One of the biggest, most important and most frequently recurring tasks that we face as business owners – especially in the early days of getting our companies off the ground – is identifying and finding potential customers, setting up meet ‘n greets and bringing them on board as new clients; in short, selling. Selling, as I’m sure we all know from experience, can be a challenging, long, drawn-out, ongoing process that can take up so much of our time, energy and focus that we forget to ask ourselves, “What can I do to ensure I keep the customers I’m getting?”
Customer retention is a whole different ball game. As our businesses grow and our customer bases get bigger, it can be a bit overwhelming to maintain a grip on each and every one. If you’re finding yourself in that situation right now, or just want some new insight on how you can keep your clients happy, the Intuit Small Business Blog has posted an article on this subject entitled 4 Tips for Creating a Customer for Life, a short and sweet look at some of the things we can (and should!) be doing to keep retention rates up. Here’s one example:
4. Anticipate what your customers want. Communicate with your repeat customers through newsletters, surveys, and social media. Learn as much as you can about challenges they face — and be prepared to offer solutions. Based on your knowledge of what they’ve purchased from you, you can anticipate what products or services may improve a customer’s life in the future. If you can alert a client to something he may need in a few months’ time, you’ll be providing a valuable service and encouraging future sales.
Our customers come to us because we offer a service that solves a problem they have. So it makes sense that, once we get used to each client, we’ll want to start thinking ahead regarding their wants, needs and the challenges they face day to day. Doing this allows us to offer them a solution for a problem they may not have even realized they had yet, and definitely improves the potential for a long and prosperous business partnership.
Whether or not you’re new to owning and running a business, this article offers some valuable insight into how you can keep the clients you get over time. Take a look and see if you can break some new ground in your customer retention efforts.
What do you think? Did you find these tips useful? Do you have any of your own strategies for customer retention? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!