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How to maintain proper customer retention

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Maintaining proper customer retention is one of the biggest challenges facing many companies. The Business Report states that "On average, U.S. corporations lose half their customers in five years, half their employees in four, and half their investors in less than one." So how do you retain your clients? Easy answer, by being loyal. How do you do that? Time, patience and money. It is far easier to please your existing customers then to search for new ones.

To gain clients, you need to market and if you don't retain those clients, why bother marketing? Keeping your customers happy is very challenging. Start by learning about your customers.

Try some of these tips the next time you go out to a business event:

1. Meeting people and making introductions

a. 10 second description of who you are and what you do.

2. Dress to Impress
a. People judge you the second they see you. Make sure the clothing you wear reflect the image of the company.

3. The Business Card
a. After an introduction to a new client and discussing what you can achieve together, leave behind a business card.
b. Business Cards a great tools, it's a visual reminder of you.

4. Make A Relationship
a. Take a few moments and talk to your prospective client. Too many people try to hit up a sale and it leaves the client feeling like a piece of meat. Ask non-intrusive questions and get to know them.
b. Write down the answers later that evening so when you have a follow-up phone call or e-mail, you can re-kindle who you are.

Knowing your customers and their behaviors will pay off. You can predict future behavior if you know who your clients is and what they like. Reward your active customers. Happy customers like to "win". If send out a flyer for a 20% discount, it makes your active customers feel they are in control because they are smart about the decisions they make. Your business on the other hand will profit since promotions encourage active behavior.

If you want your customers to do something for you, you have to do something for them. Many stores have set up customer appreciation cards or discount cards for frequent shoppers. Studies have shown that if your promotion makes your customer feel good, they are more likely to use the card or follow through with the promotion.

Keep an active relationship with your customers. You will gain customer retention by sending them a newsletter or birthday card, anything that shows you care about them and want them to come back. If you don't keep your customers active with you, they will slip away and no longer be customers.

Knowing what your customers think is another important aspect of business marketing. Many companies offer surveys. The Olive Garden is a prime example; they select a few customers and tell them the manager would like to talk to them. The manager makes the customer feel important since they were "singled out" in the entire restaurant. The customer is given a receipt with a phone number to take a survey, at the end of the survey; they get a certain amount off their next meal. Great plan, you give them money so they can come back to you and spend it at your company!

Develop a strategy to retain your customers and make your business profitable. This sounds easier said than done, but with a little effort on your part, it can go a long way. Deliver the right message to your customer with the right promotion that will return excellent sales for your company.

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Posted by DF
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