George Ammar | Tips on Customer Retention
For CFO George Ammar, all businesses, regardless of size or industry, should pay just as much attention to customer retention as customer acquisition. In all the years that he’s worked with, and for, various companies across diverse industries, he has observed that companies are all too often more concerned about gaining new customers than keeping the existing ones. Image Source: Forbes
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting your energies and resources into new acquisitions,” shares George Ammar; “but the problem here is that with a new customer, you really have no idea if they will purchase your product again;” he adds. Sales from new customers account for just a fraction of your year-on-year profits. The more significant percentage comes from your repeat customers; that is, if you have a strong retention strategy.
With that said, George Ammar shares a few tips on keeping your existing customers happy and encouraging them to keep patronizing your products or services. They are as follows:
1. Leverage on the age-old value of human interactions
Technology may have made communications a lot easier, but it has also made it quite impersonal. Customers will appreciate you more if you make them feel special and one of the best ways to achieve that is to connect with them; truly connect. Give them your time and attention. Don’t rely on bots to answer their questions or address their concerns. An automated response may work the first time, but it definitely won’t work all the time, says George Ammar.
As a customer yourself, what makes you keep coming back? Most likely, it’s the VIP treatment that you receive every time you make a purchase or the feeling of “family” that you get every time. Now put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
2. Personalize your social media interactions
Make technology work for you. These days, you’ll hardly ever hear of a business that’s not on social media. More importantly, you’ll hardly ever find a customer who doesn’t have a social media account. Simply put, a lot of today’s consumers turn to the internet for communications or touching base with friends and family because it’s convenient. And guess what? They will also turn to the internet to talk about you or to reach out to you. This will work in your favor, shares George Ammar.
Bad feedback on social media gives you the opportunity to immediately address the concern and show the customer (and the rest of the buying public) that you take issues about your products seriously. Good feedback, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to zero in on customers that are happy with your brand; and they are the customers that you want on your side.
Again, do not rely on automated responses. Personalize your interaction and mention the customer’s name in your reply or comment. Use details from the customer’s comment. For instance, if the customer mentioned that your product sustained them through an all-nighter for a project, wish them good luck with the results. It’s the personal touch that will leave a mark on your customers, says George Ammar.
3. Make it exclusive
Nothing excites loyal customers more than offerings that are exclusively for them. Develop programs that reward their loyalty. Some companies even throw exclusive parties for their loyal customers. Think outside the box and get creative.
In the end, customer retention all boils down to this: treating your customers like a VIP.