The Importance of Customer Retention Part 2: 4 Ways to Acquire Long-Term Customers

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Changing Your Customer Acquisition Approach to Earn Long-Term Business

Finding new customer acquisitions is always a challenge for organizations, but retaining customers is even harder. Since customer acquisition can cost as much as five times what retention costs, it makes sense that retention should be a prime goal from day one. A comprehensive retention process begins during the acquisition phase. If your company sells your mission and brand hard enough, then you’ll improve the likelihood of keeping that customer for future sales. Here are some techniques for attracting long-term customers:

Personalize the Experience

Companies have no reason to keep their potential customers at arm’s length anymore. Social media and other technologies have made it possible for every company to personalize its marketing and sales campaigns. Even if you can’t make face-to-face contact with your customers, regular online engagement, prompt customer service, and targeted and customized engagement campaigns are great ways to cement your commitment to their experience with your brand. The way customers feel about the transaction likely will affect the potential for repeat business.

Use the Right Offer

Every company can use small value-added propositions to encourage customers to believe in the brand’s mission. Whether it’s a small, branded memento or packaging that aligns with your target market’s lifestyle, product and service thoughtfulness adds an emotional element to your sales process. Customers that feel understood by your brand will be more likely to try other products in the future. In fact, companies have a 60 to 70 percent better chance of selling to an existing customer than they do to a new prospect.

Always give more

Giving more doesn’t have to mean giving away free stuff, although that usually helps. It can also mean giving new customers insight into your company’s culture, teaching them how to do something better through an online blog, or offering funny or otherwise engaging content and purchasing extras to inspire a feeling of loyalty.

Don’t take the transaction for granted

Closing the sale is a win for any company, but it shouldn’t be the end of the road. At that critical moment, whether it’s at a cash register, sitting in an office, through an online form, or on the phone, your company should be putting its best foot forward to be memorable in a positive way. Give customers the information they need to feel confident in their purchase and focus on exceeding their value expectations. Always make an additional offer at the time of transaction or shortly thereafter.

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Taking a little extra time during the acquisition process can help sales teams secure customers for future purchases, which will pay even more in the long run. Remember during the acquisition process that hitting a goal of just 5 percent customer retention has the ability to boost profit by 25 to 95 percent. Reward sales professionals and marketer equally for new acquisitions and returning customer transactions to encourage more personalized retention strategies.

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