How to Engage with and Reward Existing Customers for Future Business
Existing customers engaged with your company for a reason. They liked your marketing campaign, you met their need, or someone recommended your product or service. Now that they have a foot in the door, it’s time to keep them there. The majority of companies, 76 percent, see the customer lifetime value (CLV) as a key concept, but many are still investing more in customer acquisition and letting existing customers fall to the wayside.
Online, the most effective retention tactics include email marketing (56 percent effective), social media marketing (37 percent effective), and content marketing (32 percent effective), using a variety of techniques and offers to encourage repeat business.
Try these tips for effective online and offline retention to boost retention rates:
Survey All Customers
Send a small survey out after every transaction. Although it seems counterintuitive, you may find that your angriest customers become your best asset. They tell you exactly what they think is wrong, giving you the opportunity to make it right. You may prevent other customers from having the same experience in the future and gain a repeat customer from the interaction.
Get Consumers On Board With Your Mission
Many consumers, as many as 64 percent, will go back to a company because they identify closely with the company’s mission, values, and culture. Creating a strong emotional bond between a brand and customer is one of the most powerful ways to ensure continued business in the future.
Don’t Forget the Power of the Word FREE
Although often overused in marketing campaigns today, free is always a powerful motivator for new and repeat customers. Whether you include a free gift with purchase, a customer loyalty reward gift or discount program, or a free eBook on how to use your products or services, customers love free things. Try to set your promotions for existing customers aside from new customers to capitalize on the power of exclusivity. People love being included in limited-time, limited-quantity deals.
Stay In Touch
Marketing campaigns often run a fine line between becoming spam and engaging customers. Balance the content of each approach (i.e., promotions information, targeted articles, relevant company news updates) with the number of channels you use to make the most impact with your customers. Calls, snail mail, and other personalized interactions are also highly regarded by existing customers in some industries.
The probability of selling to an existing customer (60 to 70 percent) is far higher than selling to a new prospect (5 to 20 percent); you should try redirecting some of your sales focus to retention marketing activities for several months and see which strategies are more lucrative for your business.