Did you know that the cost for acquiring a new customer is 5x more than it is to retain one?
This is a statistic for a customer’s LTV (lifetime value).
Basically, an LTV is calculated to determine how much revenue a customer will generate your business over their lifespan as a customer.
Digital marketing is packed with stats like these as well as a bunch of methods for how to improve awareness and conversions.
And a lot of them are geared towards one truth: today, retention is more important than acquisition.
So let’s talk about some of the ways you can build long-term relationships with your customers to improve retention.
And as a byproduct, revenue too.
Here are 10 ways to build long-term relationships with customers
1. Avoid being transactional all the time
I wrote a blog on this a while ago and in it, I spoke about the idea of selling the thinking, not the thing.
To simplify the point I was making, you need to focus on what your product or service can do for your customer, not just trying to force a sale.
Particularly in the early stages after onboarding a new customer, companies should prioritise building credibility and trust before shamelessly pitching promotions.
No one likes being sold to.
2. Ask for feedback
How will you ever know if what you’re doing is working if you never ask?
Get testimonials either written or even better, video recorded.
Continuously look to iterate your product or service using real-world user experiences.
It helps you but it also shows you care about the customer experience and lets people feel a part of making it better.
3. Stay in touch
Like a first date that never calls back, this is a major turn off for customers.
Think about it from the customer’s perspective for a second; you’ve gone to all this effort to get their attention on social media, through the website and probably several other channels and just when they make a commitment, you ghost them.
Don’t sit by the phone waiting for them to call you.
4. Treat customers as actual, real people
When you communicate with your customers whether it’s through email, social media or the website; talk to them like humans not robots.
Think about your content carefully and how it can benefit the reader.
What are the problems you are helping to solve?
Share experiences from other customers they can relate to.
Offer valuable information that will help them realise their goals.
5. Speak their language
Tying into the previous tip, use language that resonates with your target audience.
You want to build rapport and find common ground and one of the easiest ways to do this is by using language that your target audience understands and appreciates.
It doesn’t need to be formal, quite the opposite in fact.
Having a conversational tone is much more effective these days and avoid using lots of technical terms or jargon.
6. Reward their loyalty
As a customer it sure is nice to have your loyalty rewarded. Or even just acknowledged.
Membership or reward programmes are a great way to say thank you to dedicated customers by offering a discount or exclusive access to something.
It reenforces our commitment to a brand and elicits that all important feel-good factor.
7. Ask for referrals
Referral programmes are great strategies for social proofing and rewarding both existing and new customers.
A simple referral offer whereby each person (the referrer and the referee) receives a discount on a product or service will strengthen the existing relationship with your customer and potentially gain a new one.
When we have positive experiences as customers, we love to tell people about it!
Word-of-mouth marketing is still a major contributor to business strategies.
8. Personalise the experience
This point refers to the overall experience a customer receives.
Since GDPR, data has been harder to obtain for marketers and brands, unless permission has been given by the user.
But once the permission has been given, use this to curate the customer experience.
This can be things like suggesting social media profiles based on their previous likes or views.
Emails that have personalised messaging with recommendations, for example travel destinations or fashion tips based on recent purchases.
User statistics like in Spotify’s end of year wrap-up.
People love when brands are looking out for their best interests.
More than ever, keeping customers engaged and happy is crucial for long-term success.
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