Many businesses are focused on finding new customers, and as a business owner you’re right to be excited about the process of onboarding new clients. While new customers are an essential part of growing a business, when it comes to ROI (return on investment) it’s important to note that it’s up to five times more expensive to reach a new customer than to retain an existing one.
The appeal of new customers should never detract from building a relationship with the customers you already have. Boosting customer lifetime value (CLV, sometimes referred to as CLTV) is one of the most cost-effective ways of growing your business. Let’s take a look at six effective strategies for growing your CLV.
Building loyal customers who’ll keep returning to your product starts in the onboarding phase. When you’re onboarding your customers, you’re educating them about the value that your products and services provide, as well as ways to get the most out of your products.
Optimizing this process is essential as it ultimately leads to customers having a better relationship with your goods and services. Investing time during the onboarding process to effectively communicate with your customers pays dividends. Offering multiple guides for using your products - tutorials, videos and walk-throughs - will ensure that everyone’s learning mechanisms are catered for.
For many businesses, it’s counterintuitive to allow customer returns, after all, you’re handing money back to your customers. But when you think about customer lifetime value, the impact of one transaction needs to be measured overall. “Building a generous returns and refund policy might cost you money in the short-term, but by developing positive, trusting relationships with your clients you’ll incentivize return custom,” says Charles Mitchell, a tech writer at OXEssays and Ukservicesreviews. “This means customer lifetime value will be strengthened.”
Negative experiences with customer services are a sure-fire way to drive away your hard-won customers. Customer service provides you with an opportunity to interact directly with your customers - creating an enriching experience in this environment builds loyalty and secures long-term custom.
Find out what your competitors offer in terms of customer support and outstrip it. Offering 24/7 helplines, especially in the service sector, means your customers can reach out no matter when they encounter a problem. Ensure that your customer service personnel are knowledgeable and well-trained so that they can offer the best service every time.
Rewarding customer loyalty is one of the most straightforward ways of boosting CLV. By incentivizing customers to keep using your products and services, you’ll ensure they stay with your business. A loyalty program offering additional value to your customers can reward repeated custom, as well as referrals, meaning you’ll be reaching new customers whilst gaining revenue from your current customers.
Loyalty programs can take many forms, from long-term customer discounts to instant offers. For example, thanking a customer for making an initial purchase with a voucher to use next time can encourage them to transition from a one-time buyer to a loyal customer.
Personalizing the customer experience fills every customer transaction with meaning. “These interactions, no matter how small, are all part of building a relationship with your customers on a deeper level,” says Whitney Penrod, a content expert at Revieweal and Assignment Help. “By creating these personal ties, a transaction goes from a simple economic encounter to something deeper and more meaningful.”
Add a personal touch to marketing emails by starting off on a first name basis rather than using generic introductions such as “Dear Customer”. You can also use customer data about past behavior, such as purchases and views, to tailor information and communications, for example offering bespoke guides to the products they have purchased.
Lastly, if you’re serious about turning one-time buyers into loyal customers, it’s essential that you encourage feedback from your customers and action that feedback. Incentivize customers to leave reviews through email campaigns and follow-ups and ensure that you pay attention to social media where even casual users might be leaving reviews.
Professional tools such as SurveyMonkey can help you build forms for accumulating feedback, providing you with new ways of improving your customer service on every level.
Once you’ve gained a customer you should cherish that relationship and use every small interaction, from refunds to customer service, to build loyalty and trust. Boosting your customer lifetime value is a long-term strategy for success in a competitive world.
Image credit: Christiann Koepke
See how the best ecommerce stores are using Apteo to grow their business