Public relations strategies for retaining customers and knocking their socks off
We know that it costs more to find a new customer than to keep a customer you already have. But knowing just how to retain customers can be a mystery, unless you use the power of public relations.
You spend a lot of time and effort attracting and converting prospects. Some companies don’t realize that it’s after a customer has made a purchase that the real work begins. With help from PR, you can learn how to retain and delight your current customers to encourage loyalty and create brand advocates.
Tips on retaining customers
If you had to consistently find brand-new customers for every sale, you would go out of business. In addition, studies show that repeat customers spend more than first-time customers. To keep your customer coming back, you must keep them happy.
- Start as soon as you make the sale. This is often as simple as saying thank you. It’s vital to make customers feel appreciated and valued. You can express your thanks in person, with a special written note or a coupon for their next visit. This is a way to remind them again that they made the right decision in doing business with you.
- Ask for feedback. How can you know how to satisfy someone if you never ask? Create surveys and other vehicles to give customers the opportunity to tell you what you are doing well and ways you can improve.
- Stand behind your product. Have a culture of honesty and integrity. If something goes wrong with the product or you have not lived up to the customer’s expectations, don’t blame the customer. Fix the issue. Respond quickly to complaints and really listen. Give multiple employees the authority to solve problems. Turning an unhappy customer into a satisfied one will help you retain more of them.
What you need to do to delight your customers
A business can lose 20 to 50 percent of its customers when it doesn’t take the time to do due diligence in nurturing the relationship. You must constantly keep them coming back for more.
- Go the extra mile. Why stop at sending a thank-you note when you can send a Happy Birthday card? Instead of just saying you appreciate your customer’s business, send a Happy Anniversary message recognizing the length of time your customer has been doing business with you. Make a personal phone call. Send a bag, pen or T-shirt with your logo. This not only serves as a thank-you, it’s also inexpensive advertising.
- Keep customers in the loop. Communicate by email and on social media with information and updates about what you are doing. You can also offer useful tips on different ways to use your product and exciting developments happening in your field. Ask customers’ opinions and advice to ensure it’s not always a one-sided conversation. This can make customers feel like a part of your extended family.
- Highlight and recognize your customers. Did your client achieve a milestone, win an award or accomplish a goal? Celebrate and promote it to show that you are proud of your association with your customer and that you care about more than just getting his money. You can put this type of information in a newsletter, a special section of your website or social media platform and even a customer appreciation wall at your location.
- Give customers the VIP treatment. Those who have been especially loyal can receive something not ordinarily available to everyone. This can include a tour of your facility or a chance to preview a new product. In this way, you not only make customers feel special, you also gain fans who will share their experiences with friends and followers.
- Hire a PR firm to help you. Sending the right information at the right time can make all the difference. Let Axia Public Relations help you create a content management plan that coincides with your sales goals and strategic objectives. Contact us or download our e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn more.
Lisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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