One can indeed say that a business truly grows when its customer base grows as well. For example, if you have an auto garage in a certain neighbourhood, then your initial customers will only be those who reside in the particular locality. However, with time, as your customers grow in number (given the fact that you provide them with the best customer experience), the recognition of your garage beyond the neighbourhood also grows as both are directly linked. This helps in building credibility and trust while tapping into new target groups which will have more potential customers.
In simple terms, customer retention is like growing your network. It constantly keeps you on your toes and helps motivate you into constantly improving your offerings, adding it as a major source of business growth.
Here is a simple step-by-step plan on how you can devise a strategy to enrich the experience of your customers and use this as a resource for your budding business:
1) Understand your Target Groups and Goals
- Identify which community of people have a major stronghold over the products/services that you provide, and start devising a strategy with a goal in mind. This goal could be a contributing factor to growing your business. For example, increasing customer loyalty or increasing customer retention. Then create a set of principles that must be followed to make sure that your customers have an experience that is worth sharing. These principles, once laid down will increase the efficiency of your business by acting as guidelines for your future plans. For example, when you know that you have to communicate with your customers in-person, you will naturally grow into knowing them better and building a stronger relationship with them as you continue to follow this principle.
2) Build Emotional Value
- Research conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research has found that emotions shape the attitude that drives decisions. Hence, emotional value plays a key role in Customer Experience. Create a welcoming environment for your customers by having conversations with them. A good conversation is sure to lighten someone’s day and spread a positive emotional impact. When a customer feels attached to a certain product/service, it is mostly because of how they feel while using it, or how their experience while purchasing a particular product/service has been.
3) Communicate Impact or RoI
- Communicating the impact generated by your products/services or by your brand in general, with your customers paves way for a longer and more lasting loyalty within your group of customers with respect to your business. Communicating Returns on Investment will lead to a higher ground of trust between the customer and the business.
4) Ask for Real-Time Feedback
- We all know by experience, that filling in feedback forms is not as efficient a way to truly understand feedback from your customers, as a conversation could be. When your customers visit you, ask them about their feedback on how you can grow as a business and enrich their experiences as your customers. One may notice this as a new practice in the hotel/restaurant industry, where collecting real-time feedback has grown as a trend over the past few years.
Once you plan a strategy in consideration with the above principles, feel free to add more inputs from your team as well. Increasing customer retention is a vital step in the growth of any business.