So, you’ve had the idea, you’ve got the funding, and you’ve given up the 9-5 to finally start your own business. Congratulations!
No matter how many customers you get, there is no greater buzz than making an independent sale.
As a startup, though, you know that fighting your way through the competition can be hard. And one of the knock-on effects of that is that you may struggle retaining customers.
It can be difficult to build a community around your business. That doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.
There are plenty of ways to handle this problem. You could learn how to use VoIP systems for small business. Or implement SMS customer support into your processes. But for now, here are six ways that will help you retain customers and become more profitable without the need for significant outlay.
Interact with your customers
This isn’t to say that you should be meeting up for a coffee with each person. Just make sure that you are listening and responding to your customers or clients.
For example, if they comment on a product on social media, positively or negatively, respond. Make sure that you are dealing with customer complaints and solving issues.
Be sure to always send a thank you note after a sale as a personal touch. This will make your company stick in a customer’s head.
If people are telling you how much they like your product, thank them and show them they are appreciated. You can set up Gmail reminders to encourage you to do this if needs be.
Make the most of feedback
As a start-up, feedback is the perfect way to improve the customer experience. It helps you see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, you can build on, or change this.
This can be done by sending out a quick (!) questionnaire after purchase.
You want to understand what customers like and what they don’t like about your firm. It could be that they love the colors of your product, yet wish you would use more eco packaging. Or maybe the way you handled complaints was perfect but your delivery times were slow.
You aren’t going to find out until you give people the opportunity to tell you.
Keep up to date with your socials, too, as this is where a lot of people will be communicating with you.
Provide customer support
It doesn’t matter if you are a two-person company and you make digital magazines from your kitchen table. Or a twenty-person app creation company with your own swish office. You need to have some sort of customer support.
Because if you don’t, the first thing people will do is head to social media and give you a bad name.
Remember that people don’t always want to phone up to complain. It could just be that they can’t figure out how to use the thingamajig – as they may call it – on your new product.
In the modern age, it’s so easy to give contact details of your firm. You could provide customer service via social media, phone, email, or even by post. As long as you have some way for people to get in contact, they will be happy.
If people do get in contact, try to respond quickly and always be polite and kind. Do what you can to resolve their issue and keep a record of any interactions. Think about what you want as a client and reflect on that in your customer support.
This is a great way to show a personable side to the company, and prove that you are interested in values, not just money.
Do what you can as a startup to get your voice out there. Publishing content is a great way to show your brand voice because you are in charge of what you put out. Be creative and stand out from the competition.
You could write a blog about why you started the company and what inspires you. You could design a funny illustration of your staff and why they love working at your firm. You could even make a serious video of your team visiting the factory you use.
Content doesn’t have to be published every day, you just need to be able to engage and connect with your audience. Show that you are adapting to customer wants and needs.
Make memories and build on that community spirit.
Make a customer marketing strategy
The key to any good business is good planning, and this true when it comes to customer retention, too.
You need to think about what you want as an end result, and then consider how you are going to reach that goal.
For example, say you have decided you want to send out more emails to customers. Who will the emails be from? How often do you want to send them? What is their purpose? All these are points that will help make an effective customer strategy. You can translate this way of thinking to whatever your goals are.
Find creative ways to stand out and grab the customer’s attention. Also, analyze the results of your plan and adapt where you need to.
Keep making plans
Always look forward and do what you need to improve.
It may be that you must invest in the right tech to push you forward. Something like an auto dialler can help you connect with customers. Maybe your social media is blowing up. In which case, hiring a social media manager will help.
Whatever it is, always try to plan for the next step. You don’t want things to get stale and it’s also really important to move with the times to stay ahead of the game.
Source: Help Race
Following these six steps will help with customer retention. In all you do, you need to analyze and keep track of what is working and what isn’t.
Keep in mind that your customers are key to the success of your business. So, having them at the heart of what you do encourages them, both old and new, to come back time and time again.
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and contact center software provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as Vault and BigCommerce.