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10 Ways to Increase Customer Retention

SUP Rental photo by Nic Daughtry

While repeat customers are typically responsible for up to 80% of your total sales, many businesses fail to provide the tools to keep these customers coming back for life. Not only will you save your current customers longer, but you’ll also be able to attract new ones based on the happy reputation you’ve built up among your returning visitors! The following ten tips are proven ways to increase customer retention by keeping your customers coming back for more.

1) Learn from your customers

Listen to your customers—the ones returning and spending more—and find out what they love about your service. If you can uncover their motivation for being repeat customers, you’ll be able to do more of what makes them happy and less of what doesn’t.

2) Simplify check-in

If you can make check-in as simple as possible, you’ll save your customers time and improve their experience. Streamline check-in processes so customers never have to think about it again. Using OtterText‘s Customer Retention tools, activity providers have seen an average 40% increase in second visit revenue.

3) Pick Up on Guest Needs

How can you immediately pick up on their needs when a customer walks into your store? For example, what do you say if they’re looking for cash and carry, and how do you guide them through your options? Just asking questions and listening to their responses will give you an idea of where they’re coming from. Then it’s time to offer solutions.

4) Train Your Employees

Every employee has a different learning curve, and by training your employees more thoroughly, you can get them up to speed on their jobs faster. We have found that companies implementing a formalized training program see a 10% increase in customer retention rate after just one year! They’ll be more efficient and productive – ultimately increasing your customer retention rates. 

5) Offer Guest Loyalty Programs

Whatever business you’re in, offering a guest loyalty program can be one of your most potent ways to increase customer retention. Loyalty programs make your customers feel like VIPs and encourage them to spend more. Through SMS, you can utilize Otter to track visits and automate a discount/reward.

6) Listen to Feedback

The most important thing you can do is keep customers coming back for more. Make sure you’re allowing your customers a chance to voice their thoughts about your product or service. Many successful businesses ask their customers for input regularly, including surveys and questionnaires. Otter can help you automate surveys for your customers. They’ll offer valuable insights and suggestions about how you can improve.

7) Stay Connected at Checkout

You must connect with your customers after their first purchase. Doing so will help you upsell them on other products, encourage repeat business, and earn their trust.

8) Ask For Reviews

Encourage your customers to review your products and services by making them as easy as possible. According to a study from Bain & Company, an average of 20% of surveyed customers had purchased as a result of reading a review. More customers will be influenced by what other people have said about you if they can read those reviews for themselves.

9) Re-engage customers

Turn one-time customers into repeat customers with these easy re-engagement tactics: 

Loyalty or rewards programs: Not only do loyalty and rewards programs give your customers something to work towards, but they also provide insight into what kind of incentives your customers will respond to. 

Customized messaging: Re-engage your customers by tailoring your messaging and incentivizing actions that keep them returning. You can tailor email campaigns and in-store signage that helps turn one-time customers into loyal repeat ones.

10) Announce Special Offers via Email

Special offers via email are a great way to keep customers coming back and spending more. Make sure your customers feel like they’re getting exclusive deals only through your business. These special offers should be clearly stated, and there should be a direct link for customers to follow to take advantage of these deals. There’s no need for information overload; customers don’t want their inboxes flooded with sales emails. Shoot for two sales emails per month, and you should see positive results! 

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