5 Customer Retention Strategies Local Businesses Can Start Right Now

By Raubi Perilli

      Mar 3, 2021     Solutions    

A local business scores a victory each time a new customer walks through their doors. It is proof that their marketing is working and word is spreading about their brand.  

But that win will be short-lived if the customer comes in once and never returns. Local businesses with no customer retention strategies won’t be able to survive on single visits from individual customers. They need to cultivate a plan that brings in customers -- and keeps them coming back.

Let’s look at why customer retention is so important and outline a few strategies that any local business can start right now.

Why Every Business Needs To Focus on Customer Retention

Getting a new customer requires both time and money. You must invest in customer acquisition strategies and then wait for them to work.  

Attracting these new customers is the heavy lifting when it comes to increasing driving sales. The easier, cheaper, and more lucrative work is getting those customers to come back. Customer retention is where you can increase revenue with less work and expense. 

Consider these remarketing statistics:  

  • It can cost five times more to get a new customer to visit your business than to get an existing customer to come back.
  • The probability of selling to a new customer is just 5% to 20% compared to the probability of selling to an existing customer which is 60% to 70%.
  • Existing customers may spend up to 67% more than new customers.

If you want your business to be successful, you need to start by attracting new customers -- and then you need to use customer retention strategies to bring them back.  

You can’t put all of your efforts into bringing in new customers or else you will spend more and make less money. You must reduce customer churn and increase customer frequency. 

Here are a few ways to do it.  

5 Customer Retention Strategies to Start Right Now

If you run a local business, increase your customer retention by using these five strategies.

#1) Build a customer database.

You will be far more likely to get existing customers to return to your local business if you know who they are. The only way to know who they are is to start a customer database that collects their name, phone number, email address, and purchase history.

If you don't already have one, utilize a customer data platform that allows you to create profiles for everyone who does business with you. Use it to track their habits and interactions with your store so you can learn about your audience, segment customer lists, and design more effective marketing campaigns (more on that coming up in this post). 

Related: Why It's Important to Own Your Business Data and How to Start Collecting It

#2) Launch an initiative to collect customer data.

A customer data platform is only useful if it is filled with information. If customers aren’t signing up for or being added to your system, it will be difficult to use it for your customer retention strategies.

Launch initiatives to collect customer data. Make it a part of your internal process and give incentives for customers to join.  

  • Create a loyalty program that rewards customers who visit frequently.
  • Prompt customers to provide a phone number or email address when they make a purchase.
  • Train your team to ask customers if they want to join when they check out.
  • Offer incentives for joining such as exclusive access to promotions or content.
  • Hold contests to encourage customers to sign up.

Related: 7 Simple Ways to Collect Customer Contact Information

#3) Send personalized promotions.

Once you have data about your customers, you can use what you know about them to get them to visit your business again. Use marketing automation to trigger promotions based on customer habits and behaviors, and send promotions to customers via email or text marketing.  

  • Make your customer feel special by using their name or referencing their location in your messaging.
  • Send customers promotions that relate to past purchases, such as a coupon for something they have recently purchased or a promotion for a complementary product or service.
  • Share coupons or offers to customers who haven't visited in a few weeks.

#4) Run paid remarketing ad campaigns.

In addition to sharing promotions with customers via email and text marketing, you can also target them with paid ads on a variety of platforms. Continuously putting your brand in front of engaged customers can increase the likelihood that customers will return to your business.

Don’t restrict your marketing to email and text. Utilized paid digital advertising campaigns to also target past customers.  

  • Upload your customer database to social media sites to create ad campaigns that specifically target those audiences.
  • Utilize retargeting ads to target customers who have visited your website. Make your ads more specific by relating the messaging to the specific product pages the audience viewed.

#5) Consider customer feedback.

To make your customer retention strategies work, you must ensure one thing -- that your customers are happy with your offerings and service.

No amount of savvy marketing skills can bring back customers if they have a bad experience with your brand. Make sure that satisfaction stays high by:  

  • Regularly soliciting feedback from your customers.
  • Reading the comments on review sites.
  • Making changes and notifying customers of changes you make based on the feedback you’ve received.

Get Help with Launching Customer Retention Strategies

Too many businesses get fixated on customer acquisition and overlook the opportunities and potential that lie in their existing customer base. Don’t make this mistake.  

Focus on launching customer retention strategies that allow you to increase customer lifetime value, spend less on marketing initiatives, and make more on your return.  

Are you ready to start right now?  

Sign up to create a free account on mySuite by MyArea Network. The free platform includes access to marketing tools that help you launch customer retention strategies like the ones mentioned in this post.

Create your free account and use mySuite tools to drive existing customers back to your business again and again.