RSVP’s Top Tip’s on Customer Retention
Many UK businesses lose on average up to 20% of their customers because of failure to establish and further their relationship after the initial sale. It’s far more common practise for companies to go out of their way to look for new business, spending their time on the initial sale alone, rather than utilising that time strengthening relationships with current customers interested in potential future sales.
Many of RSVP’s clients currently have a stronger focus on customer retention than acquisition. They have found that maintaining a loyal customer base provides the essential foundation that future acquisition can be built upon, providing stability and enhancing their business’s credibility.
Let’s take a look at some essential practises followed here at RSVP and how you can put them into place in your own business:
First of all, let’s look at what makes a customer retention strategy unsuccessful and what might be the weakening factors. If your business follows an inadequate customer retention strategy you may experience a comparable pattern to the one illustrated below.
It’s clear when analysing this strategy that time and resource is wasted during the initial sale period. Your efforts primarily aren’t spent furthering the customer relationship and finally you abandon the customer when faced with a query or a problem with repeat sales– the relationship becomes stagnant, and ends up deceased.
But, the easiest way to grow your business is retaining your existing customers. Once you stop losing relationships you will end up improving your overall evolution, allowing you to dedicate your time and resources into your existing customers. If you take a second to review the customers you have as ‘stationary’, you can work on understanding their identity as customers; developing further your customer network and not letting them be forgotten.
Many businesses start their initial relationship with customers by doing a brilliant job of the first sale. This part of the customer lifecycle plays a valuable role in the future of a business relationship but isn’t your definitive goal. The primary sale marks the beginning to your overall business relationship and, considering most customers are susceptible to buyer’s remorse (where the customer has a feeling of regret towards their initial purchase), it becomes more crucial that you as a company make the effort to remind them why they’ve chosen to do business with you in the first place. You need to “strike while the iron is hot” to eliminate customer’s fears and demonstrate through your actions that you care. Rather than looking for new customers, invest your time in putting systems into place for future sales opportunities and watch your business grow.
Dedicating time and resource to new customers is pointless when most of your inactive customers will generally be receptive to your attempts in regenerating business with them. The quickest way to increase your revenue and improve your reputation as a reliable and loyal business is reactivating older customers who already know you and your services. By reminding them you still exist, you can find out why they originally discontinued buying from you. Using that information, you can engage with their objections and prove that you value and respect their custom.
It pays to use an organised and regulated communication schedule. Using a calendar to plan when it’s appropriate to next communicate with a customer can be a reliable and organised method of customer retention. In the meantime, you can of course continue to keep customers updated with present news, deals, discounts and events to keep them in the loop and promote your business’ success. However, if all you do is contact your customers about your product and why they should buy it, you weaken your desirability. It’s also important to monitor your relationship status with the customer. For example, if you know that a customer hasn’t brought anything in a while, make sure the next time you contact them you talk about products that are relevant to them currently and analyse their needs carefully.
Customer retention is not about retaining every customer whose ever shown an interest in you. It’s important to recognise which customers provide a serviceable return on investment. In theory, the more you take care of your customers, the more they will benefit you in the long run. However, if it’s evident from the outset that the work load is more than the potential future gain, it’s more constructive for you to discontinue your relationship with them rather than missing out on a more profitable business opportunity with future customers. If you use your initiative to identify at the start the quality of the customer, you can bestow your time and resources appropriately on those customers who will bring lucrative business to you.
THE VALUE OF RETENTION
Finally, the ability to show that you have developed lifelong business relationships allows you to establish a solid foundation on which your business can mount itself. This would prove your company is practiced, consistent and structured – demonstrating your constructive solutions, no matter what problems you are presented with. A more effective strategy should follow a pattern similar to this:
It is clear that customer retention is all about how you interact with your customers time and time again. Understanding the customer lifecycle and the motivating factors that drive and sustain it are essential learning insights that RSVP’s customer retention campaigns deliver. Use RSVP’s campaigns to generate repeat business, deliver customer loyalty and sustain the business-customer relationship in a healthy and self-perpetuating method. RSVP delivers campaigns and marketing strategies to drive retention and re-invigorate your market place - whether you wish to interact every day, week or year. RSVP can provide a service that ensures your customers get the very best possible service, engendering loyalty and continued business.
Customer retention is vital in a competitive business world. Your existing customers are perhaps your most valuable business asset. By trusting in RSVP’s customer retention strategy, you guarantee that the customer lifecycle is extended to its full maturity, with regular customer interaction; the hallmark of great customer service. RSVP’s service enables you to focus on business growth – knowing you are bringing new customers in while keeping the existing customers coming back time and time again.
If you would like to speak to a member of our Business Development team, why not contact the author of this blog - our Business Development Executive, Lydia Hackett (Lydia.Hackett@rsvp.co.uk)