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keep your customers If you have plenty of customer traffic to your site every day, that’s great — you’ve won the first battle! But now you have to figure out how to keep them coming back time and time again. In my recent post, “eCommerce Tools That Will Increase Your Sales & Retention”, I provided some essential tools to help boost your online sales and retention. In this follow up post, I’m going to cover some

The term “User Retention” has been coined to mean the amount of customers coming back to your site and using your goods regularly. One of the most fundamental components to customer retention is having a great product. Everybody thinks they have a great product, and even if you do have an awesome one-of-a-kind product that does amazing things, that doesn’t guarantee your company will grow to where you want it to be. If you want to keep them coming back make sure that you don’t neglect the following:

E-mail

Email has long been one of the very best ways to reach out to your customers and get them to come back. Even though newsletters can be annoying for some people, they are by far the most popular way to keep in touch with your customers. When people sign up to get updates and promotions from your company, they’re telling you that want and expect to hear from you with some great deals so they can buy some more. Don’t disappoint them. Email newsletters are an easy and cost effective way of reminding people about the goods and services you offer, any changes or improvements your company has made, along with any promotions that they might want to take advantage of. A good newsletter can be a welcoming site to someone opening their inbox, so take the time to prepare something that will be of great value to the reader. With a newsletter you don’t always want to go for the hard sell, you need to provide interest. Try and make them exciting and engaging, varying content, headlines, and sending frequency until you find the right combination that will help you gain the best results. Also, remember that email marketing doesn’t have to be a ginormous production. Some of the most effective email outreach can be very simple and to the point like this email campaign for West County Gardner. (shown below)

West County Gardner Email

More Than Just Great Products

Now, I’ve actually used West County Gardner’s products, and they are truly great, but when planning for ways of increasing user retention, don’t put all your focus into your products. You want to think about your customers’ likes and dislikes, and who they care about, even where they work and play. You want to appreciate the things they want and need, and by putting the work in to finding out these things, you can tailor your content to the things you know will be of interest to them. By showing them that you know what they need, your customers will come back not just for your products and services, but because they feel they are understood. Some business owners create unique content and features for their most frequent users, with the goal being to become part of their customers’ everyday lives, not just some faceless entity.

Outstanding Customer Support

If you want to make sure that you retain the customers that you do have and keep them coming back for repeat business, you want to make sure that your customer service is top-notch. I can’t stress this point enough. If you’ve ever run a business then you’ve most likely disappointed someone at some point in time. How you handle both happy and unhappy customers speaks volumes about the way you do business and how people view your business. Great customer support comes with the goal of making sure every customer feels important and valued, and that their questions are answered in a polite, timely manner. When a user has a concern, handle it immediately, or you can create specific emails that give them the information they seek before they ever even ask.

show your appreciationShow Your Appreciation

Of course you know that it is imperative to keep good relations with your customers to increase the rate of user retention, and one of the best ways you can do this is to reach out to them on a personal level. In the early stages, this will be a little easier since your customer base will be smaller. This is a great opportunity for you, because it really makes an impression when an owner or CEO reaches out to their customers. Once your company has gained some recognition and grown a bit, many choose to contact only those users that do frequent or large amounts of business. Contact can be as simple as sending an email from a person email address instead of a large mail out, and can do wonders for your retention rate.

Exit Surveys

Sadly, you can’t make a customer stay if he is ready to move on, and even though you try your best, some will cancel their subscription or stop using your products. Take this time to try and learn from them the reasons they are leaving in hopes that you can prevent others from doing the same. Many times by offering a freebie, discount, or a new and improved product, you might convince them to stay, but if that doesn’t work, try and learn from them as much as possible about their experience and what you could have done differently. You can use all customer feedback to make changes for the better.

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