How to Develop Lifetime Customers
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
According to a business survey by conversion rate optimization consultancy Invesp, it costs five times as much to get new customers as it does to retain old ones, and that businesses have 60 to 70 % chance of getting resell to old customers vs. 5% to 20% chance of successful sales with new ones. It’s just common sense: if you’ve done a great service for a customer and they know they can trust you, they’re much more willing to trust you with their business.
So why do so many entrepreneurs pay little or no attention to customer retention?
Even though my closing rates are well above 5% to 20%, I religiously focus on customer retention. For my coaching business, I am constantly developing new courses and seminars, and clients who have trained with me know that I bring great value. The clients of my real estate business, meanwhile, may only need my services once every 10 years, but by staying in touch with them and continuing to serve them, they become a great source of loyalty and referrals. Think of customers as your tribe. If you continue to support them, they will continue to support you.
A few do’s and don’ts:
The days of fridge magnets as customer incentives are over! Instead, give them something they could really use to improve their lives. For example, for my real estate clients, I offer informative videos on the state of the market, as well as home maintenance tips…even the best new restaurants in town. For coaching clients, I send videos about new digital strategies or platforms that might be useful to them.
Related: 10 innovative ways to excite your customers
don’t do everything for you
To build and maintain trust and interest, you need to be generous with expertise and knowledge and not bombard people with pitches about the latest offer. We’ve all developed pretty nimble delete fingers: if all they see of you are emails or messages trying to sell them something, they’ll quickly learn to ignore contacts. You want them to be eager to read or listen to anything with your name on it.
And by that, I don’t mean reaching out once a year. Think about friendships: only the oldest and closest can stay healthy with little contact. To maintain relationships, you need to be in touch more frequently, at less once a month.
Don’t be boring
If you’re doing a newsletter or blog entry, make it eye-catching and use lots of graphics. If you’re using video (which is much more effective), keep each one fun and upbeat, and incorporate language that isn’t too technical. And whether in written, audio or video form, be brief!
Related: Being an expert is not enough. Be an authority to reach more people and earn more money.
If your customers are like seven out of ten Americans, they’re on social media, then go to all the platforms your customers use and create a social media strategy for what you’ll post and when. For example, you can do Facebook Live sessions on topics that interest your community and invite former customers there, and/or create a batch of videos on topics in your industry, then publish them on your YouTube channel.
The goal of customer retention efforts is to remind past customers how great and helpful you are. In this effort, think “Show, don’t tell” and “Serve, don’t sell.” When you do both, customers know you have their best interests at heart.
At the end of the day, we all have incredibly short attention spans. Customers may have loved your service, but unless you make an effort to stay with them, they’ll forget. If you want a business to stay healthy, make it a priority to stay connected and keep delivering value.