9 Customer Retention Strategies for Small Businesses

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Small business proprietors tend to be customer retention experts. It’s a great way for businesses with a small marketing and bookkeeping budget to maximize ROI, increase profitability, and improve cash flow. Retaining customers is the ultimate goal for any business. Whether online or offline, ensuring that customers are satisfied is critical for long-term success. Hundreds of thousands of similar companies are targeting the same customers that you’ve worked so hard to earn.

What is customer retention?

Customer retention rate is the metric of how well a business is able to keep the lifespan of an existing customer over a period of time. Companies oftentimes fail to understand that it is much easier and cost-effective to focus on keeping existing the customer’s content, rather than attaining new ones.

1)   Set customer expectations

The first step to building better customer retention is to set client expectations early. By setting expectations early and at a lower capacity than you can provide, you can eliminate uncertainty. Figure out the level of service you need to offer to ensure your clients are happy. This clear vision enables your company to build KPIs around specific expectations and ensure you are always over delivering. Clients always tend to remember negative experiences rather than positive ones.

2)   Be the expert

Small and medium-sized businesses are becoming more and more reliant on amenities to run their operation. No matter what business you occupy, if you can be the expert in your particular field, you will likely retain more customers. Becoming your clients’ trusted adviser will build customer loyalty and reduce customer churn. Becoming a reliable source of all technology, you build a relationship that leads to dependence. Your customers will trust you, rely on you to give the best advice, and identify you as an essential part of their corporate success.

3)   Build trust through relationships

Trust is essential in business and building relationships with clientele will harvest that trust. Simply providing a service is no longer sufficient– as opponents enter your market, you need to start building shared values with clients.

4)   Implement anticipatory service

An anticipatory service is a preemptive approach to customer service. Instead of waiting for problems to occur, an enterprise that implements anticipatory service can eradicate problems before they happen. You should be looking at ways you can stop glitches from happening by being practical.

5)   Make use of automation

Automation tools allow for time-consuming chores requiring manual intervention to be standardized into repeatable processes. Businesses that leverage automation are able to minimize interruption and keep customers’ networks performing at their best. Companies are typically assured by contracts that pledge their services and make them answerable to clients. By leveraging automation tools and streamlining repeatable processes, companies can better meet their commitments. By standardizing your processes and setting expectations for service levels, you can increase customer loyalty which will lead to improved customer retention rates.

6)   Build KPI’s around customer service

A great way to improve customer retention is to improve customer service.

7)   Build relationships online

Your clients are online, so let’s start constructing relationships with them while they are glued to their computer screens. With the rise of social media, linking with your clients through these mediums makes sense. Focus your efforts on building social profiles on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook. The majority of your clients will have active profiles on at least one of these websites.

8)   Go above and beyond

Oftentimes, businesses overlook how important this is. Going the extra mile for your customers is an easy way to build strong relations. As a service business, you have countless prospects to woo your clients and exceed the minimum. By doing this, you can build some serious long-term faithfulness. If your customers know you are prepared to go above and beyond, they will stick with you when contenders start bashing on their door.

9)   Implement customer feedback surveys

Customer churn can be avoided by simply listening to your customers. Customer feedback surveys are priceless for learning how your service is performing in relation to your consumers’ expectations. By understanding client feedback, you can take action before it’s too late and make business decisions based on the real data-driven response.

Conclusion:

The above nine customer retention strategies will authorize you to not only toughen your client relationships and connections but also lift your bottom line.

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