Customer Retention Strategies for Small Businesses

Keeping a good friend is a lot easier than making a new one, right?  The same goes for customers / clients. Maintaining your existing customer relationships is less expensive and has a better return on your investment. While it's important to put energy into your "top of funnel" efforts to find new people, I would argue that it's MORE important to work on customer retention strategies.

 

Creating a Customer Retention Strategy

The biggest challenge for many companies looking at their customer retention is where to begin.  Here are 5 practical customer retention strategies you can use to keep your existing customers happy over the long-term and increase your profits.

 

1. Customize Your Content Strategy

Speak / Write to your existing customers like you know them - because you do! No one wants to feel like another number, so create customized messaging for your customers based on their history with you.

If you know about their purchase history, then send an email...

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An Introduction to Content Strategy

Honesty. It's a word that so many of us claim to live by and be a reflection of our lives. And yet, business owners sometimes forget about the importance of honesty when promoting their brands. Marketing is often tied to the idea of stretching the truth, padding the truth or "making it sparkle" to sell something.  Business owners aren't trying to be dishonest people by marketing their brands. Rather, we have been taught by the Man Men era of advertising that we must "trick" people into buying things from us. 

Business Owners and Marketers: You have the power to end this ridiculous way of thinking starting here and now.  No one wants to be tricked into buying anything, because they end up feeling deceived and angry later. 

Our goal as business owners is to offer a valuable product or service to the people who want and need it. That's it. Authentic marketers understand this idea and we run with it by offering value using content marketing and content...

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Lead Generation and Funnel Basics

What's Your Lead Generation Plan?

While I love content marketing, storytelling and expressing business concepts through the written word and images, it’s all useless if you haven’t laid out a lead generation plan for your company. The phrase lead generation can seem overwhelming to non-marketers. I assure you that there is nothing to fear. Here is a quick-start guide to your lead generation plan and understanding a common "marketing funnel" in action.

  

Quick Start to Lead Generation

Creating Awareness About Your Company / Product / Service

This is the step you are most likely doing right now. When you publish a blog, publish a post on social media, attend a conference, or speak at an event, you are creating awareness of your company / brand. Make the best use of these tactics. When it comes to website content and social media, allow readers to subscribe to get updates. This can be done with an email newsletter or using an RSS Feed.

...

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What is a Marketing Audit?

goals strategy Dec 04, 2018

A Marketing Audit is a comprehensive, analysis and evaluation of your business' marketing. This includes your goals, strategies, tactics, and the results of your marketing efforts.  This is the first step towards creating a powerful marketing strategy - knowing your current situation. Your market audit is a powerful way to get in touch with your brand, products, and services and refocus your marketing efforts. 

In this article, you'll learn more about the marketing audit, its components and how it is used. 

 

Evaluate Your Current Marketing Plan

To begin your marketing audit, evaluate your big-picture plans. What are your current goals or objectives for marketing? What marketing strategies are you employing? What is your marketing mix? Is your marketing team effectively implementing the marketing plan? Are the marketing objectives you set the appropriate ones for your business? If you have never documented the big...

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Customer Communications + Productivity = A Smart CRM Strategy

Planning, process, systems, segmentation, and automation...these seemingly mundane concepts are the true key to balancing your customer relationships with your day-to-day business operations.

Customer Relationship Management (abbreviated "CRM”) is a term used to describe your customer communications strategy. It also refers to the software most businesses use for implementing that strategy. Before you get excited about another tech tool (or run for the hills), a smart CRM Strategy begins with people and your customer communications. 

How do you keep in touch with customers, prospects, vendors, and partners? Is it just as ideas pop up in your head? Do you have a specific system for maintaining those relationships?

For many of us, the answer to that last question is sort of or not really. However, maintaining regular communications with your vital business contacts is essential to the sustainability of your business in the long run.

 

Holiday Card Anxiety

If...

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Case Study: Marketing Operations Improvements Using Zoho CRM +

crm strategy zoho Sep 18, 2018

What do you do when your business requires 30+ documents from the client for them to work with you?

Do you email them a list of all the documents and wait for a reply?

Do you repeatedly call the client and ask for the documents to be sent by a specific date?

This is a problem I recently faced in a marketing operations improvement project. The reason I describe it as marketing operations is because the client communication channels is key to the company’s reputation, which is their number one way of marketing themselves – strong processes and communications. The company was already a user of Zoho CRM, so making sure that the marketing operations improvements worked with that platform was important.

 

The Project Requirements:

  • Collect 30+ forms and documents ranging from a simple contract to detailed personal financial information
  • Get digital signatures on some of the documents
  • Make it easy to collect the documents
  • Make it easy to submit the documents
  • Create email...
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Customer Experience Branding

Can you deliver on your brand promise for customer experience? 

Your Brand + Your Customers = Customer Experience Branding

Building strong relationships with others is a foundation of humanity. We have friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors who we devote time, energy and effort towards. Developing those individual relationships is of high importance. There is a disconnect in business where we sometimes forget that customers are people who we should be building relationships with too.  Who are your customers in relation to your business’ brand?

 

When you open a business and begin serving people, you immediately have a brand – whether you know it or not. A brand is your reputation tied to the things you stand for in the community, and how you want the business to be viewed. This is how customer expectations are set for the interactions they have with your business. The quality and value delivered by your business is evaluated based on those...

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How Professional Development Training Can Benefit Your Small Business

strategy training Jul 03, 2018

Why Would You Invest in Professional Development Training?

To attract and retain the best team of employees, professional development training must be more than a fringe benefit. Both salaried and hourly employees are seeking to work for the businesses who invest in their team. It is a prerequisite for attracting those top-performers.

 

Make employee training an ongoing process built into your business growth strategy. As new employees become acclimated to working in your company, they continue developing their skills and grow into larger roles. There are many reasons to provide professional development opportunities to employees that directly benefit your medium or small business.

If You Want the Best Employees, Provide Professional Development 

Expectations of entry-level employees have increased significantly over the past 10-15 years. Employers large and small have published job postings for entry-level positions, but requiring candidates to have 2-3 years...

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Are You Scared to Evaluate Your Business?

strategy Jun 01, 2018

Written by Randi Zimmermann

Whether in business, relationships, school assignments, or almost any situation you can think of, you can get too close to a situation and the path forward becomes dubious. Everyone experiences this barrier. You don’t have to be scared of evaluating your business. 

 

Your Relationship with Your Business

For some reason, making decisions gets harder the closer we get to the subject matter. It becomes more difficult to see things impartially and with good judgement. Evaluating your business from an outsider’s perspective is probably one of the hardest things for a business owner to do, but it is a requirement for finding success.

We’ve all been there before – a close friend is in a terrible situation with their significant other and you just want to shake them! We ask, “why can’t you see that this isn’t going to work?” Nonetheless, you are forced to sit back and let them make their own mistakes....

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Analyze and Adjust Your Social Media Campaigns

When you are promoting your business, social media campaigns are important to your brand awareness. Get guidance about how to write and schedule your Social Media Campaigns.  Once you feel confident about your plan, the final step in the process is to review and analyze what’s happened. Time to analyze and adjust.  The steps towards a successful social media campaign:

1. Research Your Social Content
Whether you are new to social media marketing or have existing channels, set aside time to research competitors content as well as your own. You need to take a step back to move forward.

2. Writing and Planning Your Social Content
Social media is not about throwing content out into the world and hoping that someone will read it. You are creating content that expresses your story, your business, and the value you bring to others in a focused way – under the umbrella of a campaign.

3. Process and Scheduling Your Social Content
This is the step when you decide...

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