We all know how difficult it can be to gain one new customer. There’s the market research, the targeting, the networking, the focus groups, the SEO, the social media engagement, the consultations…and more.
And keeping that customer—the one you invested lots of time (and maybe money) into acquiring—then becomes a challenge of its own.
However, retaining that customer requires less investment of time, energy and money than acquiring a replacement.
So what can you do to keep your ideal clients (the ones you want to work with and who will pay you what you’re worth) happy and coming back?
You can start with this mindset:
Every Customer is Either a Precious Customer or a Previous Customer
I want you to notice the difference between the words Precious and Previous. It’s just one letter, but it makes a massive change in the pronunciation and meaning of the words.
Precious (adj): Valuable; worth a great deal of money; considered to be of great importance.
Previous (adj): Having occurred in the past; describes something that is gone.
Take the C out of precious (C=customer), and your customer is no longer with your brand. Your customer retention has failed, and you will have to invest more time, money and energy into attaining one or more replacements.
So how can make sure that your customer retention program is making your most valuable assets feel central to your brand? In other words, how can you keep your Cs happy by putting them right in the centre of your efforts to make them feel Precious?
Customer Retention Tips, for Those Precious Clients
As you strive to make your current customers feel precious, take these pieces of advice to heart:
- Avoid Abandonment Tendencies: As brands focussed on growth, we often imagine that our greatest growth potential is found in new business, when in fact, your existing clientele holds your best chances for becoming the brand you want to see in the world. Remember that it’s easier to water and feed a seedling than to plant a new seed and hope it grows. Give your long-time customers the majority of your time and attention, and they’ll turn around and invest that into spreading the word about your brand…to bring in more people like them.
- Give Precious Customers a Voice: Asking your clients what they think will help you to build and shape a brand that meets their needs and keeps them around. However, it doesn’t end there. Asking for feedback and input also makes customers feel that they are an important part of your brand, and voila! Just like that, they feel like investors, because they have contributed. They will feel precious, and compelled to stay involved with your brand.
- Ask Proven Brand Advocates to Speak on Behalf of Your Brand: If your customers are the types who like to be heard, to change minds and to make a difference, then ask one or two of them to speak on behalf of your brand. This can be with a video testimonial, a question from a prospective client, a live social event or written referral. Watch for clues: people who are naturally extroverted and interested in being thought leaders will show that to you.
- Reward your Precious Customers: This sometimes means coupons and loyalty club benefits, but it often means something more substantial. Maybe it’s membership in an exclusive group, VIP status or exclusive access to unreleased products. No matter what rewards programme you choose, it must make your precious customers feel special and valued.
- Be Proactive in Customer Service: When I think of a kick-ass customer service department, I don’t see people sitting around waiting for complaints to pour in. What I do see are people reaching out to current customers, asking them about their experiences and finding out if there’s anything the brand can do to improve what’s happening.
- Give your Team the Precious Treatment, Too: Sir Richard Branson has always maintained that a happy team will create happy customers. We, too, have found this to be true. Hire team members who share your values and who fully support the vision and mission of your brand. Keep them involved. Listen to their opinions. Ask them for help. When your employees feel fully invested in your brand, they will blast that energy into all customer relations.
What are some unique ways that you can make your customers feel precious…and happy to stick around? Looking for some ideas to make your brand experience an unparalleled one? Join us for the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp of your choice. Register early and pay only £97 for a full day of the same branding wisdom that took our business from £0 to £18,000 in only 12 weeks. Happening in the UK and Canada.