Friday, November 14, 2014

Once You Get a Customer, Keep Them!

How to Properly Manage Client Retention

customer retention, small business tips, home business
As many small business owners already know, one of the keys to business success is not just making the initial sale but also retaining clients for future business. Although many companies have found a formula for success with making initial sales, they sometimes struggle with keeping customers for repeat business. Transactions from loyal customers can account for almost 40 percent of a business’s overall revenue, which is why customer retention is so significant in today’s market. With this in mind, it can be easy to see why having a customer retention plan is so important to your business.

Have a Post-Sale Plan in Place and Share it with Customers

Although it may seem like making an initial sale is the difficult part, the more challenging and more important part of the deal is guaranteeing the customer will come back and do business with you again. This is where the post-sale plan comes into play. After making an initial sale, share with customers how you will be following up with them in the future to make sure the product or service they are purchasing met their needs or explain your businesses post-sale plan. This is a great way to show customers that you truly care about fulfilling their needs and meeting their expectations. When a business begins a relationship in this way, it is much more likely that client will come back and make another purchase.

Do Your Results Measure Up to Expectations?

Once a post-sale plan is in place, it is important to make sure it is the right one for the business. A great way to measure success is to measure the results against what the expected outcome is. By doing this, it can help reveal holes in the plan or areas that need improvement in order to boost customer retention. One tool that can be used to make these measurements is by sending clients a post-sale survey – ask them to rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 10 and also ask them what can be done to make their experience better in the future. Active monitoring of your and your customers’ expectations is a great way for a business to be able to show empathy to their clients when things do not go exactly right.

Employ Transition Marketing

Many clients are in the “not there yet” phase of the buying process – they have not made a purchase and may need some convincing, which is where a lot of a business’s marketing efforts are focused. But, once they have transitioned to the point where they do engage in business with the company, the way they should be marketed to needs to transition as well. Instead of barraging them with the same marketing materials they have seen already, start mixing in different materials like white papers, invitations to special events, and customer loyalty sales and discounts. These types of marketing campaigns are not meant to bring them in for the first time, but bring them back time and time again.

If you found these small business tips useful, you  should talk to Stacy O'Quinn. Stacy has mentored dozens of work from home professionals to help them turn their struggling businesses into a six figure income. For more information about Stacy and to find out how he can help you, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of jm3 on Flickr via Creative Commons License

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