Most businesses spend the majority of their resources on getting new customers that they tend to ignore their most prized asset: their existing customer base or network.
“It is cheaper to retain than acquire a customer,” says 70% of respondents from Econsultancy/Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2013
In the same report, 49% of the respondents recognized that they achieved better ROI by investing in relationship over acquisition marketing. But the shocking part of the report is that there is still a remarkable number of these businesses that do not make much effort to retain customers, some don’t make any effort for customer retention at all. The report states that 30% of the companies says they are “very committed” to relationship marketing and 22% of the companies conduct no relationship marketing at all.
Companies that are not “very committed” to customer retention or relationship marketing were surveyed regarding why they tended to be that way. Lack of resources was the most common barrier making up 22% of the respondents’ answers. It followed by a lack of clearly defined strategy which is 19% and then technology limitations at 13%.
With the lack of resources; strategies; and technology for customer retention, how do companies manage relationship with their existing customer base?
Improve customer service. Increase revenue.
It is important to realize that one of the effective ways to increase revenue from existing customers is to improve the customer service that a company offers. Sometimes, all it takes is one “wow” customer care experience to dramatically increase sales (through returning customers), multiply profits, and cement the company’s reputation as an excellent, customer-focused business.
We humans love to share our experiences – positive or otherwise. And with social media technology being a very powerful tool for connecting with and to people, businesses ought to remember that the customer support experience they deliver can be shared by the customers so easily. We’ve heard of real-life customer service stories ranging from “amazing” to “unbelievably horrible” that went viral online. One experience shared by an existing customer can mean success or disaster for a business in just a few clicks.
Existing customers will gladly serve as loyal brand ambassadors of the business if they are truly impressed with their customer care experience. The reverse is just as true.
Be unique. Consider being a guerrilla.
For your existing customers to consistently support your business, they need to be consistently delighted. That leaves you with the job of delivering positively unique customer support experiences in a constant way. This is where the concept of guerrilla marketing comes in. Defined as a non-traditional method of marketing that involves minimal budget, a well-thought-of and properly executed guerrilla marketing campaign leaves a fun and memorable impression of your brand to your customers while delivering high ROI for your business. Here are some ways you could stand out and be different from the rest:
1. Personalize it. Use your customer’s name in all your correspondence with them – be it face-to-face interaction, emails, or social media communication. A handwritten card or letter of thanks after their purchase also communicates that you made the time and effort to write to them personally for your business transactions. Aside from these, there are other ways to personalize the products and services you offer. It’s up to you to utilize the endless ways of doing these creatively.
2. Loyalty rewarded. Unexpectedly. Loyalty rewards and incentive programs are already utilized by many businesses, but try kicking it up a notch by surprising your existing customers with discount offers on their birthday or during the holidays. You can also give them a simple thank you gift on their next purchase – showing appreciation for having them as returning customers.
3. Constant communication. After weeks have passed since their purchase, take the time to ask them how they are doing using the communication channel they feel most comfortable with. This tells them you genuinely care about them as persons, and not just as customers who helped your business grow.
The kind of customer support you provide can affect how much revenue your business could derive from your existing customers. By upgrading your customer service and delivering uniquely memorable customer care experiences, your existing customer base will multiply, as well as your business’ overall growth.
Need help in upgrading your customer care? You’ve come to the right place. Inquire about our customer support services today.