Congratulations, you closed a sale! It’s only natural to want to celebrate, and we’re all for it. Ring a bell, throw some confetti, and pop a few bottles of champagne. But when the party dies down, make no mistake; the work has just begun.
You’ve landed a sale, but now you’ve got to keep it. What good is a new customer if they leave your company one month after closing because they are dissatisfied with your customer service, or your product failed to meet their expectations?
It’s well worth the effort to keep current customers happy. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent can result in up to a 25 percent increase in overall profits. Suffice it to say, the stakes are high.
We’ve gathered three customer retention tips to help you keep customers coming back and by extension, increase your average customer lifetime value (CLV), or the total dollar amount a customer is worth to your business..
1. Use positive social proof.
The bad news? Peer pressure doesn’t end in middle school. The good news? Now that you’re all grown up, you can call it “positive social proof” and use it to your advantage.
No matter the industry, every company wants to feel they are using the most up-to-date customer support technology, marketing and sales tactics, and so on. Your job is to convince your leads that everyone in their industry is using your product, and that they better jump on the bandwagon–fast.
If you have 10,000 customers, use a phrase such as, “Join 10,000 of your competitors by purchasing our knowledge management system!” Positive social proof will grab the attention of prospective clients and motivate them to act.
2. Actively seek customer feedback.
For every customer that files a complaint or contacts your customer support team, there are 26 who won’t bother; you’ve simply lost their business (according to a study conducted by Lee Resources International). The trick is to catch your customer before this happens, anticipate their needs, and fulfill them.
If you notice a customer’s product usage is declining, reach out to them via email and ask how you can assist them in getting more out of the product. They will likely appreciate the proactive approach to customer service and be more inclined to ask for help with any issues they may encounter in the future.
3. Remember that good customer service begins with the selling process.
If you’re selling to business owners or department heads, chances are they’ve worked incredibly hard for their success. They may be unwilling to part with any money for a product that isn’t both a necessity and a good value. We’ve covered how to convince your prospects that they need your product to stay relevant (positive social proof), but how do you convince your prospect that your product is a worthwhile investment from a financial standpoint?
Embedding reassuring, positive language into your marketing content will lead conservative buyers to believe you are offering them the deal of a lifetime. For example, instead of saying, “For a $5 fee…” say, “For a small $5 fee…” Just one word can change their entire perception.
Reframe your product’s value.
It’s difficult for conservative buyers to make a purchase when they can’t see the immediate value of the expenditure. If you are offering a year of service for $1,200, this may be overwhelming. Instead, charge $100 a month. If you offer a quality product or service, the customer will recognize this immediately and have no trouble at all parting with a smaller fee on a monthly basis.
In every industry, prospects are less likely to make a purchase if they’re expected to buy your product and multiple accessories. Offer a package deal that includes a bundle of your services to reduce the number of individual purchases.
Remember when you accidentally dropped your phone off of a rock and straight into a lake? (No? Just us?) Going to the store and dropping $700 on a new phone is already a huge inconvenience. To make matters worse, the sales representative tries to sell you a case, screen protectors, new headphones, and phone insurance. Most likely, you won’t be purchasing any accessories (and you might go elsewhere to buy the phone). But if all of these accessories come neatly packaged in one box with one price? Sold.
The bottom line is to keep your customers happy. If they are pleased with the selling process, your product, and customer support, they will return. Make an effort to demonstrate that you care, that you know this purchase is a big step, and that you are dedicated to making it worth their while. Be proactive, and good luck!