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Would you like to increase customer retention?

Do You Want to Increase Customer Retention?

You must go above and beyond your competitors

Many businesses come to us and ask the aged old question. “How do we stand out among our competition?” Many sell the exact same product or services as countless competitors. How do you differentiate yourself from them and how do you increase customer retention?  If you answer “nothing,” then you have a major problem that will be affecting sales and growth of within your business.

It is very easy in business to become complacent within your current standing among competitors. For instance you own a grocery store and there is another within your catchment area, the other one is performing considerably better than yours, how would you react?
Do you simply continue on, hoping to eventually be number one again?  Or, do you create a success plan that will make your business stand out among the competitors, bring in customers, and improve profits?

Look for details
The 1st step to increase customer retention is to measure and compare the details. Starting with reviewing what your competitors are undertaking.  What are they doing that you aren’t? Also consider why they are doing what they are doing. Perhaps they offer senior citizen discounts every Tuesday, why are they doing that?  Perhaps they offer a member of staff to carry shopping to a customer’s car.  Think about why you pick certain businesses, the smallest things are often what brings a customer in and keeps them. It may be as simple as someone to help unload your shopping cart into the car.  However, for an elderly customer or mother with small children, this small courtesy could make all the difference.

How to Increase Customer Retention

Examine incentives & advertisements
Your competitor may offer regular advertisements or coupons, if they do analyse why this is and would it help your business.  Look at what types of deals and specials you could be offering?  Maybe you feel that a weekly flyer is useless.  Yet how will your customers know what your deals are?  How can they compare your specials to your competitors’ specials? Not that we are suggesting you get into a promotion battle with your competitors. In this modern world you must have some type of advertisement in place for your customers to compare their options and give them that initial desire to visit you.  If you don’t, they will simply go to the competitor that is making them aware of their business.

 

Compare pricing & quality
Every business has a pricing strategy even if by accident.  Is the other grocery store’s price considerably cheaper in comparison to your own?  If this is the case, how does their quality of goods compare?  If you are offering a higher quality product and charging a little more, are your customers aware of the higher quality, or do they simply want cheap? Then you would have to consider who your target customer is. In the current climate customers will simply go to the place that offers the best prices if they are unaware of quality differences.  However, many customers would shop at a competitor that offers a higher quality product for a slightly escalated price, even in times of financial constraints.  But you can’t expect the customer to know the difference on their own, they need to be informed and educated.  You must promote and advertise that you offer the best product or service in town (if you do).  Once the customer realizes that your product will last longer, taste better, provide more entertainment, etc. than the competitors’ products, they will be more than willing to pay a little more.

Develop steps for improvement
Following the evaluation of your current marketing and sales pitch, where can you improve?  What can you do to stand out from your competition?  Could you possibly start a service in which elderly customers can pre order and your bag boy gets it ready and brings their groceries right to their car?  This would eliminate them having to enter the store in general. Could you offer a delivery service? An online shopping experience. Or can you offer weekly coupons to subscribers of your “specials” card?   Can you have more staff on the tills to make their check out process faster? There are many many ideas that you can implement for very little cost to improve your business.

Strive to surpass your competition
Another important step on how to increase customer retention: The key is to determine what your competitors are doing to draw in their customers and go beyond that.  You shouldn’t be content with just “satisfying” the customer.  Instead, you should want to astonish them with your unbeatable service and product offering.

Personally as a customer, I have my favourite stores as well as the ones that I will avoid.  Many of my personal reasons involve customer service, convenience, wait time, and money.  For instance, while there is a car dealership two miles from my house, I am willing to drive over an hour away to a different dealer for a number of reasons. When a service employee asked me why, my reply was that I am willing to drive further for better and quicker service.  I can guarantee that there are a lot of customers who will drive a little further or pay a little more for better service and treatment.

Indeed very recently a good personal friend purchased a new car, and by passed three dealerships and drove 90 mins due to the personal service he received, and all the dealerships were from the same manufacturer, showing that you can differentiate from your competitors with great service.

Your customers are basing their decision to frequent your business on its effectiveness, customer service, pricing, wait time, engagement and interaction etc.  But you’d better believe that they are also comparing all of these things with your competitors.  If you want to stand out and increase customer retention, you must develop a plan that goes beyond what your customers expect at the competitors’ stores.

Management Consulting Strategy – How to Increase Customer Retention

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