If a customer buys something just once, they can actually lose you money. The cost of acquiring that individual customer can be hard to quantify at times. It isn’t just the cost of the ad that the customer clicked on. It’s also the cost of the advertisement strategy that first introduced that customer to your brand. It’s the cost of the influencer that recommended your product. It’s the cost of maintaining your website and social media channels. 

There are a lot of costs that go into introducing and enticing new customers. If that customer goes back to you again and again, however, then the cost is worth it. They have become profitable, and their value may even go beyond anything you can actually quantify. 

While having referral codes can help you quantify a repeat customer’s value further, there is nothing actually stopping them from just recommending a product to a friend or family without being interested in your referral program. In some cases, you may not even be legally allowed to encourage referrals through codes or deals. 

Regardless of your situation, your business’ goal needs to be the increase of repeat customers. Of course, it isn’t just the number of people who buy from you more than once you need to think about. There are ways to increase the customer lifetime value from day one as well. 

How do you build up such a customer base? You add value. Only when you add value can you work to increase customer retention and spending. All of the tips in this guide will apply to OOH and in-store marketing and are most effective when used in a digital environment. 

Where to Get Started? 

When looking to get started with improving customer retention, these four steps will help you the most. 

1. Your Business Model 

Your business model itself is the biggest marketing move that you can make. Improve the business model, the products or product range you offer, and more importantly, the services you offer, and you can attract customers. Doing something just a little bit different either improves convenience, or community, for your customer, and you can differentiate yourself from the competition. 

2. The Value You Can Add 

Value doesn’t just come in the product range you offer. Services, customer service, personalization, and content are also excellent ways that you can add value, especially in a digital environment. 

For example, you can allow customers access to their own portal on your website. This way, they can set up subscriptions, or access special sales, or even track purchases or orders on their own schedule. 

This is just one example of adding an extra service alongside personalization. 

Blog content, guides, and online courses are also excellent ways to add value and don’t assume that just because you don’t have a creative business that you are exempt. Orthodontists can benefit just as well from these sorts of value-adding content as a boutique or gallery. 

3. Improve Customer Service

Customer service should be easy and natural to access online. People, even if they prefer to call, should never be made to wait or have to follow up. That online portal or account will come in handy here. This way, if your customer has a complaint, you can open up a request ticket, and they can track what you are doing to fix it. This isn’t necessary for easy fixes, of course, unless they make the complaint online. Rather it’s better for ongoing issues, for example, if there is a tech issue or a supply chain issue. 

4. Your Marketing 

The value that you add is great. It’s how you retain customers, but it isn’t particularly effective on its own. Awareness is a must. For every service you add, you need to market your efforts for every blog piece you write. The value you offer is your second-biggest selling point, and it deserves marketing just as much as your main products or services. 

Most small businesses will not have the time or money to pay for a dedicated marketing specialist. What you can often do, however, is outsource. Outsourcing will allow you to kickstart your efforts with great results. 

Who you outsource to matters. While regular businesses can often have their pick of agency, specialist or niche businesses will do better with a niche marketing agency. An orthodontist will be better served by an agency like Hip Creative. Hip Creative is a Dental Marketing Company from Pensacola, Fl, and is better situated to market and grow an orthodontic business than any other digital marketing agency. 

How to Increase Retention Periods 

The retention period is how long customers, on average, stay with your company when they are happy with you. This can be their entire lives, or it could be for just a few months. The period that you are looking at will differ depending on your business. Orthodontists may only see clients for the duration of their braces or retainer adjustment. Dentists may have a patient for life – especially if they also offer orthodontic services (and vice versa). 

Shorter retention periods are not necessarily bad, but you will get more out of your customer if you find ways to extend your relationship naturally. In the example previously, a dentist could offer orthodontic services, and similarly, an orthodontist can bring on dentists to offer ongoing oral health services. 

This sort of thinking works for many businesses – and you often don’t need to expand your business in the traditional way in order to do it, either. You could instead form a symbiotic relationship with another business. A clothing boutique could partner with a local seamstress to offer repair and upcycling services. 

Some clinics won’t feel the need to offer these additional services, and that is fine. The important thing is to do what works for your business and your individual goals. Suppose clients or customers only need you for a short period of time but consistently choose you whenever they need the services that you offer. In that case, that is a long relationship that will help your business substantially. 

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