Why Customer Retention is So Damn Important To Your Business, and the $66,000 answer

I remember being recruited to play college football at tiny Concordia University, I went for a visit and met with the coaches they were all smiles. They told me how much they liked my potential and athleticism. They handed me off to one of the football captains and 2 beautiful young ladies who showed me around campus.

We checked out the dorms ate lunch. Eventually, I was handed back to the coaches.  They lead me onto the the lush football field and said “Imagine all of the stands filled and everyone cheering for you Ray.” We talked a bit more and I remember thinking how I had never been around such a positive coaching staff. I committed to Concordia University that day.

Cut to my first day of practice. I found myself on a mostly dirt practice field, sweating my ass off. The smiles and positivity had been replaced with grimaces and barking barley coherent “instruction”. I remember bumping into the football captain and asking him:

“What happened? Everyone was so nice and polite.”

He smiled and said “Then you were a recruit, but now, you are a just another football player”

Is this how your customers feel?

Why Customer Retention is So Damn Important, and the $66,000 answer

I recently went through our inactive clients and realized we had over $66,000 in lost revenue over the last year from customers leaving for any number of reasons. That scared the shit out of me! I can’t say that I wasn’t happy to end some of the contracts, but that’s way too much!! In case you aren’t already motivated, here a few more reasons to focus on customer retention.

It costs less than getting new customers

Acquiring new customers can costs 6-7 times more than retaining the ones you have. If your new customers are simply replacing the neglected customers you just lost you are never going to grow.

Get a better understanding of what your business is lacking.

With the proper customer retention plan you’ll get more feedback from your customers and find out what needs aren’t being met. We will get more into this later.

Upselling

If you’ve been in business for very long you know how much easier it is to upsell a happy customer than a obtain new one.

How to Increase customer Retention

Create a “Client Success Team”

The first step, is to dedicate someone on your staff to handle customer retention. You can create customer success team or initiative.  Depending on how many clients you have this could be 1 person or a whole team. After all, If it’s not someone’s job it won’t get done. You know that!

Loyalty Rewards

If your business is one that people are purchasing items repeatedly, a simple buy 9 get the 10th one free goes a long way. There are tons of different loyalty rewards programs out, there so I won’t list all of them here.

Emails!! Yes More Emails!

If you’re like most businesses with poor customer retention, most email interactions you have with your customers is either a complaint or an invoice. We had the same problem!

We decided that needed to change. On the 15th of every month our clients get awards! These awards are for reaching certain milestones like 1000 followers or even getting lots of likes on a post.
These emails will also include any of our company news like a new employees, helpful blog posts, or charities we may be helping. This helps people stay informed of progress of their social media as well as keeping our brand personal to them. It’s actually refreshing for your customers to get some good news from you once in awhile. 🙂

Call Them, Maybe

Do you remember how you got the sale? My guess is it was over the phone/skype or in person. If so a good old fashioned phone/skype call can help you rekindle those lovey dovey feelings you both had when you first got the sale. I can’t tell you how often a phone/skype call has really enabled me to reassure a customer that we value their business. In the end, what will set you apart from your competitors is you.

“If you dont care about your customers, you don’t care about your business” -Ray Akers

Action Steps

  1. Tally up how much revenue you’ve lost due to poor customer retention. If this doesn’t motivate you nothing will!
  2. Dedicate a someone to cultivate strong customer relationships and loyalty.
  3. Decide what the best plan of action is to retain your current customers.
  4. Do it!