Whether you envisage a national supergiant or more local foundations, the customer is ultimately the most important commodity for your business. Start ups are initially focused on the acquisition of new customers, bringing them through the door and increasing your brands’ awareness. But how can your business plan to help secure repeat business and cultivate customer loyalty? A business plan is a comprehensive starting point to shape a method of customer retention.
The first and most pivotal point of customer retention is research. Your business’ success revolves around your relationship with your customers and begins with understanding their principles and practices. A happy customer is one that is valued and not understanding the value of your working relationship is business suicide. And this all begins with preparation. Research into customer trends, their behaviour, their business focuses, the aspects of your business that customers appreciate most, and in the same vein, what they do not. With this information culminated together, a plan can be laid out about how best to go the extra mile for your customer base, and therefore retain those customers through fantastic service.
Bad feedback is good feedback
Bad reviews can be difficult to take, especially if you’re in the process of having recently started your business. They are however, the best source to improve the services you are providing to customers. As a primary focus in the search for the success of your business, building and maintaining a strong customer relationship with clients starts with improving what you don’t do as well as you could be doing. But there must be an effective process for customers to review the business and setting this out in your business plan can be a key part of customer retention. Give customers a simple and direct process they can use to provide feedback, whether good or bad. Therefore, your company can maximise bad customer feedback by using it to understand your customer’s perspective and improve your services accordingly.
Loyalty is essential
A relationship is most fruitful when nourished over a long period of time, rather than treating each customer as a transaction. Creating a great rapport with customers is one element of this long-term relationship, the other is loyalty. How do you plan to reward those customers who keep coming back? Planning out loyalty programmes in your business plan is a great way to design the process in which you provide incentives for loyal customers to remain just that, loyal.
The principal focus of planning for the retention of your customer is understanding them: finding out what they value, responding effectively to feedback and rewarding those most loyal of consumers. And this all starts with constructive planning.
If you would like any help with writing a business plan, it’s best to talk to a professional, call cbm on 01604 420 420 or use the contact form on the right.