In my business life I came to understand the fact that it cost more to hiring and train a new employee than it did to keep the employee happy in their position.
My goal was always to keep the employee happy and working productively for as long as I could. That way I could avoid the enormous costs of recruiting and training a new one.
I also did my research on just how much it cost me to obtain a new customer in my business model, and the results floored me.
It became obvious to me that the cost of keeping a customer happy, engaged, and buying more product, was much less than the cost to find a new customer.
I set out a plan to aggressively engage this customer, for a lifetime if possible. Keep them happy and keep them buying was my motto.
Here are some of my secrets that I want to share with you on how to keep that customer, forever.
Before we dive into this, I think that it is fair to say that the majority of self-employed small business owners focus their efforts on developing new clients/customers and putting their current ones on the shelf so to speak.
They have not provided a way to effectively follow up with existing customers, nor have they a tracking process to follow regarding additional add-on business.
The art of customer retention is all about one word: ‘Engagement’.
We begin by understanding that there are three phases that need to be completed in this process and each phase contains two marketing goals.
Picture it as a circle with the word ‘Engage’ as the core. The three phases are Delight, Attract and Motivate.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these, starting with the Attract phase.
The first thing that we want to achieve is to make the consumer aware of your brand/business, your offerings and help them to be aware of their needs.
This existing customer may not be aware of everything that your business offers. Therefore they may look elsewhere for some of their future needs.
The focus here is to make sure your customer is fully educated on all your products and services, and to answer a CTA (Call to Action).
They need direction at this point even though you have shown them the path to do so. Here is where you need to be available for their question-and-answer phase as there will be questions.
If they are ready to buy now, they will do so. But if they are not ready, keep them in the cycle until the time comes when they will buy again, and trust me, they will buy again.
Delight your customers by providing an unbelievable customer service experience that will turn a one-time-buyer into a loyal brand lover.
The big “D” word Delight is something that you do not find in the sales funnel approach where engagement ends at the completed sale.
You will find this if you look at Apple support for example.
Give the customer the respect that they deserve, listen to what they have to say, and then make them happy.
When I say work, I am talking about building customer loyalty.
In today’s marketplace we all are looking for the “Likes,” “Comments” and “Testimonials.” These do not just happen. They come from customers who have had great customer support experiences.
The more time that your customer stays with you the more valuable they become, not only from repeat business purchases but from an engagement perspective.
They will take time or make time to tell others about just how great their decision was to buy their product or service from you.
They will back up that prideful statement by sharing their customer support experiences.
Customer Retention should be front and centre in your marketing plan. These are golden money in the bank customers and will become the cornerstone of your business.
The core of this process is constant engagement with the customer, understanding that they will be with you for life.
You engage with them constantly regardless of whether they make a purchase now or later.
“I started my own business in 1995. The Self Employed Business Academy gets it. Clear, concise, and actionable information. You may be in business for yourself, but with the self Employed Business Academy at your fingertips, you won't be by yourself"
Ed Carey, AMG, LLC