Using Social Media to Boost Customer Retention
Most business owners are keenly aware that it is far less expensive to retain current clients than to acquire new. And yet, the unique customer retention possibilities offered through social media are largely underutilized.
Why Social Media?
It is no longer enough to simply have a website, post occasionally to a Facebook page or have an 800 number to retain the loyalty of your customers. According to a study conducted by Exact Target, 83% of those surveyed said they liked—or even loved—when a company responded to them on social media. Why does that matter? Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand. Conversely, 82% of US consumers stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service, according to Customers That Stick. Social media platforms offer your business immediate communication with your clients, personal brand experience, transparent communication, brand visibility and easy follow-up.
How Do I Get Started?
- Customers don’t just appreciate real time feedback, they expect it. Successful companies are using social media to answer customers’ questions, comments and even address complaints. The public nature of the conversations lends to greater transparency and therefore, increased trust and loyalty when handled quickly and appropriately.
- Keep clients engaged with your business by featuring their posts about your service/product, to show you are listening. Offer recognition to your clients, as well, by sharing their posts, praising their accomplishments and achievements on your page and thanking them for their business regularly. Another great tool to encourage client engagement is to employ contests. Offer free or discounted products and/or services to social media users that like, share or comment on your page. Tip: Be sure to have a consistent username across all social media platforms so that your business is easy to find.
- Increase loyalty and build trust by establishing your business as a valued informational source for your clients. Share articles that help them be more effective and efficient, solve problems and other interesting topics. The key here is to know your customer base and their interests, so that you can keep the information relevant. Loyal customers buy more, buy more often and without considering alternatives.
- Offer incentives for customers to purchase upgrades, additional offerings or to use your services more often. However, be sure to balance value and content by not overwhelming your customers with offers. Keep online followers up to date by offering sneak-peeks on upcoming changes or new products and services.
- Customers also appreciate opportunities to be educated on how to use your service/product. Offer quick tips and tricks to prevent frustration or confusion, and quick and friendly support when needed. Be sure to respond to every request.
Social media users are exactly that, social. They have many followers and post regularly, which can uniquely position your company to be seen by a large population of online users. Your goal is create a community of satisfied customers that want to share their experience with their circle of influence. Employing these tips will help to foster conversation and create buzz to highlight your business and create loyal customers.