Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched a number of videos from the Google Small Business YouTube channel to improve my commercial awareness and made short posts (here and here) with my notes, thoughts and comments – this latest one is about how to retain customers.
The first point made is that learning who your customers are is key, which was also stressed in the previous Google for Small Business videos that I’ve watched.
Frequency is a very important metric to focus on in looking at customer loyalty, and existing customers can often be more valuable than new ones, because the more positive they are about your brand, the more custom you will attract (both through word-of-mouth and through positive online reviews.)
When starting up, most businesses focus on customer acquisition and slowly switch to retention later on – the longer a small business has been going, the more important retention becomes for it. So as a business owner starting out, it’s important to get ahead of that by focusing on both acquisition and retention from the start. This involves making the customer experience the best it can possibly be.
The point about the cost of customer acquisition versus retention was really interesting. I don’t necessarily think that you need a specific customer loyalty programme, and I also think that even if you do, not all of your regular customers will want to use it or fit into it well, but it is good to keep in contact and do offers (especially seasonally as discussing in one of the last Google business videos I talked about) so that your customers feel like they are appreciated for frequent business.