Learn the Best Practices to Boost Customer Retention
Acquiring new customers costs more than keeping old ones—a lot more. In fact, it costs five times as much to acquire new customers as it does to keep old ones.
It’s also more profitable to retain customers than find new customers—much more profitable. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company profitability by 75%.
But retaining existing today’s customers isn’t easy for dry-cleaners. Today’s customers are demanding—thanks in large part to the Internet. Today’s customers want what they want when they want it and won’t settle for anything less.
Fail to meet these demands and customers won’t hesitate to bolt. Below are seven proven best practices that can help you retain more of today’s customers at your dry-cleaners:
Personalize your service
Delivering value is a great way to keep existing customers. One component of value for today’s customers is personal service. Today’s customers expect you to personalize your services to meet their needs. So, look for opportunities where you can do that, like adding home pickup and delivery. That saves customers a trip to your store.
Stay in touch with customers
Staying in touch with today’s customers is imperative. It makes them feel valued and special. Sending them special promotions, for example, or discount coupons for all the business they’ve given you is one way.
Be consistent with these touches but don’t overdo it. Two or three times a month is reasonable. It keeps customers involved and makes them feel appreciated. And touch them in different ways—email, newsletter, Facebook, and so on.
Reward, recognize, and thank
Thanking your customers for their business makes them feel appreciated. They’re not just a dollar sign to you. There are two proven ways to thank customers. You can thank them by sending them a note or recognizing them in a newsletter or other communication piece.
Or, you can send them a gift card, say to Starbucks or a local restaurant, along with a thank you note. It’s a nice touch—one your customers will remember. You should look for other ways to thank customers.
Provide proactive service
It’s not enough to provide good services these days. Many dry-cleaners can do that. You need to deliver epic customer service to differentiate yourself. One way to do that is by getting employees to be lavish with customer support.
Thoughtful gestures, warm and welcoming greetings, watching someone’s bike while they shop—little things like that can drive loyalty and repeat business. Add additional services, like rug cleaning, to save customers time is also good proactive customer service.
Offer a customer loyalty or VIP program
More and more retailers are offering customer loyalty programs. It’s a strategy that’s helping them survive. You should do the same if you want to retain existing customers. It’s also a great way to personalize your services and make repeat customers feel special. Plus, it can provide you with deep insights into customers while also staying top of mind.
Get creative with technology
Beacons, m-commerce, mobility apps—more and more retailers are getting creative with today’s technology as a way of retaining existing customers. A mobility app, for example, enables you to stay in touch with your customers wherever they are.
You can send them push notifications regarding order status, let them view open and past orders, and pay for orders directly on the app. These types of tools boost personalization of your services and lets you share promotions and discounts with customers
Create a community around your brand
Apple Computers is a prime example of this. They’ve created a community around their brand, and it’s paid off over the years. This strategy works because it connects customers with other people that use your services.
And give them a voice on your website, so you can remind them they’re not just a number. You can also use that voice to solicit feedback on your services. Take that feedback seriously. Use it to improve things. That shows customers you heard them and that you value their feedback.
Additional ways to boost customer retention are:
- Be passionate and engaging
- Offer time-limited promotions
- Be transparent and honest with customers
- Under promise and over deliver
- Create a community around your brand
- Incentive social media shares.
These best practices are all proven ways to keep existing customers. Of course, you’ll have to tailor them to your dry-cleaner or dry-cleaners and to your budget.
But they’ll help you beat the challenge of retaining existing customers. It’s more cost-effective—and more profitable—to do that than beating the bush to acquire new customers.