My sister runs a successful fashion boutique. She has been in this field since the last five years and has managed to create and retain her goodwill by taking care of her clients’ individual demands. When she started out, she faced severe competition from her counterpart a few blocks away, but she has managed to retain her loyal customers.
Her business-or for that matter any kind of business – demands customer retention, which is an extremely important aspect. No wonder it is said that the customer is king, because he/she can make or break a business.
Why is it important to retain customers? There are numerous reasons for retaining customers. The main reason a business venture is successful is because customers makes purchases. If you want the customer to return to buy your products, retaining the regular customers and creating a steady customer base will help.
A loyal customer base means you enjoy a good reputation. An increase in your customer base also equates to good financial standing of your venture. By retaining customers, you can also obtain new clients and this is best done by your existing customers’ advertising your products or services by word of mouth advertising.
How to retain customers
Business entrepreneurs who know the true importance of customers will find successful ways to create a loyal customer base. The best way to promote customer retention is to offer products and services that a client needs. While attending to an existing customer, my sister listens very carefully to his or her requirements. She pitches in with her suggestions, if needed, but works largely according to the client’s wishes. This makes complete sense as, at the end of the day, all a business entrepreneur wants is a happy and satisfied client.
Top notch customer service is another way of promoting customer retention. If required, my sister goes to her client’s home for fittings and styling. Any minor alterations are managed willingly by her tailor. Offering quality pre- and post-sales service to customers in person, via the telephone or Internet is a key constituent in retaining customers. Training your employees to treat your clients with respect and care will promote customer retention.
Beyond paying attention to the customer’s need and offering pre- and post-sales service, it is crucial that you stay in touch with your customers regularly. The assistant at the boutique maintains an updated customer register. On occasions such as customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, etc, my sister sends handwritten notes or calls them personally.
There is nothing like having just an online address of your business. True, more individuals are becoming Net savvy, buying and selling online. So, if your offline business demands an online presence, go for it.
Another factor that works in promoting customer retention is the location of your business. My sister’s boutique is close to a shopping arcade as well as a residential area. If your business place is located at an unheard of zip code, your customers will have great difficulty in getting to and from your shop. This could result in your losing a few customers, making the distance a big disadvantage to your business.
Price is another make or break factor in customer retention. If your product offers value for money at a high price and the client is aware of it, be assured that the client will buy your product or service regularly or else you need to rethink your pricing.
On a subjective note, I end this blog. What do you think?