Many businesses are tempted to focus on earning new, preferably bigger global clients that will bring more profit, but the most successful brands know the value of keeping your existing customers loyal. Mastering the art of customer retention is no easy feat, especially considering the competitive international market climate that makes it close to impossible for your voice to stand out in all the noise.
However, there will always be various creative ways to instill greater trust in your customers and inspire them to stay true to your brand no matter the number of competitors that arises. The following are some of the tried and tested methods used by the best in the game which you can incorporate into your own strategy.
Make it personal
If there’s a single thing that keeps customers coming back to a business, it’s the level of personal engagement they feel when they interact with you and other brand representatives. Be it your customers support team, your e-mail marketers, or your social media gurus, if they manage to come across as genuinely devoted and interested, then chances are your customers will relate and engage, no matter where they are.
This is where the little things matter, just like in any long-term relationship. Think of it as a long-distance marriage and celebrate it with small gestures such as little personalized thank you notes, birthday cards, a free massage, dinner, or a cupcake box (or whatever it is you sell) for their anniversary of loyalty to your brand. Make every email and phone call count by using their name and inviting them to the events int their vicinity that matter. They will take notice, and it’s going to pay off.
Encourage & action feedback
User-generated content is nowadays considered one of the most effective ways to keep your audience truly involved with your brand. In fact, if you encourage feedback whenever a customer interacts or uses your service/product, they will feel appreciated for their input and their feedback will be invaluable for your brand.
Moreover, they’ll become the creators of your brand side by side with you and your employees. This level of empowerment lets them know that their words can reshape your brand, as they truly can. Negative feedback should be considered as a way to improve your offers, while positive feedback should be a driving force for achieving even more in the future.
Get it right
While it may be clear that you have built a product or a service that aims to serve a particular purpose or fill a market gap, if you market your product or service incorrectly it could fail miserably. Brands need to know their customer, their needs and how best to communicate effectively across all channels, whether this is in-store, offline or online. Today’s educated consumer’s care about what a brand stands for and what a product/service will do for them so make sure that you’re authentic and don’t ride on the coat tail of social movement.
Secondly don’t get lost in translation when taking your products/services into new markets. Many great brands have failed when marketing to an international audience and have fallen into the translation trap. While digital borders are disappearing, cultural and language barriers still stand so rely on transcreation specialist to help you translate ideas as well as your slogans, company name and creative.
Learn through their behavior
That old saying that the customer is always right is applicable at least in this aspect of your business – there is no point in persisting with a particular behavior if they simply do not respond to it. If millennials don’t like Facebook ads, and they are your target audience, this should be a useful hint for your next global strategy meeting.
Keeping an eye on where they are, where they linger the most on your website, what type of posts they respond to and engage with, which promotional material is the most attractive, and what types of language they use are all useful details that can reshape your approach. Listen and learn!
Freebies still matter
In addition to content of value, which is still free of charge, your existing international customers could use an occasional boost of encouragement to get excited about your brand. Remind them why you should still be their favorite shoe seller or their go-to fitness gear expert– offer them time-bound promotions that will give them an extra nudge to use the limited discount or coupon.
This is especially important for brands who know that their customers already use a variety of other vendors. For example, jewelry and clothing brands constantly strive to earn more return customers on a global scale because their buyers are bound to buy from other brands as well, so they need to stay visible and remind them of their presence. Coupons, gift cards, invitations to leave a review, contests, and freebies of all sorts are still extremely powerful as a way to appeal to your current customer.
There will always be bigger fish to fry in a manner of speaking, but the way you treat the first and the oldest among your loyal customers from all corners of the globe will be the reflection of your brand in the eyes of those larger clients you’ll be after. Remember the marriage metaphor: always look for new ways to woo your current partners, and they’ll stay by your side for good.