Customer Retention for Small Businesses

Customers; without them, your business is nothing. But don’t let that deter you from working on your customer retention. Whether you’re just starting a business or have been running a company for several years, you should understand that it is your customers who keep you in business.

Getting your service or product into the hands of the right customer can (and will) make all the difference. When running your business, you should always keep in mind that your most vital asset is your customer. And getting to know each customer will help your business grow.

Customer Retention for Small Businesses means always making your customers happy

Why is Customer Retention Important?

Retention: When someone becomes a customer, your company turns its focus to satisfy them so they want to return and also refer your company to their family and friends.

We’re not saying that finding new customers isn’t important. What we are saying is this: how do you plan on keeping those new customers around? So, in this regard, customer retention should be your primary focus.

Customer retention is the unsung hero of the successful business. Its flashier sister, customer acquisition, usually steals the spotlight, but retention is what ultimately builds the foundation of a company that is positioned for growth. After all, it’s much easier to fill a bucket than a sieve.

Keeping your customers happy should be your primary goal. And, by doing this, your customers will keep coming back. Not only do they keep coming back, but they will also start recommending your products and services to their family and friends. If you remember to always take care of your customers, they will be your most powerful resource. So, don’t just focus on getting new customers but also focus on retaining the customers you already have. 

Building Customer Relationships

The key to any good relationship is communication. Keeping open lines between yourself, your employees and your customers is crucial to your success. Without this communication, those customer relationships that keep you in business will fall short of where you need them. And remember that without your customers, you will go nowhere.

You must meet the standards that the customer expects from you. This could mean products or services rendered. Make sure that everything your business does is for the customer. Not only will this help with the retention of current customers, but this can also bring in others that your clientele tells about your wonderful company.

Four Ways to Make Customer Retention Work

Because customers are the key to keeping your business running, you need to understand how to find and keep them around. Here are six proven ways to find and retain your customers.

Know Your Business

Sometimes the simplest thing is the answer. And this starts with knowing what your business is and why it is essential to your customers. Examples of this are clothing stores (people need clothes) or restaurants (people need to eat). While these may seem simple and not close to your business, they can start you on the right path.

No matter the product or service you offer, you started your company knowing that it would fill consumer needs. Don’t forget what these needs are. They will also help define who your clientele is. Once you know these things about your company, you can grow your customer base and focus on customer retention.

Now is also the time to reflect on your pricing and quality. Make sure that what you are offering, whether it is product or services, is of good value for the cost. Don’t overcharge or undersell your business. High-quality products mean a higher price, so make sure you value your business as it should be.

Visibility Is Key

From using social media platforms to creating an inviting storefront, you need to make sure that customers can find you. Social media is a great word-of-mouth system to get the ball rolling. Once you have customers purchasing or requesting your services, you can make bigger plans for getting seen.

custom signs for any business from name tag, inc.

PRO TIP: Use custom business signs around your office or store to display hours of operation. You can also customize these signs to help customers understand and know your policies and procedures. Choose colors that are complementary to your business so that everyone will see them.

Stay Happy

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is essential.

Building your customer relationships is what customer retention is all about. Help them to understand you so that you can understand them. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

But don’t forget about your employees. If the workers in your company are happy, your customers will start to reflect that. And happy people spend more money.

It’s All About the Buzz

custom top ribbons for business cards may help with customer retention

Think custom ribbons for fancy business cards that will attract new customers. Use professional desk wedges on office desks that show the retained customer how much you care. Even the little details like matching name tags for staff will show your customers how put-together and organized your business is. These details will help create a little buzz about your dependability that will grow over time.

At the end of the day, what really matters isn’t how much a customer pays you today, but what their entire lifetime value is.

Never use a one-size-fits-all approach in your marketing plans. Remember that customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. To do this, you need to listen to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. By doing this, you guarantee that they will keep doing business with your company.

Adapting to Change in Business

Change is something every business is always dealing with. It is an inevitable process that every company must go through. This means that adapting to change and flexibility in business is an absolute must. These two things are essential for every business owner to grasp and understand how they work and why they are important.

Adaptability can be defined as creating modifications or changes in oneself to adapt or suit the new environment. For a work environment culture, it connotes being opened to new ideas, innovations, or alterations. Someone with this skill can work independently or in groups, or perform tasks not designed only for a single individual.

Workplace flexibility emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change, particularly regarding how and when work gets done. In a flexible workplace, the needs of both employee and employer are met. Workplace flexibility is often used as a tool for retaining and engaging employees. It can also help an organization reach its goals thanks to improved productivity.

In essence, adaptability is about being willing to modify your behavior and actions to meet your business’s future needs. This includes being flexible in your business dealings with your employees and your customers. Find ways to help your business feel more grounded while understanding the impact of each decision you make will affect your business in the long term.

A business is nothing without its customers.

Making sure that your business knows your customer’s needs is key to your survival. Remember that without your customers, you don’t have a business. So, you need to make sure that everything your business does is to find and retain its customers. That includes making adapting to change where and when necessary.

Every transaction your customer has with you is actually an entire journey, and at every step of this journey there is an opportunity to either delight your customer or have your customer suffer a pain point.

Consumers don’t just buy your product or service. They are only with your business because they trust how you make them feel and how you provide solutions to their problems. Yes, this means that customer needs are typically emotional, not logical. The more you know about each of your customers, the better you will be at communicating with them and meeting their needs. Here are some ways you can do this.

Using Signage

Custom signs from Name Tag, Inc.

Any business will significantly benefit from using signage around their office or store. From simple directional signs to more informative signs containing store hours or company policies, engraved signs and plaques are definitely beneficial to have around. Use these identifiers around your business to make everything easier while you are adapting to change and flexibility.

By hanging these signs around your business, you establish ground rules for both employees and customers. These signs also help with communicating openness with your clientele. All conversations start better when people are comfortable. And using signage provides customers and employees the opportunity to be transparent with each other.

Approachability with Name Tags

For the majority of retailers, name tags are a business necessity. And, because name tags are permission slips inviting conversation, they encourage engagement. This is due to their primary function being to personalize and humanize each person. Especially for a business whose focus is customer service and face-to-face interaction.

Plastic, engraved logo name tags will help when adapting to change

While it may seem like a small thing, a simple way to avoid your customers feeling this way is to provide name tags for your employees. These tags can immediately remove any barriers or concerns a customer may have. They allow customers to ask questions and express these concerns to those who care.

In turn, this establishes trust and keeps people coming back to your store. So, no matter your location or business, name tags are here to help. From security to branding, retail establishments have almost become synonymous with name tag use.

Marketing with Ribbons

Personalized ribbon rolls with corporate logos will help when adapting to change

From window displays to goody bags for new customers, personalized ribbons are sure to make your customers trust you. Brand each ribbon roll with your company logo and wrap it around nearly anything (including display pieces). Badge ribbons are a great asset to your name tags as they help further identify and distinguish your employees in the workplace.

All other custom ribbons are also here to help your business succeed. No matter your choice, make sure your color, imprint and logo are consistent with your established brand. “Most businesses understand that branding and marketing go hand-in-hand. However, there are some things to consider. Even large companies use custom ribbon marketing. Promoting your brand with personalized ribbons is almost a must in the world today. From wrapping a purchase at a large department store to sending out event invitations, every business can, and should, benefit from using ribbon branding.”

Building Customer Relationships

The key to any good relationship is communication. Keeping open lines between yourself, your employees and your customers is crucial to your success. Without this communication, those customer relationships that keep you in business will fall short of where you need them. And remember that without your customers, you will go nowhere.

Connecting and engaging with customers is important on different levels. First, you must meet the standards that the customer expects from you. This could mean products or services rendered. Make sure that everything your business does is for the customer. Not only will this help with the retention of current customers, but this can also bring in others that your clientele tells about your wonderful company.

Second, engage the customers on their level. If they expect one thing and you always go above and beyond those expectations, they are sure to keep coming back. Third, never stop trying. Whether this means up-selling to specific customers or reaching out after every purchase made, make sure your customers know how much you appreciate their business.

Don’t Forget Your Employees

Simply put, the happier your employees are, the harder they will work. And, the more they work, the better the customer service they will provide. So, as a business owner, you must make sure that your employees remain happy. This, in turn, will make it so that your employees take pride in their jobs and continue working for you. When customers see that you can retain happy employees, they will continue their patronage to your business.

Studies have proven that employees often perform better at the jobs when they feel appreciated. Give each employee a personalized ‘thank you’ every now and then, and introduce an employee of the month program, if you don’t have one already. If you can help your employees take pride in their jobs, their work performance will also improve.

When your employees are happy, they become more flexible in their jobs. They typically don’t say, “That’s not my job,” or, “Do I have to?” when you ask them to go above and beyond their duties. So, a happy employee is a busy one; and they are easier to work with. Help them be happy by recognizing their input and influence in your company. Take pride in their jobs, and in turn, they will also find pride in working for you.

Adapting to Change and Being Flexible

A flexible work environment has many benefits. It helps workers achieve greater work-life balance, leading to increased employee satisfaction and improved morale. That in turn means employee turnover is reduced, as is the cost to recruit and train new hires. Loyalty, engagement, and retention is improved, which helps a company’s productivity and its bottom line.

Remember that the key to any relationship is open communication. That means while you are working with your flexibility and adapting to change, you keep your lines with your employees and customers open. This way, they will always know your goals and that they can continue to trust in your business.

Harnessing the Power of Personalization

In order to harness the power of personalization, you must understand the relationship between a company and an individual.

Yes, many who read this are most likely representative of a corporation or business. And, yes, many will look at this information from a marketing standpoint. After all, personalization is a powerful marketing strategy that is easy to incorporate in daily business. But, the trick is to remember that the power of personalization applies to everyone in everyday life, especially the little guy.

Personalization should also be on a business level. This includes a company’s brand. Your logo communicates not only your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And, creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

By defining your brand upfront, you help establish your company as an industry leader and key influencer. So, making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top of your industry can be quite the process. Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It helps to develop a strong feeling of trust between those involved (consumers and colleagues) and plays a big part in raising the profile of a company.

First, let’s look at the advantages of personalized marketing.

Marketing is a business promoting and selling their products or services. This promotion also includes market research and advertising. And, what better way to advertise than with personalization. Whether that’s your branding or remembering the little guy, you need to focus on what best suits your company goals and your customer’s needs and happiness.

standing out in a crowd and remembering the power of personalization

Remembering that little guy is often a struggle inside a business model. But, it is one of the most essential tasks any CEO or higher-up can accomplish. After all, it’s those little guys who make your business grow from day to day. So, marketing to them is necessary to stay afloat in today’s business world.

Your key to keeping clients and customers happy is simple, yet powerful: PERSONALIZATION. With the rise of the digital world and all the technologies that come with it, your marketing must evolve to match. And, the best way to grow is to harness the power of personalization. Find and understand your customers’ individual needs and desires. Once you harness that, personalization will start to flow naturally.

It’s all about knowing who your customer is.

There is a growing intolerance on the part of customers to have fragmented experiences when doing business. And, there is a price to pay for doing so. Research with the CMO Council found nearly half of North American and European consumers will abandon a brand and take their money elsewhere if they repeatedly encounter “a poor, impersonal or frustrating customer experience across channels of engagement.”

Personalization means all the difference in business goals and customer retention. Companies must modify all of their interactions individually to ensure a personalized customer experience. And, if done correctly, there is an undeniable power of personalization that becomes an incredible tool for marketers. Entrepreneur also says, “The first task of effective marketing is to get noticed and stand out from the clamor of competing advertisers.”

So, it is your duty as a business to get your customer’s attention and then keep it. Most companies thrive with this vantage point only because of the power of personalization. Whether it’s an emailed marketing message or a salesperson personally reaching out to a client, personalization is critical in all communications.

Remember this: people will always buy from people, not companies. And, most importantly, people who they trust. Sending handwritten notes or small, personalized gifts is a little extra touch that shows we pay attention to our customers. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s never just an advertising ploy. You really do have to get to know your clients to know about their special events, and that’s when personalized marketing becomes a genuine relationship.

Make it about your customer.

the power of personalization shown on two mugs with one featuring an individual's name

Let’s take into consideration what the effect of someone’s name imprinted on a gift or award does for them. Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” With that in mind, remember that someone will more frequently drink from a mug with their name on it than one with only a logo or brand. By adding an individual’s name to a gift (even if it also features a corporate logo), it adds personal value and meaning.

Personalization is a popular trend that enhances the customer experience. It starts with knowing the customer, or maybe a better way to say it is remembering the customer. Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns. The power of personalization improves visitor engagement and the customer experience, which leads to more sales.

Making a connection is important at the customer level. Each consumer will see personalization as your way of including them in an essential business circle. Personalization essentially means interacting with your customers and meeting their needs. And, when you use the power of personalization to include everyone in this process, any business will flourish.

Identifying and meeting your customers’ needs.

When handled well, personalization will always strengthen a customer’s experience and, in turn, increase your sales. From offering related products in an online shopping experience to remembering a customer’s name, personalization comes in all forms. So, show your customers that you know and understand their needs and that you have their values in mind when doing business.

From name tags for employees to something a bit more personalized (like a mug) for your customer, everything with a name on it is essential for any business. And don’t forget that this personalization drives instincts, urges and repeat purchases. The more you know about your clientele, the better you can mold their experience.

So, sound off with your customers in mind. After all, meeting your customer’s needs adequately and proficiently is what personalization is all about. Add their names to your products, or simply use their names while doing business with them. Open your doors with a greeting saying, “Welcome, David!” Or, try engaging your online customers with email blasts that are tailored specifically to them. But always start by acknowledging the recipient by name!

The Power of Personalization

an oval name tag showing the power of personalization

Consider this: would you want to hear your name as you walk into your business or a simple, “Hey, you?” The answer is that everyone wants to hear or see their name. Admit it, we all walk into that souvenir shop while we are on vacation and spot the carousel display with the keyrings. We instinctively walk over and peruse the names. And, when we find our name, we’re excited! It doesn’t mean we’re going to purchase the keyring or other souvenirs, but we love to see our name emblazoned on something.

So, how do you think your customers feel when you use their name? Today, personalization is more important than ever as consumers have access to content from a plethora of channels. Among this overload of information, personalized content manages to attract consumers’ interest. While all other information hits them in the face and still gets ignored, personalized content talks directly to them.

Don’t ever think that the power of personalization lies in your marketing schemes. It is not, after all is said and done, about you, the business owner. It is always about your customer and their needs. Now, that isn’t to say that your brand isn’t important; it is. But, remember that little guy? He’s what is keeping your business alive. See him, acknowledge him and most importantly let him know he is wanted.

But, remember that personalization goes both ways. Treat your employees the same way you would treat your customers. Make them feel just as special with using their name in meetings, during conferences or simply in daily greetings. Your personalization of your employees will translate into business models and deals and thus reflects onto you as an owner. And that’s the best kind of advertisement. See, there is power in personalization!

Lastly, consider the effects personalization has on people.

There are always challenges associated with personalization because there is no magic formula that will make it right. At best, there are educated guesses about what your consumers want. If consumers feel a brand is being too pushy, they are more likely to unfollow it. Always try to keep yourself in the shoes of the customers and try to think from their perspective. Personalization helps consumers discover new things and often leads to unplanned purchases. When executed correctly, personalization can have a great impact on your bottom line.

You can’t deny that the customer knows in the end that it is all about them. So, play to that knowledge. Whether it’s your employees wearing name tags and promoting your brand, or a personalized gift wrapped in special ribbons, remembering your clientele individually is the name of the game. At the end of the day, that little guy is the most important person in the room.

So, keep them entertained with your business. Let them know how much they matter. And, it’s simple: just use their names! The power of personalization is truly all about the customer helping you stay in business.

The Learning Center: A Better Way to Blog

The Learning Center is full of articles about learning how to host the best event ever, networking with colleagues and so much more.

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Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

Whether you’re planning the best conference anyone will ever attend or hosting a simple dinner party, The Learning Center is here to make sure you are using these tools in the best possible ways. Search content by categories like meetings and conferences, or hop from one subject to another at your leisure. Each informative article is there to help you succeed. As you delve into these different aspects of building your corporate identity, you will see positive changes in your business outcomes, company culture and marketing strategies.

From Meeting Planning to Event Hosting, This is the Place to Find Ideas

Spice up your creativity and find innovative ways to use personal identification. From ribbons at a meeting to name plates for directions at a conference, don’t limit yourself when using these fantastic tools. Improve everyone’s impression with name tags and award plaques. Come find out how to use these personalized tools to help your event be everything it should be. So, if you like personal identification as much as we do, take a look around, we guarantee you will find something useful.

It is so much more than personal identification!

Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

No matter what industry you work in or the size of your company, The Learning Center (by Coller Industries Incorporated) was created for you. We have articles on a wide variety of topics from planning the perfect event to networking to build strong relationships. Most importantly, by putting thought and purpose into everything you do, and using the ideas in this blog, it will teach you how to achieve your company goals. It will also show you how to utilize the tools that you already have to improve your business practice.

Coller Industries Incorporated broadens the blogosphere with a new long-form content platform and renames two product and idea based blogs.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personal identification blog Influencing Identity

Influencing Identity is here to help you figure out how to use name tags and identification products. From name tags for your business to badge holders for your next conference, we have it all. Find out how to use all your identification products at work, while networking and at any event you are planning. Use our how-to articles to get your ideas flowing for working with all of your personal identification.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personalized ribbons blog Ribbon Impressions

Ribbon Impressions provides information about everything from ribbon roll ideas for your wedding to badge ribbons for a conference. And don’t forget about rosette ribbons for your award needs, such as fair or festival prizes. Find all your ribbon needs in one place and learn how to best use them at events and for your corporate gifting. Discover inspiration for using personalized ribbons and find useful how-to articles.