By Kristy Sturgill • June 14, 2018

The Best Ways to Retain More Customers in Less Time


Customers are the one absolutely necessary ingredient for a successful business, but finding them can be expensive. Keeping them takes even more time and effort.

The reality is you can’t just win a customer once, you have to win them again and again because the competition is fierce, and if you're not delighting them there is a competitor around the corner who will.

Sometimes, the lure of finding new customers can distract you from paying attention to the ones who are already loyal to your brand.

One company successfully retaining their customers in a saturated market is Canada’s TD Bank. They started the #TDThanksYou campaign. They believed the power of a thank you and gift would delight customers and retain them in less time.

They kept notes on different customers life situations, and at some branches, they turned their ATM into an “Automated Thanking Machine,” and caught everything on camera. In French or English a voice would come over the machine and say “Hello, I’m here to thank you.” Then the voice would continue to explain what their gift would be and a large compartment would open containing their present.

One single mom received $1,000 for each of her children to start a savings account for them, and tickets to Disney.

An elderly woman received a beautiful bouquet of roses. Another man received a jersey from his favorite sports team, and in another room, he met one of the players. A woman received tickets to Trinidad to visit her daughter who was hospitalized with cancer.

Not only did they win customers for life, but they also brought a little joy to their corner of the world. They inspired many, and their video went viral with more than 24 million views. Thousands of comments on the video said things like “Be right back. Switching to TD Bank” or “Good job TD. Thank you for giving back and making a difference in people's lives.”

It was, no doubt, brilliant marketing, but required the tellers and managers to actually listen to their customers otherwise they wouldn’t have known what gifts to offer.

You might be wondering if you need to give away massive gifts to make a difference in your customers’ lives and the answer is no. You can delight them without Disney tickets and here’s how.

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Give Away Your Secrets

Gaining and retaining customers is a challenge in almost any market. You have a great service that people want, but you have to show why you're the best choice.

So, how do you show off your prowess?

Give away your secrets. That's right; be an open book to anyone who will listen. Hold nothing back.

The result is your target market will be drawn to your website because you’ll have the answers that your competitors might not. You're the one opening the curtain and letting them peek backstage. They’ll appreciate the information, and you’ll be the expert they listen to.

While there may be a couple of people who use your information for their next DIY project, they will still see your brand as the leader in the industry. They might even recommend friends and family to you because of your generous information.


Know Your Customer

When someone walks in the front door or signs up online or gives you a call, they are showing some interest in what you are offering. Even if they are browsing, they may be looking to get an idea for the future, or they could be gathering information for someone else.

How they browse your brand will give you insight into who they are and how you should better connect with them.

What are they needing? Where are they from and what do they do? What will trigger them to buy from you, and what do they lose by choosing your competitor instead? What kind of questions are they asking throughout the buyer’s journey?

Answering all these questions and a few more is how you’ll create your buyer persona, which is a narrative about your target market that’ll help you and your team communicate more effectively.

Sitting down and working through this process may seem like it is slowing you down from finding customers rather than finding them faster. It’s not. At the end of the day, you need quality in addition to quantity.


Send Surprise Care Packages Like TD

You got to know your customer's needs, now you can surprise them with little gifts. Catch them off guard. It doesn’t have to be tickets to Disney, but it does have to be meaningful, not generic, not a simple t-shirt with your brand on it so they can give you free advertising the next time they’re working out at the gym.

When our offices burned down, we had to find a new location. Once we were settled in, one of our customers and friends sent us a care package. They sent us a small basketball goal and a fire extinguisher.

It was a funny way for them to acknowledge our struggle and our transition. We also had a little fun with the extinguisher last July. Just check out our Facebook header video.

There are ways you can implement this strategy too.

Congratulate your customers on life events. Maybe they got a new home, perhaps they announced their family is getting bigger. At the very least, a card in any of these circumstances will speak volumes about how you care for them.


Don't Just Meet Expectations, Delight Them

It's time to deliver the goods. Don’t just dump it on their door and ding-dong-ditch.

While nobody in their right mind would deliver a finished product that way, sometimes a customer may feel that way regardless. When you deliver, you are only halfway done with the project. Now is the time to cultivate a real relationship and over-deliver.

Show them how it works. Break it down and walk them through the process. This serves the purpose of informing them, as well as showing off your abilities and talents. You aren't just showing them how to use their product, you are showing them that you alone are the expert in the field.

These strategies might sometimes feel like a waste of time. You might feel like you could move faster without having to go the extra mile for your existing customers, but everyone knows it’s cheaper to retain a current customer and up sell them on your other services rather than find an entirely new customer.

If you are spinning your wheels trying to retain customers, maybe you need to consider new strategies to increase how you delight your biggest fans.

A big part of retaining customers is a team who values the business as much as you do. Download our free guide on how to improve cohesion so your company can experience hyper-growth.

If you have marketing questions, you can always call us for a free 30-minute strategy session at 405.928.3395.