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Monday, August 29, 2005

Improve Customer Retention

An article I wrote recently.


Rub 5 quarters for 5 minutes until it makes 75$. Rinse and repeat.

Apply daily for best results. What I’m about to share with you is as silly as the title, everyone knows about it but far too few practice it. I’ll be using recurring membership based businesses but the principles can apply to non-recurring sales stores as well.

I’ll share techniques that I’ve personally used in my online businesses to:

● Increase member retention period by up to 150%!

● Build customer loyalty.

● Turn 1 members into 3 or more paying members.

● Get more positive testimonials

● Make more money per member

● Retain members who want to drop-out.

First lets be honest, people that first come to your site won’t stay long unless something catches their eye. Something that could fulfill a need they have. Then, if what you offer interests them, they might stay a while BUT before they buy they’ll try to figure out if you’re legitimate. With all the stories of identity theft, phishing scams, credit card fraud, etc etc , people are very cautious to whom they give their information to.

So you’ve got all that taken care of and after long and hard work you’ve got a website that has a very professional image, you’ve figured out a need that needs fulfilling and the advertising is paying off; the visitors are coming and they’re buying!

If you have your contact information posted on your website, I guarantee you have maximized your advertising dollars. If you don’t, people have backed off because they were afraid.

It’s a lot easier to trust someone that isn’t hiding behind a computer screen. If you have your phone number, street address, email and fax number posted, you’re projecting a positive image, one of a company that has nothing to hide. Dismiss the idea that posting your phone number will immediately inundate you with phone calls. Most people just want to see a number so that they know they can speak to a real person in case something goes wrong.

Already have all that taken care of? Great, good job! So far, you’ve really put the chances on yours side and profited the most from your advertising investment.

As you know however, it’s a whole lot easier to retain an existing customer than to get a new one. So are you really doing all you can to retain them? Hopefully not as you’ve read all this for nothing.

My simple and highly effective method for retaining members much longer and thus improving your ROI is to follow up with your members. DUH! You might say. Hear me out however. Most companies don’t bother checking in with a member unless the member first contacts them with a question or problem.

I suggest a more pro-active approach. Don’t wait for them to contact you; by then they have already experienced frustration and you might just be one strike from being out without even knowing it.

You’d be surprised what a phone call can do (yes phone call… a real person is much more effective than an email.. emails can be automated, are rarely read throughout and don’t have the same impact.). What can a phone call cost, if it’s long distance and 5 minutes? 0.25? That’s one of the best investment you’ll do for your business, believe me. Even if everything is going smoothly, the member will be very happy to hear you call just to check in. How are things going? How’s our service or product working for you? Is it what you expected? How can we help you further?

Those are all simple questions, that coming from a real person on the phone, will have a huge impact on the customer. They know there is someone out there concerned with their satisfaction and that if they need help, they can trust this company to come to their rescue IN PERSON.

Try it out and see for yourself how much it improves your customer retention. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.


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