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8 Customer Retention Tips For Increased Profitability

The customers you have are the ones that you want to keep. While new customers should always be welcome, it is your loyal customers that keep your business humming. A Harvard Business School study revealed that for every 5 percent increase in customer retention, profits increase by at least 25 percent. Here's what you can do to keep your customers happy and returning.

  1. Craft a brand message, personally. How well do you know your customers? To set your business apart from the pack, you need a point of sale system to know as much about them as possible. Then, you can refine your message to meet specific needs. Know their pains, goals and aspirations and deliver your products based on satisfying those needs.
  1. Show them that you care about them. Customers want to identify with your brand and will have a stronger relationship with you provided that you share their values. For instance, if you manage a family-oriented company, you need to demonstrate how your products help families and your community. This may include sponsoring a youth soccer team, for example.
  1. Tell them what they want to hear. There are certain words that people want to hear. As a business, you must persuade people to buy and do so based on power words that sell. Words such as dependable, free, convenient, guaranteed, instantly, quality, and solution carry great weight. You cannot just say them and forget about them, however, you must back up your words with action.
  1. Provide exceptional personal service. Your customers want to be accepted, even loved. You can demonstrate care by providing personal service that goes beyond the average. For instance, if you own a restaurant you can walk customers to their car at night with a flashlight in hand. If it is raining, you should also carry an umbrella. They did not pay for concierge service, but you provided the next best thing and at no cost to anyone.
  1. Offer outrageous support. The customer service experience is where successful businesses shine and others fail. Savvy business managers know that if customer needs are not met, then their customers will leave. Use whatever tools are necessary to respond to customer requests as fast as possible. Have the right people assigned to handle specific problems. Empower your team to make decisions such as on-the-spot refunds for returns apart from manager approval.
  1. Quality trumps speed. Customers enjoy fast service but they would much rather wait to have your service delivered without sacrificing quality. A Gallup study revealed that customers were many more times likely to return if they felt that the provider was courteous, willing and helpful, easily trumping speed.
  1. Never rush your customers or ignore them. When customers feel rushed or pressured to make a decision, they will look at your business in a negative light. Certainly, you do not want people to eat up precious time, so you must find a way to meet their needs without pushing them to make a quick decision. Above all, never ignore a customer or you may lose a sale.
  1. Reward your loyal customers. Customers love to feel appreciated, but they are not always keen about reward programs especially if those rewards follow later. You can increase your sales by rewarding customers when they sign up as well as when they complete their allotted purchases.

Retain your customers and you will make more money. Lose your customers and you will pour more money into marketing and ultimately bring harm to your bottom line.