In today's blog we will talk about the last step in the buyer's journey; keeping customers happy and coming back time and time again. The lifetime value of a customer is something that every business should be thinking about and always looking for ways to turn happy customers into ambassadors for your brand.
If you already engage in inbound marketing, you might be familiar with its four major goals: to attract, convert, close, and delight your customers.
Most marketers are already engaged in the first three of these stages. Attracting your target audience is typically done through search engine optimization, social media marketing, and digital advertising. Once they make it to your website, you try to convert them to leads. And once they are contacts in your database, you nurture them to close the deal and turn them into customers.
But what about delighting your customers? How can you make sure that members of your audience that have already become clients will stick with you for the long term?
The Importance of Delighting Your Existing Customers
In the quest for business growth, it's easy to neglect customer retention. But in reality, making sure that existing customers stay on board is absolutely vital to your long-term business health.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, retaining existing customers is up to 25 times less costly than acquiring new ones. There's a reason that increasing your retention rate by only 5 percent can increase your revenue by up to 95 percent.
But how do you do it? To answer that question, here are out top 5 ways to delight your customers and grow your sales.
1) Offer Amazing Content
First things first: your content marketing needs to extend beyond the top of your sales funnel. A great way to delight your customers is to offer exceptional, and unexpectedly helpful, content.
The fact that they have purchased your product or service does not mean their pain points have suddenly subsided. Content aimed at your existing customers, from how-to posts to long form tutorials, can keep them coming back to you long after you've closed the deal.
2) Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service has become a vital way of keeping your existing customers engaged. Essentially, every time one of your clients has a question, comment, or complaint, you should be ready to answer.
For instance, more than two thirds of consumers now take to social media to seek answers for product and brand-related issues. When they do, 60 percent expect a response in an hour or less. And when your brand actually engages with them, their future purchases actually go up 20 to 40 percent.
3) Reward Customer Loyalty
Simply put, there is no better way to delight your customer than to reward them for their loyalty. With nominal rewards for repeat customers, such as regular coupons or free, exclusive content only they have access to, you can keep them on your side for years to come.
Here, the reciprocity principle comes into play. When you offer something about the value they purchased to your customers, they will feel implicitly compelled to return the favor down the road. Rewarding loyalty, in other words, can lead to significant increases in customer retention.
4) Bring Old Customers Back in the Fold
What about the part of your audience that has bought something once, but hasn't engaged with your brand in a while? You can actually work to delight them and bring them back into the fold as well.
Consider, for instance, building an email workflow specifically designed to reach out to customers who have not engaged with your products or online presence in the past year. Focus your message on changing the context in which they see your brand, and their chances of re-engaging with you increase drastically.
5) Encourage and Incentivize Referrals
Finally, it always makes sense to encourage your audience to spread the word about your products or services. By incentivizing these referrals, you increase the chances they actually take action.
And when they do, your brand can benefit. A customer who has referred someone else to your company becomes inherently more closely connected to it, making them less likely to leave. The delight aspect here is subtle, but undeniable.
Don't neglect your customer retention efforts. Instead, make a concerted effort to delight your existing customers, increasing your retention rate and maximizing your bottom line. Using the above tips, you can successfully achieve your retention goals, adding the fourth and final component to your inbound marketing efforts and closing the communication loop.
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