Having excellent customer retention rates is a big deal for any business. According to the Harvard Business Review, “…acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” One research study found that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent can increase profits by 25 to 95%.
Businesses -big and small- should be putting a large effort into building quality relationships with their customers in order to both increase their profits and cut down on costs. Utilizing email marketing may seem like an easy way of connecting with customers but with average email open rates of 20%, and click rates of 2.6%, is it not a personal or effective way of inspiring action.
Here are five ways your company can use handwritten and/or personalized printed post to increase customer loyalty, promote quality relationships and inspire action.
Birthday or Anniversary Cards
Taking the extra effort of remembering someone’s birthday or customer anniversary and sending a card is a “wow” moment when a customer feels appreciated. Ultimately you are formulating an experience, and valuable experiences are more beneficial than money. Instead of giving customers discounts and offers, spend your time crafting positive experiences – it’s the little things that show you care.
Handwritten Thank You Notes
Sending a thank you card goes a long way in increasing customer loyalty and retention. A personal thank you from your company is about creating an exceptional customer service experience that gets customers talking about how you went “above and beyond” what is normally expected. This is even more relevant now than in the past because a handwritten or personal thank you is rare enough to be perceived as unique and special. By making your customers feel appreciated for their business, you are turning regular customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
Asking for Referrals or Donations
Having to ask your customers or clients for something after they have already contributed (hopefully a lot) to your business or foundation is never an easy task. Asks are much more positively received when done in a personal and genuine way. In 2017, PostPigeon sent handwritten cards to previous donors of a Vancouver-based charity who had not yet donated in the current year. Thirty percent of those who received cards donated again compared to 2 percent who had received an email the previous year.
When asking for referrals, creating a positive and personal experience increases the likelihood of that customer actually taking the next step and telling their friends. Research shows that although 83 percent of customers are willing to refer others after a positive experience, only 29 percent actually do – possibly because they were never asked! By letting customers know they are appreciated at the same time as asking for a referral, you will greatly increase your referral rates.
Sending a Sincere Apology
There is a time when every company needs to say sorry, whether its a late order, a mistake or a negative customer service experience, it happens. This is your one chance to stop your customer from walking out the door forever. A survey done by Dimensional Research found that customers who had a bad experience were 50% more likely to tell someone than those who had a good experience. The study also found that negative experiences had long-lasting effects. Neutralizing a negative experience and increasing retention rates should be a priority to all companies. An even better next step is turning the negative into a positive. Sending a personal handwritten apology card validates the customer’s experience, shows genuine caring and transparency and facilitates trust.
Personalized Holiday Cards
Get your customers thinking about you during the happiest time of the year – the holidays! Showcase your company brand in a positive light and send your best wishes for the season. This is a great time to get creative, offer discounts for the shopping season or just send thanks to your best customers.
For other campaign ideas check out PostPigeon’s product page here.