Most valuable formula for improving your customer retention strategy is simple:
Shared Interest + Shared Space + Shared Concern = Customer Retention
This isn’t a new theory. We’ve all used this approach to make friends, find a boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.
First, you need to find shared interests, those fields in your life that overlap. For example, I have start-up business. Each 3 months I go to official business coffee event. In this one short sentence, I’ve connected with a large number of people, including:
- People who own a start-up business
- People who want to listen motivation stories
- People who are guest speakers at the event
- People who are willing to open a business
- People who want to go to networking events
Point is that you should never communicate with your clients only about your products, services, and business. If you do that you will positions your clients as just customers of and for your business. You need to build a relationship, share your life, interests and experiences.
This is something a lot of business owners find difficult to understand or do. When I’m working with clients who sells business to business, they often feel that opening up on a personal level is crossing some invisible boundary. I find this illogical because at the end of the day, a person, not the business, is the one who decides to make a deal with you.
Probably you’ve heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
Regardless of whether you’re selling B2C or B2B, people would rather do business with someone they know.
Sharing an interest is essential, but so is sharing a space, and it’s simpler to accomplish than you might think. You want to be present in the personal lives of your customers. The supermarket gets you to buy insulated canvas tote bags with their logo on it to bring with you shopping. It hangs your pantry or by your door, rather forcefully suggesting you to shop at that store and interfering with an impulse to go somewhere else. That’s part of the retention strategy.
Besides this, you can give your customers a plaque they can hang on their wall or your book to put on their bookshelf. Your goal supposed to be in and around each prospect and customer in as many different ways as possible. Here’s a list of some recommendation how you can maintain a presence in your clients’ homes, offices, and vehicles:
Monthly print newsletter
- Loyalty card
- Weekly email newsletter
- Plaques to hang on the wall
- Educational audio CDs with our branding
- Additional gifts
- Branded water bottles
- Christmas and Birthday cards
- Reference materials with our logo and branding
- Thank you cards
Sharing space in someone’s physical world is not a new idea. Walk around your apartment tonight and look at all the logos and branding that’s all around you.
Shared concern is the final piece to improving your customer retention strategy. Relationships don’t last when they’re one-sided. This means that you have to genuinely want to help every customer and prospect. You have to work to help them come up with the desired outcome that is part of their best interest. Many business owners put their needs ahead of the needs of customers. Although you may do well for a time under those circumstances, your customer retention strategy will suffer on a long run. Your referrals will be nonexistent, and ultimately, your business will plateau or, worse, rapidly decline.
Customers want to think that your concern for them goes beyond getting into their wallets! The more ways you find to demonstrate that, the stronger your customer relationships are. You will build better and longer relationship, and your will improve your customer retention strategy.