As you probably already know, it costs more money to gain a new client than retain an existing client. Many merchants work on getting the customer retention formula exactly right for this reason. Having loyal clients is what keeps businesses afloat, so here are some tips for retaining your customers and keeping your business moving forward.
Why is customer service important?
A customer having a great experience is likely to share their shopping experience with a friend and customers who have a bad shopping experience shopping are 5x more likely to share that experience. Unfortunately, customers are more likely to remember a bad shopping experience over a good one because of the impact that it had on their lives. So as the merchant, your goal is to ensure that each customer has a memorable and successful experience shopping with your company so they will be more inclined to share their experience. This customer service support can come from your employees being attentive and anticipating customer’s needs. If you run an online business, it can be ensuring that the website is functioning properly and doesn’t have long processing times for transactions. Regardless of whether the purchases are being made in-store or online, processing times for transactions should always be quick and convenient for the customer.
How do I get feedback from customers?
Feedback from customers is important because it provides you the ability to know the truth about how your business is perceived. Now before you audition for “undercover boss” to see how your establishment functions when you’re not present, it’s easier to ask your customers directly. Customers should be provided with a way to submit feedback to the business, and are more likely to do so if the method of feedback is received anonymously. Depending on how much information you want your customers to share you could do something as simple as a suggestion box in-store or a feedback section online. Some merchants who need to thoroughly analyze how their company is being run hold focus groups, asking them specific questions referencing their business and use the data to improve their day to day operations.
Stay active on social media
If your business doesn’t have a social media page, it’s time to create one. Another way to get feedback from customers is to create a social media account for your business. Everything these days is about the reviews and how much people can view your business in the comfort of their homes. Social media creates a neutral platform where you can interact with your customers. This is a great way to answer short questions customers may have and acts as an online customer service center. Social media can also be beneficial to promote sales or keep customers updated with what’s going on with your business.
What is a communications calendar?
A great way to build relationships with your customers is to include them in a communications calendar. This helps keep your customers informed and up to date with any sales or promotions your business may have. This communication calendar would alert customers of sales events and special offers. It can also help add a personal touch by sending letters, special-offers or even just “thank you” notes to customers. This information can be retained during the point of sale process or be set up automatically to follow up post-sale. A customer who may not frequent your business as much as they used to, will likely return if you send them a postcard with 5 or 10% off their next purchase. People respond positively to these actions because it makes them feel valued by the company.
How do I build customer loyalty?
All of the tips mentioned above are a great place to start building loyalty amongst your customers. A customer that has had a great experience with your business and sees the effort made by the company to keep their business is more likely to return. Another great way to retain customers is to create a gift card/loyalty rewards program. A program that rewards customers based on how often a customer returns to your business. It can also take into account how much they spend during their transactions. The top 10% of customers spend more than 3 times as the average customer so it benefits the customer as well as the merchant to offer a loyalty/rewards program. Loyalty/rewards cards or even gift cards give customers something physical to associate your business with. It also makes them feel more inclined to return to your business and redeem their loyalty points.
Here at FlashBanc, we offer both a customer loyalty program and a gift card program for merchants. We will work with you if you need to switch to another terminal, and once you have all of the correct equipment, you will be all set to go. FlashBanc and its agents are dedicated to helping you succeed. All we need is to know what you want to do! You can learn more about these programs by contacting your Sales Director or FlashBanc’s client support department at 1-800-808-1622.