82% of companies agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones. But despite that, many still get distracted with new and exciting customer acquisition strategies instead of focusing on making their current customers happy.
But while having a steady stream of new leads is great, only by embracing customer retention and developing a strategy for keeping your customers can you expect to build a sustainable and profitable business.
The good news is that customer retention doesn’t have to be complicated. Using a few proven and effective strategies, you can build a loyal following of buyers that will be glad to choose you over the competition.
Let’s explore some of these strategies below.
Create a Brand People Can Identify With
One of the first things you should consider when thinking about customer retention is whether your brand is actually appealing to your target audience. That’s because, since the time you launched the business, you probably have gotten much better at recognizing what your ideal customers want.
So, what you thought was a good branding strategy then, might actually not be ideal, at least for the people you want to attract.
Even though changing the brand can be difficult and come with a price, you may find that even subtle changes in your brand’s voice or image can significantly affect how it’s perceived and how it compares to others in your industry.
When considering how your brand might look, you should start with looking at the values your audience has and the types of companies they like to associate with. Different demographic groups can have completely opposite views of what a brand should represent, so consider that as part of your process.
Another important consideration is the way that you want to be seen in your market. Depending on your USP, you might go in completely different directions, so it’s always good to think about how you want the type of products you offer to be thought of.
Make It Easy to Use Your Products
Another crucial part of maintaining customer happiness is making it easy to use your products. This may seem simple enough, but many companies end up short on providing a truly seamless and convenient experience for their users.
That’s especially true if you have a more complex product, such as a software tool that has a steep learning curve. In these cases, having a way to educate and guide your new users is essential if you don’t want to disappoint them and make them leave.
That’s where user documentation can be so helpful.
There are many user documentation examples that illustrate how even with the most complex products, you can break down and simplify the learning into actionable steps, answering the most important questions and helping people go from knowing almost nothing to being proficient and finding your product useful.
When developing documentation for your products, it’s a good idea to start with what your users have to say and what frustrates them. The developers or creators might have a completely different view of how the product works, seeing some challenges as self-explanatory just because they’ve spent so much time with the product.
Provide Stellar Support
Providing excellent support to your customers is a great way to minimize negative experiences people have with your brand. Unfortunately, mastering the complexities of catering to your customers’ frustrations is a process that will most likely require fine-tuning until you get it right.
First, you must make sure that you and your team have a deep understanding of the product and the challenges that come with it. That’s the only way to ensure that you can actually help the people that come to you with issues.
Having user documentation can be immensely helpful and usually goes hand in hand with good support. Your customer service team can direct people to relevant resources and have more time for dealing with less common issues.
At the same time, you must recognize when the constant complaints are a signal for a larger issue in your product or your processes. If your product keeps having problems or the deliverability isn’t consistent, you should invest resources into fixing the underlying issue instead of mitigating the situation through your customer service team.
Listen to Your Customers
Businesses of all sizes love to make assumptions about what their customers need and want. Unfortunately, that’s not a viable long-term strategy for outperforming competitors and achieving sustainable growth.
Only the companies that actually listen to what their audience has to say can find the hidden desires and the needs that no one in the market is catering to.
But for a small company, collecting accurate customer data can seem intimidating. Sure, you can look at comments and analyze support team interactions, but that’s just barely scratching the surface.
The good news is that with today’s technology, you can answer virtually any question about your business or your audience using simple digital tools.
For instance, if you have a specific question, you can run a poll on your website that’s designed in a way to limit the number of answers. This way, you can learn things like who your audience is, what they care about more, or which product they prefer.
If you want a more in-depth analysis, you could organize a survey for your subscriber list, send out a list of questions, and offer a small reward (like a discount) to complete it.
Finally, the best and most effective way to gain invaluable insights is to organize interviews. This way, you will not only hear what the person has to say but will also see their reactions and even hear the types of words they like to use, which you can then apply when creating marketing messages.
Make Your Product the Best at Something
Getting your audience to notice your products can be difficult. In a crowded market, it can seem downright impossible.
But while it may seem counterintuitive, trying to reach a broader audience can often work against you. And narrowing down the list of people you are trying to reach can actually make you much more sales in the long term.
That’s because it’s hard to appeal to everyone at once, especially if there’s a bigger player in your market. But if you narrow down your focus and try to develop a strong USP, you can become the best product provider in a narrow category, immediately standing out to all the people who are looking for that specific solution.
For smaller companies that are just starting out, coming up with their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can be the fastest way to rapid growth and a firmly established spot in the market.
Over time, you can build out the features and start catering to broader audiences. But when you’re just starting, having something you can excel at will allow you to base your entire brand and marketing strategies on that single thing that makes you stand out.
Your customers will be happy to use your product because of the unique feature you bring to the table and won’t care that you don’t offer something that’s not essential to them.
Keeping your customers happy is probably the single most important deciding factor in whether your business will succeed or not. But while it may seem challenging, finding ways to please your audience is attainable for companies of all sizes.
By following the strategies listed above, you will have a reliable process for recognizing what your customers want, helping them solve problems quickly, and identifying ways to improve your products.
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