It costs more to acquire a customer than to keep a customer.
If you want to create a sustainable income stream through your online business, you need to hold on to your existing customers.
Imagine that you retain about 80% of your customers. At the same time, you’re able to add 20% new customers during the same period. You’d experience no growth.
Customer retention rates are potentially more important than customer acquisition rates.
Make Sure You Have Your Customer’s Contact Information
First, and foremost, you need to make sure that you have contact information for your customers.
When someone completes a purchase, you need to try to get them on your email mailing list. Hopefully you are using an excellent, affordable, easy to set-up email management and auto-responder service such as AWeber.
Your order forms should include a checkbox to allow customers to opt-in to your mailing list.
You also need to separate these subscribers from your sales leads. Existing customers belong in their own category, as they’ve already completed a transaction. You’ll use a different set of emails to direct these people back to your site.
Create A Sales Funnel To Directly Target Existing Customers
You should also create a sales funnel to directly target your existing customers. This sales funnel should include several stages.
The first stage is a confirmation email for completing a transaction. You should follow this with an email letting the customer know about similar products or services that you offer.
Another email can be sent after several weeks. This email should provide an offer or discount to entice the customer to return to your website.
Use an excellent, affordable, easy to set-up email management and auto-responder service such as AWeber
Continue In This Manner
Continue in this manner, sending follow-up emails and presenting your latest offers. Customers that haven’t made a purchase in three months should be placed in a separate category.
Follow-up with these lost customers by presenting a final offer to gain back their business.
If the customer doesn’t respond to this last email, you should continue to send a follow-up email once per month. Let the customer know that you miss their business.
Email isn’t the only way to increase customer retention.
This next method begins before a transaction is even completed. You need to set realistic expectations for your customers.
Don’t make promises that you can’t deliver. This will result in unsatisfied customers.
Don’t use hype in your sales copy. Present the facts and highlight the main advantages of using your product or service.
Address complaints and issues in a timely manner
The third solution for increasing customer retention is to address complaints and issues in a timely manner. Don’t delay your response when a customer submits a complaint.
You should take every complaint seriously, even if the customer purchase the cheapest item in your inventory.
Respond to these complaints as soon as possible.
Studies show that if you can respond within 2 hours of the complaint, the customer is more likely to view your business in a favorable light.
When Responding To Complaints, Don’t Defend Your Products/Services
When you respond to customer complaints, don’t defend your products or services.
Find out exactly what the customer didn’t like about the purchase. Then, come up with a way to make the customer happy.
If you can fix the problem, you might not lose the customer. This could be as simple as offering a discount on their next purchase or refunding them for their previous purchase.
Deliver Exceptional Customer Service
The fourth option for boosting customer retention is to deliver exceptional customer service. This goes along with the previous tip, but also expands on it.
Offering quality customer service also means delivering your products or services on time. You should also provide regular updates and tips for making better use of your products or services.
Offering Quality Customer Service Helps Build Trust
Being able to offer quality customer service helps build trust with your customers.
When you continue to send them tips for using your products or reach out to them to ask if they need help using your products or services, you’ll naturally establish a stronger connection with your existing customers.
Ask For Their Feedback
The final step in improving customer retention rates is to ask for their feedback.
When a customer completes a transaction, they should receive a confirmation email. You should include a link to a feedback form in this email.
As with any form, you need to limit the length of the survey. You should only include a few fields, to increase the number of customers that decide to fill out the form.
You can ask for their level of satisfaction with the product or service and include a text box for customers to include additional details about their experience. Use this feedback to improve your products or your customer service.
Customer Retention Should Be A Key Part Of Your Business Model
The bottom line is that customer retention is an important component to running a successful online business.
You can’t rely solely on new customers. Start making customer retention a key part of your business model.
Hopefully you are using an excellent, affordable, easy to set-up email management and auto-responder service such as AWeber
Hopefully, you enjoyed this short lesson on the 5 ways to increase customer retention and sales.
Don’t forget to also check my YouTube channel for more tips and tricks. Or, even better yet, subscribe to my blog so as to get more of these posts as they are published.