In the present scenario, companies give much importance to finding, targeting and acquiring new customers. However, they often tend to overlook the significance of staying connected with existing customers. Such customer can contribute massively to sales if treated with care. In order to sell smartly, companies need to understand the importance of customer retention and take various measures for the same.
Staying connected to existing customers is of vital importance. The benefits being
- Repurchasing (customer tends to buy the same product from the company and not look for an economically priced competitor).
- Cross selling (selling new products to existing customers).
- Increased customer loyalty (as time passes customer become loyal and contribute to the organization’s growth).
- Less price / cost sensitivity (any increase in price is easily accepted by existing customers).
- Word of mouth advertisement by customers
- eclined cost of acquisition which usually is very high for new customers
Considering above stated benefits companies should incorporate various steps to stay connected with customers. Below stated are few strategies that will help you in the same.
1. Listen to customers:
Customers always admire if the company and its personnel listen to them. It gives a feeling of importance to customers, resulting in better customer relationship. It also helps the company get knowledge about needs and expectations of customers giving way to improvements.
2. Honesty is the best policy:
Always be honest with your existing customers. Be sure the product exhibited and demonstrated by you is of same quality and standards to what is being sold.
Sticking and rendering your policies in the same manner as stated in your company norms helps to build goodwill among customers and results in increased sales.
3. Hiring right employees:
Employees with the perfect combination of knowledge, skills, personality and experience know the importance of retaining existing customers and take various steps for the same. Moreover, the customers also feel comfortable and satisfied when such employees deal with them.
4. Stay in touch with customers:
It is always a good practice to remind your customers time and again about your company and its product. Keep a contact record of customers and update it. Use this record and send them special offers, information about new services and products, a birthday card ,etc.
5. Offering simple way of payment:
A simple and flexible way of payment help companies retain existing customers. Complicated ones lead to irritation and confusion in customers and they refrain from dealing with the company in future.
6. Thanking customers for doing business:
It is always appreciated by customers if you thank them for doing business with you, if possible send a written thank you note.
7. Fetching customer’s advice:
Various surveys and polls should be conducted to fetch advice about product / services rendered to existing customers. This helps in improving the products to meet needs of customers thus increasing demand and value of product.
8. Rendering proper after-sale service:
Importance should be given to render proper after- sale service to customers. If the customer is not satisfied with the product / service, their issues should be taken care of and resolved as fast as possible. This will help customers feel safe to do business with you in future.
9. Reward loyalty:
A loyal and active customer engaging with the brand on a regular basis should be provided with free product, special discount, free upgradation to premium services and other value added services.
10. Aim at cross-sell (persuade a customer to buy additional product):
This is one of the best tactics used by most of the companies. Try to figure out needs of a customer and persuade them to buy something additional than what they intended to buy from you. For instance, if they are looking for a sofa set ask them whether they are constructing a house and try to convince them to buy other furniture from you.
11. Use various communication modes to connect to customers:
Customers should be contacted using various channels available, for instance, face-to -face, on telephone, through web or social media ,etc.
The contract can be made with related companies for promoting your product and in return you promoting their products. For instance, if you are a real-estate company, you can be in contract with interior decoration companies.
12. Maintaining and improving quality:
Quality of the product / service rendered should be maintained and various steps should be taken to improve it. Delivering best products and services helps to maintain goodwill and loyalty among customers. (Here are 7 ways to inspire customer loyalty)
13. Events to be conducted:
Various events and seminars should be conducted on topics related to your products and services. An invitation should be sent to all your clients. Events give you a have the opportunity to spend time with them and persuade them to buy your products.
14. Make the buying process easy and less time-taking:
The process of buying should be made easy by incorporating various strategies like a demonstration at customer’s doorstep, auto-billing, automatic orders, refills, reminders, etc. These help the customers relish the process of buying your product. Care should be taken to ensure customers spends least amount of time trying to procure your products so that they can spend more time in enjoying it.
15. Try to be a better choice over your competitors:
Provide your customers with features, services, and other add-ons which your competitors do not provide. This will induce them to choose you over your competitors thus increasing sales.
16. Try to grab back your leaving customers:
Take a look at the list of your past customers and try to get back customers who have not done business with you over a period of time. Send them discount coupons, free product or services, etc. These acts of yours might help you gain them back.
Here are some tools that can help you stay connected to your customer.
Remember!! The keyword is “Build the customer not the sale. And the customer built will help you increase sales.”
Hope you like these above points for staying connected with customers to increase. Do let me know which one served you the best. Your views and suggestions are always awaited.