How to Retain Your Customers

Written by Kit Jenkin

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Many business people spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to attract customers to their business. While this is a vital part of growing your business, retaining your customers is just as, if not more, important. 

Research done by Frederick Reicheld of Bain & Company shows that when most businesses increase their customer retention by 5%, they often grow their profits by 25% to 95% [1]. When you retain the right customers, you’re on the road to massively improving the success of your business.

Here are some strategies you can use to increase brand loyalty among your customers. 

Pay attention to your customer churn rate

When discussing customer retention rates, you often come across the concept of customer churn. Customer churn is a metric that measures when a consumer ends a relationship with your company after a certain period of time. Churn rate is generally measured by month or year, depending on the industry [2]. 

If you have metrics that can measure your company’s churn rate, examine them closely to determine how often or when you’re losing customers. Doing so will help you uncover patterns and reveal whether you need to do more to retain those customers. If your churn rate rises, you’ll know something is off and that you need to act.

Use social media and email marketing

Your company needs to be visible on as many channels as possible. There are many platforms for businesses to communicate through in 2021: email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok. The list could be endless. 

The more channels your company has a presence on, the more customers you’re likely to connect with. 

Create dynamic social media posts that engage with your audience. and craft stunning emails that promote your products and services, and call your customers to action. This is vital for keeping interest in your company high.

Try offering exclusive deals through particular channels to raise engagement. Offering a channel-exclusive product or an email-exclusive discount on a future purchase will go a long way to keeping your customers engaged and spending. 

You’ll also want to identify particular platforms that will be useful to you. It’s important to meet your customers where they are, on the channels they like to frequent [3]. For instance, clothing brands which target people aged 14-24 would have a lot more success advertising on platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Discord since those platforms are more popular with that demographic. By the same token, that same brand might waste a lot of time and resources creating ads and posts on LinkedIn, where it’s unlikely they’ll reach the kind of clientele they’re after. 

Stand out from the competition

Most companies need a unique selling point, or USP, to differentiate themselves from their competition. You might offer similar products or services as your competitors, so it’s vital to make yourself stand out to survive.

The smartphone market is a good example of how to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Most smartphones are, in many ways, identical. Most use more or less the same components and have the same software capabilities. But what differentiates an iPhone 12 from a Samsung Galaxy makes them appealing to different customer segments. 

One phone may have a more powerful camera, another might have a unique operating system, and another might have partnered with service providers to give their customers particular discounts. People are unique, and so will be attracted to different aspects of these products,

To stand out, identify your USP and make sure people understand why it makes your product special. This way, your customers will be less likely to abandon you for one of your competitors. 

Use a customer loyalty program

People like feeling that their dedicated, continued custom will be rewarded by the company they buy from. This is why customer loyalty programs, from point cards at grocery stores to punch cards at cafes, are widely used [3]. 

The best rewards programs are those that correctly identify customers who are likely to become long-term shoppers. Successful programs ensure loyalty by identifying how their products or services can serve these customers. 

If you use Epos Now’s point of sale system (POS), you can access the LoyalZoo app. This app will help you create a dedicated customer loyalty program that can be run exclusively online. 

Use customer support apps

Once most companies reach a certain size, they begin to dedicate particular teams to customer support. However, this isn’t always possible or necessary for small or medium-sized retail or hospitality businesses. 

Using an Epos Now POS system simplifies the customer retention process completely. Create compelling email marketing campaigns and automate them with our Mailchimp integration. Analyze customer data on our Loyalty app to make sure you’re making informed decisions for your marketing campaigns. If you’re struggling to adjust to any particular area of the software or need extra support, you can always contact our team for any questions you may have about using our apps.

Connect to your customers’ values

Some customers will choose a brand’s products and services for purely prosaic reasons: they’re cheaper or have better functions. But if you really want to connect with people in a way that will keep them with your company for the long haul, you want to connect to their values.

Connecting to a customer’s values is a tried and tested strategy in marketing. Customers naturally gravitate towards companies and brands that reflect their personal values [4], whether political, social, aspirational, aesthetic or otherwise. 

Apple is the commonly cited example of a company that effectively connects with its customers’ values [5]. Even though Apple’s products are, in many ways, extremely similar to their competitors’, they have successfully positioned their products as the ideal tools for people who want to ‘think differently’ [6]. The Apple brand is associated in many peoples’ minds with creativity, individualism, design, and innovation. But most importantly, Apple’s brand inspires loyalty because their products make their customers feel good about themselves [7]. When someone connects with a company’s values, they’re more likely to stick around for a long time.  

What are your company’s values? What do you want to stand for? If you haven’t yet figured this out, it might be a good time to start [8]. Once you figure out what you want your company to stand for, you can start targeting the right people for long-term retention. 

Take and implement feedback

Sometimes, mistakes are inevitable. 

You make a product that doesn’t live up to expectations. Or maybe a customer has an interaction with your support team that doesn’t go very well. No one likes it when these things happen, but they’re part of being in business. How you react to these situations is key to retaining your customers – you really want to make your customers happy.

Only about 1 in 25 people who have a bad experience with a company will complain directly [9]. This means that when you encounter a customer complaint, you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg of bad customer experiences. So, when you do get a complaint, it’s important to act on it.

But how do you get feedback? There are many ways. Search engines like Google and Bing have business listing sections where customers can review companies. You can also visit sites like Glassdoor to get a sense of how your company is viewed by current and former staff. Most companies set up email accounts dedicated to customer feedback. And, of course, there are always the different types of feedback you can get through your social media channels. 

Once you receive your feedback, it’s important to address the issue in a way that makes your customer feel heard and understood. You can find out how to do this by reading our blog, How to Deal With Difficult Customers. Then, ensure that you’re addressing the problems in the complaints to the best of your ability.

Show appreciation

Without your customers, you wouldn’t be in business. Showing regular appreciation to your customers will make them feel valued and will therefore be more likely to stick with your business. 

Showing appreciation can take many forms. It can be doing social media posts thanking particular customers for their business. It could be offering discounts to customers who have been with your company for a certain amount of time. Or it could be offering them new and improved benefits to your products or services.

When people feel they, as individuals, have been rewarded for their loyalty, they are more likely to extend that loyalty into the future. 

Here are some resources that you may be interested in:

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