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If you plan to grow your business past your four walls, customer retention is incredibly important for sustainability. And with the rising costs associated with customer acquisition, finding innovative and proactive solutions in retaining your clients will benefit your business greatly.CustRet

But before we give you the tips, consider this fact according to The Harvard Business School:

increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 percent to 95 percent.

1. Be transparent with customer expectations. The best thing you can do to begin your journey into customer retention is to set all customer expectations early. To garner loyalty, simply “under promise and over deliver.” Setting the expectations early will eliminate any uncertainty associated with keeping your customers happy.

2. Stand up and brand yourself. There is no faster way to get the cold shoulder from a customer than to be wishy-washy on the service you offer. Many experts and studies have found that when people say they have a strong relationship with a brand, the primary reason is “shared values.” So in order to create loyalty, make them care about you.

3. Show them you are an expert. Even if you rely on outside, or automated services to run aspects of your business, what’s important to a customer is that you appear like an expert. The trust and bond associated with that approach is trustworthy, and creates retention. Become their advisor and watch them return.

4. Try social proof. What’s social proof? From an article on social proof amplification marketing:

According to Google, 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. Furthermore, a CompUSA and iPerceptions study revealed that 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

Positive social proof works. It is great customer motivation, and gets people to listen.

5. Use automation. Process automation takes menial tasks out of your hands and gives you more time to connect and bond with customers. Companies that do it well have proven that making good use of automation are more able to focus on customers and keep client networks performing in the top tier. By standardizing certain processes and placing a bar on service levels, you will be able to increase customer loyalty and improve retention.

Not so bad were they! Implement these today and you can be guaranteed that through strengthening customer bonds, your bottom line will also grow.