If your retention marketing game isn’t up to scratch, you’re going to face a difficult year. Customers are all about loyalty in 2016, so unless you’re working on a time machine, you should get up to speed.

20 percent of customers are lost annually because businesses fail to tend the relationship. In some industries, this figure is as high as 80 percent. With this amount of customers at stake, can youretention marketing afford to have a bad retention strategy?

Unfortunately, many businesses are closed due to their lack of attention on returning customers. Here are six ways you’re on the fast track to becoming one of them.

You’re a New Business

The thing is, new businesses aren’t supposed to be good at retention marketing. Considering that retention marketing is defined as “the focus on growing a loyal customer base from returning customers” this isn’t surprising. When you’ve begun a new business, you won’t have any returning customers yet – unless your first week goes incredibly well.

Even if you have just begun, your focus should be on returning customers. Research shows that a 5 percent increase in customer retention can generate up to 125 percent in profits. It is the returning customers who will keep your business open in its first year, so target them before they walk through the door.

Customer Service

If your customer service isn’t up to scratch you can’t expect customers to return. If there has been a bad experience then you need to act quickly to rectify it and apologise profusely (no matter what your pride tells you).

Instead of avoiding the problem and passing the buck you should work on making sure it never happens again. Rather than losing customers to bad customer service you must go above and beyond for every customer – and make sure employees are doing the same.

You Aren’t On Social Media

Customers expect every business to be online. No matter how big or small, if you aren’t social media savvy you simply don’t exist. A lack of online presence won’t just make you invisible to new customers, it can put off returning ones.

If they enjoyed your product and want to send a tweet out recommending you, who are they going to tag?! Avoid such tragedies by signing yourself up to social media sites and interacting regularly.

You Don’t Have an Online Shop

If you’re not on social media, it’s likely that you don’t have an online shop either. If you don’t – what are you doing! Online shops can generate so much money for small businesses; especially in the retail industry.

Customers who have visited your physical shop and would like to purchase again aren’t always going to stay in the same place. In 2015 online UK retail sales reached £52.25 billion, with only 10 percent of British shoppers saying they did their Christmas shopping in store. That adds up to a lot of customers who want to shop with you, but can’t!

Nothing is Personal

If you’re not focused on your retention marketing the chances are that you’re not working on your brand’s personal touch. Like with social media, customers want to feel that they can connect with a business on a personal level.

So if you’re not working on your personality, these customers probably aren’t feeling the love. Personalised emails are a great way to start building a relationship with your customers, and injecting a bit of humour will make up for lost time.

You Don’t Reward Customers

If you’re not saying thanks to the customer who have been returning, why would they bother returning again? Loyalty cards, discounts and freebies are all given for this purpose. You shouldn’t be ignoring the people who have made your business successful.

Recognising that you have your customers to thank for a great week/month/year will work in your favour both by bringing them back and by letting other people know what you’re doing. Just see Hyatt Concierge’s response to a customer who was just sending some love.

Do you need to make changes to your retention marketing strategy? Or is it your acquisition marketing that’s struggling? Leave your comments in the section below!

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