Marketing Wizdom recently blogged about 20 customer retention stratagies. Retention is crucial for any business, large or small.
The average business loses around 20 percent of its customers annually simply by failing to attend to customer relationships. In some industries this leakage is as high as 80 percent. The cost, in either case, is staggering, but few businesses truly understand the implications.
Imagine two businesses, one that retains 90 percent of its customers, the other retaining 80 percent. If both add new customers at the rate of 20 percent per year, the first will have a 10 percent net growth in customers per year, while the other will have none. Over seven years, the first firm will virtually double, while the second will have no real growth. Everything else being equal, that 10-percent advantage in customer retention will result in a doubling of customers every seven years without doing anything else.
The consequences of customer retention also compound over time, and in sometimes unexpected ways. Even a tiny change in customer retention can cascade through a business system and multiply over time. The resulting effect on long-term profit and growth shouldn’t be underestimated.
Here are their top 5 Customer Retention Strategies. Click here to read more!
1. Reducing Attrition
Virtually every business loses some customers, but few ever measure or recognise how many of their customers become inactive. Most businesses, ironically, invest an enormous amount of time, effort and expense building that initial customer relationship. Then they let that relationship go unattended, in some cases even losing interest as soon as the sale been made, or even worse, they abandon the customer as soon as an easily remedied problem occurs, only to have to spend another small fortune to replace that customer. The easiest way to grow your business is not to lose your customers. Once you stop the leakage, it’s often possible to double or triple your growth rate because you’re no longer forced to make up lost ground just to stand still.
2. Sell and then sell again
So many people do an excellent job of making the initial sale, then drop the ball and get complacent, ignoring the customer, while they chase more business. Your selling has actually only just begun when someone makes that initial purchase decision because virtually everyone is susceptible to buyer’s remorse. To lock in that sale, and all of the referrals and repeat business that will flow from it, you need to strike while the iron is hot to allay your customers’ fears and demonstrate by your actions that you really care. You should thank them and remind them again why they’ve made the right decision to deal with you … and put a system in place to sell to them again, and again, constantly proving that they made the right decision.
3. Bring back the “lost sheep”
There’s little point in dedicating massive resources to generating new customers when 25-60% of your dormant customers will be receptive to your attempts to regenerate their business if you approach them the right way, with the right offer. Reactivating customers who already know you and your product is one of the easiest, quickest ways to increase your revenues. Re-contacting and reminding them of your existence, finding out why they’re no longer buying, overcoming their objections and demonstrating that you still value and respect them will usually result in a tremendous bounty of sales and drastically increased revenues in a matter of days … and will lead to some of your best and most loyal customers.
4. Frequent Communications Calendar
Avoid losing your customers by building relationships and keeping in touch using a rolling calendar of communications. This is a programmed sequence of letters, events, phone calls, “thank you’s”, special offers, follow-ups, magic moments, and cards or notes with a personal touch etc. that occur constantly and automatically at defined points in the pre-sales, sales and post-sales process. People not only respond to this positively, they really appreciate it because they feel valued and important. It acknowledges them, keeps them informed, offsets post-purchase doubts, reinforces the reason they’re doing business with you and makes them feel part of your business so that they want to come back again and again.
5. Extraordinary Customer Service
The never-ending pursuit of excellence to keep customers so satisfied that they tell others how well they were treated when doing business with you. Moving the product or service you deliver into the realm of the extraordinary by delivering higher than expected levels of service to each and every customer. Key facets include: dedication to customer satisfaction by every employee; providing immediate response; no buck passing; going above and beyond the call of duty; consistent on-time delivery; delivering what you promise before AND after the sale; a zero-defects and error-free-delivery process and recruiting outstanding people to deliver your customer service. Extraordinary service builds fortunes in repeat customers, whereas poor service will drive your customers to your competition.
At iKizmet we believe that customer retention is crucial for any small fitness or wellness business looking to grow, cut expenses, or grow customer loyalty. iKizmet makes retention easy and automated so your staff can provide a personal experience, which is what sets the successful studios apart from the competition. One of our features to look at is our Retention Heatmap.
Sometimes, retaining members is as easy as checking in at the right times. In a wellness studio, as in any business, a little personal attention at the right time goes a long way. But when is the right time?
First, check-in with customers who stopped attending frequently. Kate Davies of YO.BK Hot Yoga & Pilates said it best:
“The Heatmap allows us track and call our students who haven’t visited in awhile. As a small business, we know many of our clients. The Heatmap helps us with this personal touch.”
Next, use your retention Heatmap to schedule regular check-ins with members at just the right time. Does retention drop sharply after 3 months? Then its probably wise to plan on 60 day check-ins with your members. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it can make.
Your data can help improve retention and grow your studio. If you’d like access to our heatmap and tons of other useful reports, setup a demo with iKizmet today.