Keeping customers is vital to any business, as without them you wouldn't have a business to begin with. The key to keeping your customers is the relationship you have with them. Relationships are the cornerstone of any business. Without relationships your shop would not succeed. You have relationships with your investors, suppliers, colleagues, and customers. Maintaining customer relationships is vital for the growth and success of your business and may even help you to increase your profits. Here's why you need to keep your existing customers:
Creates Loyal Customer Base
By maintaining your customer relationships, you are encouraging repeat business. This in turn should reduce the churning of customers and help you to create a loyal customer base. A loyal customer base is crucial for any business. Without a steady stream of customers, you are unable to future-proof your shop, create budgets, or even predict when additional staff may be needed.
While attracting new customers is important for growing your business, they are not necessarily where the majority of the profits lie. It actually costs 5 times as much to attract a new customer compared to keeping an old one, making it more affordable to retain your existing customers. In fact, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% whereas the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%. This makes it much easier to sell to existing customers.
For more useful and interesting facts and statistics check out our infographic all about customer loyalty.
Happy customers spread the word and tell their friends about their experience with your business. It’s that simple. If your customers are happy they will promote you. The better your relationship with your customers, the more likely they are to refer more business your way. Having your customers become advocates of your brand can only improve your public image and help drive up profits. That’s why customer service, and a customer retention strategy is so important.
Improves Customer Service
Perhaps even more important than your happy customers to your public image, are your unhappy customers. Dissatisfied customers might tell their friends, and neighbours, about their bad experience with your business. They might even post about it on social media. Obviously, you don’t want that. Avoid this by making sure your customers found everything ok before they leave. Your cashiers generally have a good opportunity to ask customers how they got on. You could also regularly check your online reviews for unhappy customers and feedback. By giving unhappy customers a chance to be heard, you have a chance to fix their problem. This leaves them with an overall positive experience of your business. Another way that your customer relationships can help you to improve your customer service, is that it gives you a platform from which to ask for feedback. Ask your existing customers what they liked, and what they didn’t. By doing this you can improve your overall service and hopefully retain further customers in the future.
Acts as Competitive Edge
Your customer service and relationships set you apart from your competitors. You want your customers to feel welcome and comfortable when they walk into your shop. When you give better customer service and maintain your customer relationships; this is more likely. Your customer satisfaction is higher when your staff are friendly and helpful. This quite simply gives you an edge and sets you a league above competitors who may not do the same.
What Can You Do?
Keeping customers is important; it can significantly boost your reputation and as a result, your profits. This is something everyone in your business should be on board with. It is a group effort, as everyone that interacts with your customers on behalf of your business has to be committed to this aim. It just takes one bad experience to turn customers away from your shop for good. Having said that, there are some things that can help you to maintain customer relationships. We have an article full of tips about building customer loyalty. So be sure to check it out and find out how to turn that walk-in into a regular customer. For a general overview of the topic check out our article on 'Customer Retention and Loyalty'.