The easiest way to grow your customer base is to keep as many customers as possible, but considering the average business loses 20% of its customer base annually, this is easier said than done. However, it needs to be a priority if you want your bottom line to expand (who doesn’t?). Furthermore, according to the Harvard Business School, increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% can lead to a 25-95% increase in profits – clearly nothing to frown upon.
Customer retention in the retail world can be tricky, so this week we thought we’d give you a hand with some tried and tested methods for keeping people happy! Here are our 5 Cs to customer retention that actually work!
- Customer Service. Ok, this is a no-brainer, we know. Any intelligent retailer or brand knows that to keep retention levels up service levels also need to remain high. Don’t make them search for products, deal with long line-ups, or non-existent employees. No one likes that.
- Cost. Remember that cost isn’t always the determining factor in a person’s decision to buy. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that they will choose it over a favoured product. So, when you are attempting to build customer retention keep in mind that cost isn’t always a means to an end.
- Complaints. Ok, maybe this seems odd as a customer retention strategy, but not when you think of each complaint as a gift. Most people (most studies say over 90%) who receive poor service won’t complain, but those that do expect some form of response. So, instead of ignoring complaints or treating them with disdain, make the most of them. When a customer complains they are giving you the chance to not only learn what irks them but also to return them to a state of satisfaction, thereby garnering customer retention.
- Compliance. When you plan out a merchandising strategy (something every company in the retail industry should do), make sure that it is followed and adhered to. Taking the time to devise a plan to encourage purchasing means nothing if customers either don’t get it or can’t see it because it isn’t executed properly. And better yet, as far as retention, if it works it will keep them thinking about your brand – long term gains abound here!
- Consistency. Keep the things above consistent. Try and keep in mind that every day offers the opportunity to catch a new customer, so don’t ever let things fall by the wayside. For example, if holiday times represent increased traffic, ensure that there are enough staff members on to handle the rush. Have a product recall? Ensure that it is dealt with quickly and effectively each and every time.
Customer retention plays a primary role in how your brand performs. It also creates strong brand recognition. Use these 5 Cs to influence your strategy for customer retention and see real results.
Storesupport has the tools to help with customer retention, so give us a call today at 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca to find out how we can work with you to satisfy your customer retention craving.