Many of the strategies and tactics designed to bring new customers into the sales funnel can be tweaked to make existing customers happier and more retainable.
8 Ways to Retain More Customers with Inbound Marketing
1. Educational Content - Great content is the foundation of inbound marketing, but it isn't only for your prospects. Make sure that part of your content creation strategy is dedicated to educating current customers, so they can better understand your industry and the value of your product or service. This can be done through a variety of methods, including product-related blog posts or customer-only webinar training sessions.
2. Encourage Collaboration Between Customers - Customers often become better customers when they can learn from others in situations similar to their own. By connecting your customers online and offline, you can empower them to work together. Local user groups offer a good example to make this happen. Help customers set up a small gathering with others who are in the same geographic location. A user group could be as simple as a small group breakfast once a month.
3. Customer Support - One of the most well-known uses of inbound marketing for customer retention is using online tools like Twitter for customer support. This process was made famous with by Comcast with their Comcast Cares Twitter account. Any business, regardless of its size, can leverage online tools to make customer support simpler and faster, which helps to keep customers happy.
4. Product Content - Sometimes it is ok to talk about your product. When attracting new customers, it is best to publish content focused on industry best practices rather than your product. However, there is no rule against having more than one blog. It is appropriate to have a customer blog that is focused on product-related content and customer-specific best practices.
5. Virtual Events - Inbound marketing is all about leveraging the power of the Internet. One way to do this is to merge online and offline events. For example, a business could host a quarterly online virtual conference for its customers. The webinar could feature speakers from within your organization and perhaps some partners. It would be far too expensive to do a quarterly offline event, but the virtual event provides an opportunity for you to help customers at a reasonable cost.
6. SEO Common Customer Issues - Many businesses spend time on search engine optimization to attract new customers. However, you also want current customers to find the answers to any questions they may have about your product. The last thing a business wants is for a customer to not find a customer service answer they are looking for. Or even worse, to find a negative online mention from a former customer who had a bad experience with the same problem. When you are thinking about your target keywords and content for your SEO strategies, consider how to help your current customers.
7. Empower Customers to Help Other Customers - Customer support can be expensive. Sometimes your customers are the best customer support representatives a business can have. Many businesses have found success in creating online forums for their customers as a way to help them work together to resolve issues.
8. Ask for Customer Feedback - This last one may seem simple but few companies do it as much as they should. Using online survey tools, email and social media, a business can collect valuable feedback from its customers in a short period of time. Set up regular customer surveys throughout the year and explain to the respondents how their customer feedback will be used and reviewed.