If someone was asking what a marketer’s most important goal is, how would be the answer? There is a pretty high likelihood that you answered lead generation, and yes, lead generation is extremely important. But what about the clients you already have?
I get it. It’s so easy to fixate 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. Boosting customer retention by just 5% can actually increase your revenue by 25% to 95%.
But retaining clients is easier said than done. Whether you have a small shop with limited resources or if you’re part of a big operation with lots of customers, it can be tough to set a post-sale strategy in place.
Here are some tactics designed to help you get more out of the relationships you already have and drive serious revenue in the process.
Get to Know Them
If you want to build long-term relationships with your clients, you’ll need to earn their business every day after the first sale. But how do you effectively communicate with them?
By knowing them better than anyone else does.
Think about it like a dating relationship: if you make a connection with someone after the first date, you’d be inclined to spend more time with him or her. Eventually, as you build your relationship, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge about your significant other. That personal understanding is a huge part of a long-term partnership. B2B clients aren’t so different (albeit much less romantic).
Make it a priority learn things about your current clients, like:
- Challenges they struggle with
- Their long-term goals
- Type of results they’re looking for
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 clients 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 client visit your site, and where does she spend her time? Does she linger on pages that feature certain services or products? Track your client’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 turn off a customer than to sell her a service and then fall off the face of the earth… only to reemerge when you’re ready to sell her 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 clients 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.
By maintaining a regular cadence in your communications, you’re poised to keep your clients 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
67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn, but only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain.
Customer experience should be a top priority. But If a client 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 doesn’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 clients 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 clients. 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 clients 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 clients to buy more from you is by giving them things for free. Specifically, content.
Offering great content to your clients accomplishes a couple important things. It establishes you as a thought leader and shows clients 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 clients 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, and not working with you will cease to be an option.
Give Client 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 clients, the retention will happen naturally. And in the meantime, these strategies we’ve discussed will help supplement your retention marketing efforts.
Based on the original post by Olivia Williams published on www.wsiworld.com/bog