Due to the solemn fact that 90% of all startups fail within their first two years of operation, many are starting to consider whether the old rule of thumb of 10% budget spend on marketing is sufficient. Maybe, some of these startups would benefit from a more padded marketing approach of 15 or 20%.
When a prospect becomes a customer, that’s great, but it doesn’t signal the beginning of a fruitful relationship. Over time, the “honeymoon phase” wears off, and even the most promising new customer can lose interest. In such cases, putting money towards a customer loyalty program may help solve the problem. As strong as a “word of mouth” reputation can be, it can always use a little help now and then.
So, with 2018 snapping at our collective heels, how do we ensure investing in customer retention is a key marketing strategy?
Investment Is Key
A strong customer retention strategy (or CRS) is a tactic used to keep existing clients engaged. Those same techniques can be utilised to bring back one-off customers who’ve turned to a competitor.
While giving away things for free may seem like cutting your nose off to spite your face, the feeling of being rewarded creates a feeling of connection with a brand, adding another level of commitment and the rush of racking up loyalty points for a future reward. Like a Woolworths reward card or Coffee Club card, and pretty much every cafe in the world.
If you’re like me, your inbox is currently jam-packed with marketing emails waiting to be read and/or deleted. Some would say having a good open rate isn’t the goal for many of these businesses, rather, the goal is to provide a gentle reminder that the company exists in the hope they’ll come back one day.
Make ‘Em Come Back For More
Innovative customer retention techniques have never been needed more than they are now. For example, online gambling is an incredibly saturated field. Lots of companies are offering a similar experience. They rely on a multitude of techniques to keep the punters coming back.
The UK based Wink Bingo make use of a nifty “spin the wheel” game to drive repeat deposits. For every $10 spent on their site, you get to spin the wheel. This gifts you anything from extra funds to play with and bonus spins. This opportunity to win something is exactly what their target market wants, delivering a reward for something they’d be doing anyway, at little cost to the business.
You need to find a relatable way to keep your clients interested. The standard ‘loyalty card’ is not a one size fits all solution.
A great and cost-effective strategy is long-term recognition. This is less about chasing that tenth free coffee, and more about personal recognition. Think about creating a “VIP Club”. Where customers who’ve been on board for years are given discounts, enhanced service, and free add-ons.
Print out a list of your customers and sort them by date. The top 10 (or top 100 depending on your scale) deserve something for sticking with you. It’s these relationships that need nurturing.
In today’s disposable society, where the new iPhone is launched as soon as you buy the old one, and businesses are fine with pushing back on service agreements,
It’s still vital to remember the customer is always right.
Take a look at Uber, who’s drivers rate their customers and will turn them down if their star rating is not up to standard. They’re slowly haemorrhaging people to taxi services that will pick up any paying customers and won’t force a surcharge depending on the time. The company-customer relationship has gone full circle, and it’s not stamped cards or apps that track loyalty that is winning. Rather, it’s the businesses that make a point of rewarding long-term customers with something special every now and then.
To see how we can help your business, call 1300 859 600 today, and let’s work out a tailor-made strategy for you!
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