Woman using smartphone in grocery store
Companies that offer convenience and display a conscience are the ones that experience a positive customer retention rate. — Getty Images

High customer retention rates will keep your small business profitable, reduce your marketing costs and increase word-of-mouth advertising. Retaining customers is also cheaper than acquiring new customers. In fact, it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Here are three things you need to know about customer retention this year.

Customers expect convenience

Customer convenience is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s an expectation. For example, Amazon continues to set the gold standard for customer convenience with its recent announcement that Prime customers will receive free one-day shipping.

Target also started offering a new Drive Up service in more than 1,100 locations nationwide, where a customer can place an order online, drive to their local store, and a Target employee will walk the order out to the customer’s car.

If you want to retain satisfied, loyal customers, then make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you. Your business may not be as large as Amazon or Target, but you can still provide an exceptional level of service. Here are some ways you can start:

  • Implement technology that will streamline your processes.
  • Make the online checkout process as seamless and fast as possible.
  • Send personalized emails about new products or sales.

If you want to retain satisfied, loyal customers, then make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you.

Customers look for purpose-driven companies

In the coming year, you can expect to see more companies taking a stand on various social and political issues.

In 2018, for example, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer be selling assault rifles in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Additionally, the women’s deodorant brand Secret stood up for equal pay in a November 2018 ad.

Customers want companies that take a stand on issues that matter. Studies have shown that 63% of customers want to purchase from purpose-driven companies that reflect their values.

Customers prefer businesses with an omni-channel presence

Statistics show that 80% of customers will use their smartphone while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. This demonstrates the importance of having an omnichannel presence.

Disney is a prime example of a company taking an omnichannel approach — from its My Disney Experience tool and app to plan the entire trip, to the Magic Bands for food purchases, hotel access and storage of photos taken in the theme park.

To create an omnichannel presence, focus on providing a seamless customer experience across all channels, from your website, to your social media channels, to your brick-and-mortar location.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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