Customer retention simply means “keep your customers coming back”. Jeff Bezos (Executive Chairman of Amazon) once said that "We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts". Bezos likened our products and services to a party, implying that the way you treat the party guests would determine their response to the next party invitation.
Keep in mind that even though a party is free for invited guests, the ability to ensure that the guests give a positive response to subsequent invitations would be a result of how they have been previously served and entertained.
In order to capture the hearts of customers, businesses have developed various high-quality products and services to solve specific problems. However, while creating effective solutions is important, retaining customers over the long term is equally vital for business success.
Shiv Singh (Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer at LendingTree) once said that "The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers” implying that customers are one of, if not the most important tools to increase sales and ultimately maximize business efficiency as the most effective form of advertisement is a satisfied customer. So the question goes thus: What can I do to retain these customers so they can eventually turn out to be my personal salespersons?
What is customer retention?
This is a business strategy that involves building strong relationships with customers and providing high-level customer service with the goal to create loyal customers who continue to patronize the services and eventually recommend them to others, thus helping the business grow and succeed.
Strategies for customer retention
You need to provide a form of value to grow your business but you need a system to sustain its growth. One major system is customer retention and these are some of the basic ways through which customers can be retained for your business:
Personalize interactions with users: People, especially customers, love to feel important. With Tyms Book, you can keep track of your customers details and preferred products as you can add customers to every record they would be involved in. By doing so, you can make them feel important by addressing them by name and tailoring your communication to their interests and preferences as you’d have observed.
Give prompt responses: This involves replying quickly to customers’ messages which include complaints, requests or inquiries. Introduce a system or policy which would ensure you reply as soon as possible, which is within a particular time frame. Example: Replies to customers must not be later than 3 hours as the case may be.
Reward customer loyalty: After studying the trends, you can offer gifts or exclusive discounts to returning customers. This would make them feel valued and you’d almost always have them coming back.
Use social media: In an age where almost everyone and everything runs digitally, it is recommended to engage your customers on social platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and other media to inform them about updates on existing products, announcements of new products and any changes occurring at any point in time. People tend to be attracted to things they find aesthetically pleasing or that bring them joy or comfort and so when they see these things regularly, they are almost compelled to purchase or at least make inquiries about them.
I sum up by quoting this text by Sam Walton: “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”. The customers are at the core of any business, and the more importance you give to them, the greater the likelihood of success for your business.