Statistics show that approximately 70% of small business owners put the majority of their time and resources into new clients, and less than 20% focus their efforts on client retention.
As it costs up to five times more to acquire new clients than it does to retain clients, these statistics don’t reflect best practices.
There are three main channels that small businesses should focus on when it comes to retention:
Social Media Advertising
Customer Loyalty Programs
These channels are easy to track and have a proven ROI. What’s interesting is how the trends have changed in recent years, as customers learn (and tire of) the ‘new tricks’.
For example, the idea of personalization making things more appealing has now begun to have a reverse effect - irritating clients when they feel emails, texts or phone calls are overly personal.
Without an established relationship, turns out clients don’t like being addressed by their first name or intrusively contacted on their cell phone, in the casual manner of text.
The trend has tipped back towards the formal - ensuring that communication (whether it be social media, email or loyalty plans) should remain professional and respectful and stay away from becoming too casual.
Conversely, mass emails are still frowned upon and with new ways to block incoming messages (spam filters/opt in’s, etc) consumers have more power than ever. In order to get past these roadblocks, create constant communication with existing clients, and work your way out of (and stay out of!) the spam folder.
The biggest trend will be in automation. It’s a lot of work to keep the three channels open and churning out content and connection. If you don’t have a dedicated person/team in place to handle it (or even if you do) look into automated options and digitalize wherever possible.
Make the process streamlined and painless, allowing you to focus your time and energy on delivering products and services.