It can be seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. This makes customer retention a smart practice.
Enter social media, a relatively low cost means of B2B and B2C communication requiring almost no physical assets.
Within its virtual framework, social media can reach and influence your customer base at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.
Social media is also a great way to retain customers and add to your bottom line.
Retain to build
Let’s reflect on the principles of customer retention. The science of the sale remains the same as it was in the pre-digital age. When customers have a positive experience, they are more likely to repurchase.
Social media is a new tool (albeit an important one) in your organisation’s overall strategy to maximise the value of every sale, over time. The principles of good sales management remain unchanged.
For example, it goes without saying that satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers. The reasons for levels of customer satisfaction can be varied:
- Dissatisfaction with your product or services
- Price sensitivity
- Lured away by competitor
- Don’t feel valued
- Lack of emotional commitment to your brand
Social media can assist with two important factors from the list, both of which deal with your customers’ emotional response to their dealings with your business.
Social media by virtue of its ready ability to create a sense of immediacy and interpersonal communication is the perfect tool for addressing these factors to help you retain customers.
Above all else social media provides an opportunity to have a dialogue, a conversation with your customers. And as sales people will tell you, regular customer contact is paramount in customer satisfaction and retention.
First off, by engaging with your customers online in a genuine peer-to-peer communication your business can make your customers feel appreciated and valued.
You can also build the emotional commitment your customers have with your brand by generating greater brand value and awareness through social media. By providing a brand ‘narrative’ and personality to your brand, you will enhance customer engagement.
Social media can help via:
- Incentives – you can easily promote special deals to encourage repeat purchase
- Up-sell – offer exclusive deals that are available to social media users only and/or for limited time periods to encourage repeat business
- Education – social media is a great way to inform your customers of products or services you can provide. This will ensure they are aware of the breadth of your offer and encourage further sales.
- Provide value to your customers – give something to receive something, in other words provide something to the customer for free to encourage their loyalty. Examples include videos on how to enhance the use of your products or provide tips and associated resources.
- Improve customer service – use social media to enhance the after-sales service experience for your customers. This will encourage customer retention and referral.