Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of running a small business. With increasing competition in many sectors of the market, it’s even more important to display your creative edge over your competitors to show customers why they should do business with you. It has been found that 68% of customers switch between businesses because they feel under-appreciated. Here are 3 simple, but often overlooked, techniques to show your gratitude.
1. Handwritten Notes
Showing gratitude after a customer completes a purchase is one of the most effective ways to show appreciation. Handwritten notes, unfortunately, have been lost to the past due to technological advances like email and text messaging, but that doesn’t mean they are any less effective in terms of showing gratitude.
Be sure to send the note in a timely manner, as promptness will help solidify your stance in the mind of the consumer. This will ultimately put your business at top of mind next time that consumer has a need to be filled. Although handwritten notes may take longer than an email or text, customers often take this into account when receiving them, and the commitment to showing gratitude does not go unnoticed.
2. Exclusive Sales
Offering customers exclusive offers via email, or regular mail is a very effective way to increase customer retention. It’s simple: people love to save money. But, one way to take it a step further is to offer more exclusive offers and coupons to loyal customers.
This can be a surprise email, postage coupon, or a simple discount at the conclusion of the transaction. If you can make the customer feel valuable in more ways than one, they will feel appreciated. This is technique has become somewhat less popular with the introduction of loyalty clubs, but it can still create the same effect as those programs.
3. Personalized Interactions
Many businesses today are reaping the benefits of social media exposure as it is allowing their businesses to grow and flourish online. This is a direct result of low-cost advertising and public customer interaction. Many customers interact with companies via social media, both before their transaction and after.
The most important aspect of this is the after-transaction phase. In this phase, businesses should interact with customers more personally on social media to create a deeper customer relationship, making the whole consumer experience more memorable. Thanking customers for their business and addressing them by first name is among the best ways to do this. Make a point to personalize each interaction.