It is so tempting to focus all of your online efforts on attracting new business, but what about the business you already have? Did you know that it cost most businesses five times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, according to Ray Miller’s book That's Customer Focus? Being able to save money and focus on current relationships can deliver just as much, if not more, return on investment.
Digital marketing and social media strategies don’t have to be expensive or complicated. As long as they are engaging and organized, they can have a HUGE impact for your local or small business. Below are a few examples of how you can retain an existing customer and build stronger relationships with your customer base.
Social Media Is Your Friend
Great customer service is something everyone looks for in any type of business. You have every reason to use social media for your customer service advantage. People spend more time on social media more than any other online activity according to Wall Street Journal. Comscore found that smartphones and tablets combined account for 60% of all online traffic. It only makes sense to go where the existing and potential customers are!
Don’t get caught up with how many followers and likes you can get! Share your creativity and inspiration to keep conversations going on social media. Not only will it keep customers updated on what you are doing as a company, it will make your customers feel involved and also create more loyalty. If you are engaging your business will accumulate more followers/likes overtime just because they want to be a part of the conversation!
Something else to remember when engaging in conversation on social media is to respond in a timely manner! Fast responses are an essential part of meeting customer expectations for social care. According to Forester, 71% of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide customer service! Nothing makes a customer more willing to post a bad review of your company if they can’t get a quick response to a question they want answered. Think about it this way, would you want to buy a car from a dealership that doesn’t respond to you in a timely manner? Remember, your audience needs to care about you before they care about what you say.
Emails/Newsletters Further Trust & Loyalty
Yes, emailing seems so simple, but it can be the most effective way to keep your existing LOCAL customers informed/engaged with your business. Don't overwhelm your customer base with emails every day, but consider changes/promotions going on with your business a couple times a month.
Don't just send an email to send an email either. Make them sound personable and not 'spam' like. Everyone likes to feel special and by simply using the customer's name or asking how their family is doing makes your business stand out from your competitors. You should know enough information about your existing, loyal clients anyway, so why not include it in an email?
Along with sending promotions/updates also send them emails just checking in or simply an email thanking them again for their business! Even sending them an online survey to get real results on how they feel about your brand/business is a good idea. Feedback request emails establish your business as one that truly listens to its customers. Take their feedback to heart because they will let you know if you aren’t doing something right! If you can make simple changes from feedback that existing customers recommend your ROI will increase.
Being “ONLINE” Translates to Word-of-Mouth
Some still believe that old-school methods of face-to-face communication and traditional media are the best way to keep existing clients. Yes, that may be true, but the more tools your existing customer base has, like social media and a functional website, the more your customer base can promote your business verbally or the “old-school” way.
For instance, a current customer brags about something they bought from your business or says something great about your customer service. Nine times out of 10 the person your existing customer is talking to will look up your business ONLINE! That is why it is so important to have a digital strategy because according Capital Retail 81% of consumers go online before even thinking about coming to your business!
Traditional media isn’t dying it is just taking a new form and we here at Team SI want your business to prosper! Build your audience just like you would do in real life as a real person, except do it online. Please share your online experiences with us below. We would love to hear your stories and help your local or small business achieve digital success!