Marketing Strategies for Customer Retention: Podcast Episode #2
Acquiring new customers, generating leads. Those are always primary marketing goals for small businesses and that is totally valid. You definitely need that. But you also can't forget about your marketing strategies for customer retention and what you could do to keep them because they are a really valuable way for growing your business organically by either growing more business with them over time and improving their customer lifetime value, or in them bringing on new customers for you and recommending your product.
And this is especially important now during the pandemic. I've actually read a number of research studies that showed that during the pandemic, consumers have become less loyal to brands and some of this is because they've been forced to through supply chain issues. But the other is that they've just been reconsidering their own personal values more and they're exploring new brands. So you want to make sure that you are doing what you can to showcase what your brand is and relate to their values.
And also just pay attention to your current customers and do what you can to help grow your business through customers you've already brought in. This is relevant to any type of education company, whether you're selling to an individual parent or working professional or a school or teachers. It's going to be harder for an institution that has bought your product to switch, but it is still possible. So you want to make sure that you are doing what you can to keep them happy.
When you're developing your marketing plan, you want to develop a marketing strategy around customer retention. And the goal there is to work on growing them as customers, keeping them as customers, and getting them to recommend and refer you.
So where do you start? The first place to start is gathering information. The best way that you are going to be able to keep them and for them to know that you value them is by you knowing who they are and knowing what they care about. You could do that in many different ways. Whatever works well for your business and your resources. One way is to get out and interview people and just talk one on one. You could send out a survey or a poll, or you could look at some members of your team who might already know some of this information. If you have a B2B business, then talk to your sales team. They're out there on the front lines talking to your customers all the time, or your customer service team. They again are out there talking to your customers all the time and you want to try to talk to them and figure out information around what people know about customers, hopefully on an individual level, and put that into some kind of shared system like a CRM. Make some notes, add some tags in there so that when you're developing your marketing communications you can be more personalized to them once you have information about customers. Another way that you could do that is when they're filling out fields on your website for whether they're signing up for something, you could ask information that way too.
Once you have this information, then you could think about what kind of marketing tactics would be most successful in relating to them. Ideas depend on your business, but just to get you started, some things could be that you run some kind of giveaway where you're giving away some of your product or you have a live event that you're running and you could even ask them to join you as a co-host. That's a really good way of showing them that you value them. You can have some kind of a referral program, where they are incentivized to share your brand. Have a brand ambassador program if you have people who are really loyal to you and have a program where they will be out there talking about your product on your behalf. Or you could start a little bit smaller and just start with newsletters and make sure that you're sending out newsletters on an ongoing basis and that you're including content in there that relates to them and is helpful for them. You could also personalize offers. So depending on, again, what information you have, what your product is, you could send them discounts or trials or an early preview, things like that so that they feel like they are valued and they are treated a little bit differently than someone who hasn't used your product yet.
Overall just think about your customers and that they are really valuable for your business. You already did the work to bring them in, whether that's you paid through marketing to acquire them or you have a sales team who's done a lot of work in bringing them in. And now that you have them, you want to do what you can to keep them and to grow them and to get them to recommend you and to help you grow your business.