All marketers work with limited time and resources, particularly if you are a small business. We highly recommend working with a marketing partner to extend the bandwidth of your marketing abilities for this reason. But regardless of the size of your team and who you work with, you will always need to make adjustments and concessions to what you are able to do.

That begs the question, should you be putting more emphasis on getting new customers or retaining your current ones? In truth, you need to do both in order to grow. In the first of this two-part series we will detail the top differences between customer retention and customer acquisition, and initiatives you can implement to achieve customer retention.

Customer Retention

Often times our knee-jerk reaction as marketers is to constantly focus on generating new clients, but it has been proven that there is a lower expense and higher reward to maintaining your current ones. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should only focus on your current customers and not do any new customer outreach, but it does mean that your marketing efforts can’t stop once an audience member has converted. Here are the top four ways you can improve your customer retention efforts.

1. Show Appreciation:

Your customer database shouldn’t be something that sits in un-use, it should be something that you take advantage of to reach your customers. You need to show your customer that you recognize them as more than just a data point in your system. One easy way to do this is by offering things like birthday promotions. If your company has access to your consumers birthdays, use them!

2. Build Trust:

You need to build and maintain trust with your customers. This one is really simple: if you promise to deliver something during a specific time frame, DELIVER IT. When you don’t deliver on what you promise, it puts your brand in a bad light and makes the consumer wonder if they should trust your brand enough to make a purchase. Once trust is lost, it is hard to win back.

3. Cross-Sell/Up-Sell 

Do you own a small retail store? Promote something to the customer at checkout as an up-sell. Own a restaurant? Up-sell that side order of fries to onion rings (for a small extra charge). If it makes you money, you should be trying to up-sell and cross-sell your products and services. And guess what? If you do it right, the up-sell won’t be obvious. Some will reject your offerings without much of a second thought and just make their original purchase. The ones that accept will think you’re reading their minds and they’ll come back for the great service. It’s a win-win scenario for your company.

4. Rely on Referrals:

Referrals are extremely important to your company. Offering the chance for your customer to tell their friends about you and get rewarded while doing it will keep them coming back, as well as introducing new people to your business. It is getting two customers for the marketing price of one.

Keep an eye out for part two of this series, where we will dive into the importance of customer acquisition and our top three recommendations for getting new customers. Looking to talk more about your retention and acquisition strategies? Contact one of our digital experts today.