmentation a step further by providing content and offers that speak directly to the individual customer.

Customers are the lifeblood of every business. That's why it pays to keep your current customers happy. It costs, on average, five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. Keeping customers for longer can have a meaningful impact on your bottom line. In the year ahead, look to the customer retention strategies mentioned above to retain your customers and stay competitive.

Source: Alexandra Levit is a former nationally syndicated columnist for The Wall Street Journal and a current writer for The New York Times. Levit has authored several books, including the bestseller, They Don't Teach Corporate in College.