There are many ways in which small and medium businesses can acquire new clients. On the other hand, remarketing means appealing to the database of existing clients who are easier to convince. Compared to acquisition, remarketing is the route more often taken, due to its ease and economy. Customer retention strategies that are cheap and easily implementable have been outlined here.
- Loyalty Cards
These are the simplest and the most popular ways of rewarding your loyal customers. There are cheap online options available to design your loyalty cards in a creative way. Making the rewards time-bound will ensure that customers come back for repurchases in order to claim the rewards. Every opportunity is a source for further engagement. Customer incentive schemes are the best ways to keep them excited about your brand. Every purchase made is recorded and the credits are accumulated. The card becomes a token of loyalty extended by the business to existing customers.
- Tier-Based Rewards Scheme
Different customers may re-engage with your businesses in different ways in terms of order value and frequency. Tier-based systems categorizes customers on the basis of their engagement with the business. By doing this, the business is able to apply differentiation in its loyalty marketing initiatives. For example, a fashion business may have silver, gold and platinum tiers for its loyalty rewards scheme, representing threshold levels of $500, $ 5000 and $10,000 of annual purchases respectively. These customer retention strategies of reminding customers of the amount to move to the next level, is a subtle way of enhancing repeat business.
- Excellent Customer Service
From the point of view of customer service, it is dissatisfied customers who can be more easily turned into loyal customers, than the happy ones. Every critical feedback from a dissatisfied customer is an opportunity to solve the problem for him and get into his good books. The incident becomes memorable in the mind of the customer and a unique bond develops with the brand. Customer service must be supportive, accommodative and empathetic, to the needs of the customers. Long queues, unnecessary escalations and procedural delays undermine customer confidence in your brand. Set KPI based rewards for your customer service team, to win those dissatisfied customers back.
- Mail Marketing To Existing Clients
Approaching existing clients by mail is more result-oriented and cheaper than other means. Emails have more value in customer retention strategies than phone calls and messages. They can be used to send information regarding new product launches, discounts and promotional schemes and loyalty based incentive schemes for existing customers. Low cost mail marketing software can be used to store the relevant data of existing clients. It is possible to create selective lists of customers based on their buying behaviour so that relevant mails can be sent on the basis of these demographics. Using the analytics feature, campaign success can be easily measured.
- Bulk SMS Campaigns
While mails are useful, they may not suit all purposes. They lack the brevity of messages. Besides the click through rates (CTR) are higher than that of emails. SMS software is not very expensive. Messages are ideal ways to reach the database of existing clients. They are ideal for post-purchase communication like thanking customers for purchase and welcoming them back for repurchases. They increase engagement opportunities with existing clients by reminding them of their loyalty rewards and offers. They enhance the success of your customer service by informing customers of their query in progress.
- Personalized Gifts
Personalization has its own merits especially in gift-giving. Instead of giving away generic gifts, investing a little more to personalize them makes people happier. Getting customer names printed on the gifts is an example of personalization. Going one step ahead, differentiation can be applied in gifting, by sending gifts according to customers buying habits and preferences. The gifts must convey the culture and the mission of the business in some way. When customers use them, they must be reminded of the efforts the business has taken in thanking them personally for their loyalty.
- Frequent Communications Calendar
Since online businesses do not have the opportunity to meet up with their geographically spread-out customers, communicating with them periodically will bring the best results for remarketing. Customers like to be remembered and kept in touch, especially when they have shopped only for a less value. The frequent communication gesture will make them come back for bigger purchases. Birthday and anniversary wishes, courtesy calls and service calls are all ways to keep in touch frequently. The entire process must be monitored and analyzed periodically for effectiveness and future changes in mode of communication, if necessary.
- Publishing Testimonials With Customer Photographs
Making customer feedback public, increases public confidence in the business. It exposes the transparent working model of the business, to its existing customers. Urging customers gently for feedback and rewarding them for frank feedback will increase loyalty. Publishing customer photos in websites along with heir testimonials can be a boost for customer satisfaction. It is a win-win for the business and the customers. For businesses, it is excellent word-of-mouth publicity and a powerful way to develop UGC (user generated content). For customers, it is gratifying to know that their feedback is being appreciated and publicized.
- Using Social Media in Customer Retention Strategies
Social media helps an online business to compliment its technical side with the human side, in reaching out to its customers. Communicating with customers on public platforms increase their trust. A wide fan or follower base can lead to the creation of online communities who are connected by the business. Shares, mention, reviews and ranking on social media influence the SEO strategy of the business in a positive manner.
Retaining customers not only leads to increased revenue and market share. It is an excellent way to trigger referral marketing. A recommendation made by an existing customer is trusted better by new customers. In this way, customer retention strategies can indirectly reduce future acquisition costs.