If someone were to ask you what a marketer’s most important goal is, how would you answer?
It’s likely your answer would be teetering somewhere around generating leads, and yes, lead generation is extremely important. But what about the customers you already have?
It’s so easy to get fixated on capturing new business. After all, most marketing budgets and resources are spent moving leads through the funnel. But as enticing as new sales are, they shouldn’t distract us from working to keep existing customers as well.
But retaining customers is easier said than done and it can be tough to set a post-sale strategy in place.
Here are some tactics designed to help you get more out of your existing relationships and drive serious revenue in the process.
Getting to know your customer
If you want to build long-term relationships with your customer, you’ll need to continue to fulfill all current and future requirements of their business. But how do you effectively help them reach their goals?
By knowing them better than anyone else does.
When you first meet, you may have asked them:
- Challenges they struggle with
- Their long-term goals
- Type of results they’re looking for
Did you really think these parameters would stay the same over the years? It is important to refresh the information whenever possible.
How exactly do you gather all this essential information? While one-on-one interfacing is great, there’s not always time for that when things get busy. Here are some simple ways to get some insight.
- Collect Data With Forms: When an existing customer fills out a form on your site, you can use her responses to personalize your relationship. Customize form fields to ask key questions about her interests, business details, etc. Plus, with a marketing automation platform, you can always trigger an email to follow up post form-fill, keeping your business top-of-mind.
- Surveys: Get direct feedback from your customers by collecting data with surveys. Marketing automation platforms typically integrate with apps like SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, and others to make collecting the response data easy.
- Website Tracking: How often does your customers visit your site, and where does she spend her time? Does she linger on pages that feature certain services or products? Track your customer’s site visits with website tracking to better understand her behavior. This way you can target your interactions based on her interests.
Stay in Contact
There’s no faster way to lose a customer than to sell them a service and then fall off the face of the earth… only to reemerge when you’re ready to sell them something else.
The essence of retention marketing is to stay in continual contact and not just reach out when you’re trying to pitch a product or service. Send regular emails, keep them up to date on what’s happening with your business, and add as much value as you can to the relationship.
Pro Tip: You’ve most likely set up an email drip series for your prospects, right? So consider setting up an automated email drip for customers post-sale. This could be anything from a casual check-in from an account manager, an email offering additional services or even your company newsletter. You can even wish them a happy birthday.
By maintaining a regular cadence in your communications, you’re poised to keep your customers around for the long-term. When the time comes to sell them something else, your customer will already be warmed up and ready to hear what you have to say, and you’ll see conversion rates from your emails increase.
Prioritize Customer Experience
Customer experience should be a top priority. But If a customers reaches out with a service request and doesn’t hear back from your team for a week, or if your team’s response isn’t helpful, it won’t bode well for your retention rate.
So how do you ensure your customer service experience is excellent?
- Respond to any support inquiries in a timely fashion. Be specific with your team about timing. For example, you could set a company policy to respond to customers within 24 hours. Punctuality is an easy way to dramatically enhance the customer experience.
- Develop clear guidelines of how customer service issues should be addressed. Research best practices and share with your team. Train your support staff to respond courteously and offer helpful answers and results to customers. Always go above and beyond to make sure your customers feel heard and acknowledged.
- Determine the logistics. You’ll also want to be sure to implement a customer service system that makes sense for your business. For example, is it practical to offer a live chat option for your customers to reach out? Should they fill out a help ticket? Should they send an email? Should they call? Knowing what system work best for you and your team will help you elevate your customer service to the next level and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Give Away Your Best Content
It seems counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to get your customers to buy more from you is by giving them things for free. Specifically, content.
Offering great content to your customers accomplishes a couple important things. It establishes you as a thought leader and shows customers that you’re invested in providing value – without asking for anything in return.
Do you have an eBook or white paper that your current customers would find valuable? Share it with them. Do you have a blog that that is regularly updated? Encourage subscriptions. Hosting a webinar? Invite your current customers to register.
At the heart of it, your content is a conversation you’re having with your customers. Stay relevant and continue the conversation by regularly offering helpful content. When you add that value, you’ll become an indispensable part of their business.
Give Customers Nurturing the Importance it Deserves
The bottom line is you need to be putting just as much effort into customer retention as you are into customer acquisition. The biggest key to customer retention is focusing on your relationships. If you’re constantly thinking of ways you can improve and nurture your relationships with your customers, the retention will happen naturally. And in the meantime, these strategies we’ve discussed will help supplement your retention marketing efforts.