The customer is the king in today's market. Each business unit adopts different techniques to attract and increase the number of customers. New customers are required for any organization to survive but at the same time retaining the existing customers is equally important. In fact, it is much more easy to retain the customers than creating new ones. Also, if a customer is not satisfied and is lost, they will spread the news which will have a negative impact on the business or product. Similarly, a happy, satisfied and loyal customer will spread all good about the organization and its products and service. The expense incurred in retaining customers is comparatively less than the expenditure on attracting new customers. Therefore a business has to be wise and take the apt decision at the right time. Through this article, you will learn about the various methods that can be undertaken to retain existing customers.
1. No compromise on quality and service
Good quality and service are to be provided to the customer irrespective of the situations or circumstances the business unit undergoes. No customer will be ready to compromise on the quality of the product they purchase. If your business is successful in providing the best quality products at a reasonable rate when compared to the competitors, you have half won the game. Provide good after sales services and if ever the customer has a complaint, spend time and listen to them. This proves the quality of your service. Through rendering good service and providing quality products, a business unit will be able to gain the trust of its customers. What more does a customer need? They will stick on and will be loyal.
2. Be prompt and responsible
Be prompt in all your services, that will turn out to be a plus for your organization. No customer will again approach the same shop which delays the delivery of its products. Hence if you have committed something, do it or else it pisses off the customer. Similarly, be responsible for the things that happen in your organization or shop. The customers should understand that the business cares for them and stands for them. This helps in winning their trust.
3. Promotions and offers, loyalty points for regular customers
Competition is very high hence everyone is struggling for their survival. Each product comes with various offers, promotions, discount vouchers etc. We also should be able to promote our product by distinguishing them from competitor products. Have a market research done and provide the best promotion customers are longing for. Certain shopping malls also adopt the method of providing loyalty points for the purchases customers make each time. Once they have reached a certain limit, the loyalty points can be converted into vouchers. This attracts the customers as they are getting more value for the spendings they make. In order to increase the points, they will visit the same mall every time. This technique helps in creating regular customers.
4. Keep in touch
Never forget your customers as they are the ones who help you survive. They also should not forget your organization, the chances are more due to the increasing number of competitors. It is your duty to keep in touch with them once in a while so that it reminds the customers of your business unit. Sending customers greeting cards on festive occasions, sending promotional e-mails, initiating a conversation with your most valuable customer through social networking sites etc are ways to keep them reminded of your products. Never give them a chance to forget your organization. But do not have regular communications as it might irritate the customer and they will leave due to it. We should know our limits and act within it. Sending gifts to them on new year's, festive seasons etc are good gestures.
5. Be honest and genuine
Never ever try to cheat your customers as it will have a negative impact on the business. When it is a business, no one can be cent percent honest, but try to be as honest as possible wherever required. Customers will be attracted towards the genuine nature and honesty of the sellers. If something has gone wrong, let the customer know rather than hiding it from them and taking a chance. Admitting your mistakes is a very good gesture but try and avoid committing mistakes again and again especially the same mistake. As explained above, try not to make false promises. When you are not able to keep up your word, it destroys your total image. Never let that situation happen.
6. Do proper research
Timely research is required to understand the taste and preferences of the customers. If there is a change in their liking, you get to know easily and accordingly corrective measures can be taken. Sent them feedback forms, conduct surveys etc to understand their level of satisfaction and dislikes if any. Once the business has a proper idea of how their customers feel, they can make necessary changes and that gives a positive impression on the customers. They feel they are been cared and hence will stick on to the organization. In short, understanding the pulse of the customer's help in retaining them. Always have the time to listen to your customers regarding their opinions and do the necessary changes as suggested by them if required.
7. They consider the additional facilities
Customers do not just look into the quality and service but how easy is it to access the place from their home or office matters. In addition to that, they will look for car parking facilities, availability of public transport etc. Keeping these points in mind, it is always better to make the product easily available to the customers. If they have to struggle to get it, they might give up and go for alternatives. Just because they used the product initially and is satisfied with it and its quality will not make them spend hours to reach the place or get a parking just to buy the product again. They might as well go for the competitor products. Secondly, they will also calculate the total value derived considering the money and time spent. If they find it worth, only then they will become a regular customer.
Strengthening customer relationships is a crucial job for each organization as the competition is increasing day by day. Creating new customers is definitely an expensive procedure but the existing customers can be retained with some extra effort. If you follow the above measures, you certainly can keep your existing customers satisfied and happy. There are fewer chances of a happy customer moving out and at the same time more chances of they becoming loyal customers. Once you have made them a loyal customer, you need not spend much time and effort on them.
To get a new customer into our fold is very expensive. We have to prove him that our product is of good quality, delivery will be in time and after-sales service will be good. By making a lot of follow up, showing him the features of the sample and giving some sample for his confidence we will be bringing a customer to the company. If we are not able to retain him whatever we have invested in him will be a waste. Again we have to repeat all the actions to bring in a new customer. So it is always wise to keep a customer for a long time and it is the secret of success for any business. We have to make all our efforts in that direction. The product should be delivered on time as accepted. Then only the customer may come back to you. Afterall you want a medicine when you are sick but not after getting right. Another point is the after sale service. It makes the customers happier as their work will be easy. These two points should always be kept in mind for retaining a customer.
Thank you author for such wonderful information. As you said customers are the king so they should be treated well . Products and services are prepared as per the customers expectations. Satisfying customers is not an easy task. For retaining the existing customers employees are to treated well. Its because they are the ones who communicate about the product and our organisation towards the customer.
Creating more customer or client base is a prime requirement for any expanding business or service. However, creating new customers has a cost. In comparison, it is less expensive to retain and please the existing clientele.
Business students are taught that ‘A satisfied customer is the best advertisement". In the scenario of social media occupying the maximum space in our lives, the advertisements from an existing customer are all the more imperative. Instead of the company spending millions in advertisement expenses, the reviews from satisfied customers have more authentic value and will influence more prospective customers than a celebrity or model saying something exaggerated about the product or service.
In the same way as the saying "bad news spreads fast", dissatisfied customer feedback or complaint coming in a social media can wean away prospective and even existing customers from the business. So conserving and maintaining the existing client is very important for any business or service.
In that regard, I would like to add one or two points to what is given in the article.
Business organizations can give special discounts and offers. They can send information about new products and services and give special launch offers exclusively. I use one shopping portal for recharging a mobile phone. They intimate me about some ‘exclusive’ cashback and discounts. Naturally, I am tempted and do the transaction thinking that I am exclusive to them. The truth may be that many others may be getting the same discount or cashback, but I do not bother to check that, because I am satisfied that they are remembering and recognizing me. So this is one method to retain existing customers.