Imagine you had a choice between two guaranteed customer retention strategies.
On the one hand, each location could choose a single customer who loves the brand and always spends enough for you to meet revenue goals year after year.
On the other hand, you could have thousands of customers per location, each with a different level of loyalty to your brand, and only about 20% of them will be happy enough to stick around forever.
Okay, this isn’t much of a choice since option one is a fantasy. As great as it would be to find the golden goose, it’s obvious that the real world looks a lot more like the second example.
Still, aiming for that golden standard of customer loyalty can yield impressive results, especially for brands with multiple locations that aren’t exactly sure how to create customer retention strategies.
- Depending on your business’s stage, customer retention strategies may be even more important than acquisition.
- Multi-location brands have unique challenges with customer retention and customer experience.
- These unique challenges breed unique solutions that MXTR recommends for improved multi-location marketing.
The Importance of Repeat Customers
If you’re uncertain if you can afford to shift focus from advertising to new customers, consider that a 7% increase in brand loyalty can correspond to an 85% rise in customer lifetime value.
Existing customers account for about 33% more product purchases than new customers.
Take Advantage of a Lack of Effort by Your Competitors
No one is saying it’s easy to retain customers.
There are many steps between getting someone’s attention with an advertisement and turning them into a loyal repeat customer.
However, a lack of loyalty could be due to a lack of effort in certain industries. Despite the evidence that repeat customers are generally more valuable than new ones, just 18% of businesses say they prioritize retention over acquisitions.
Unique Customer Retention Challenges for Multi-Location Brands
Businesses with multiple locations face some unique challenges when it comes to customer retention strategies. Some examples include:
- Data Quality: Tracking leads and sales data points through multiple locations can make it harder to maintain data quality and security.
- Lead Quality: A highly rated lead in one market might not score so highly in another, affecting sales and customer satisfaction.
- Complexity: More locations mean more technology and more opportunities for human error.
- Consistent Customer Experience: Providing a consistent and high-quality customer experience across multiple locations is simply more difficult and costly.
- Time Management: All these moving parts mean marketing leaders need to spend a lot of time keeping the system running smoothly, which can strain smaller businesses greatly.
11 Customer Retention Strategies for Multi-Location Businesses
Try these steps to create a customer retention strategy that will work for any multi-location brand.
Create a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are great ways to provide consistent service and incentivize shopping across multiple locations, but 75% of consumers prefer brands that offer rewards.
Synchronize Customer Service Training
Seventy-six percent of customers will switch to a competitor after multiple instances of poor customer service.
Prevent this by ensuring a consistent customer service experience across all locations. The best way to achieve this may be to train employees at a central location before they leave for regionalized positions.
Create Localized Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are the best way to create marketing materials and design strategies.
Each persona should be localized: a persona that makes sense in one region or market may not necessarily translate to all your locations.
Optimize Local Business Webpages
Customers must be able to find you easily. Businesses with multiple physical locations need to optimize for this using Google’s Business Profile, Yelp, Facebook, etc.
For information on how to optimize your multi-location business web pages, see this video from Chris Palmer.
Be Involved in the Communities
Make your brand feel like a presence in the community. You can do this in a few ways:
- Advertise locally
- Hire locally
- Participate in or host community events
- Try to personally connect with the people who enter your store—this point also aligns with improving your customer service.
- Scale Retention Efforts on Time
A new company won’t have any customers from which to win loyalty, so this guide won’t apply if you’re still early in your growth.
However, as your company grows, your focus should naturally shift from acquisition to retention.
Personalize as Much as Possible
Personalization builds trust and loyalty and creates better customer experiences.
Customers with a very good customer experience are 94% more likely to purchase more, 77% more likely to forgive a bad experience, and 89% more likely to trust the company.
Create a Robust Feedback Loop
The only way to ensure you’re providing great customer experiences is to track them in detail. Make sure your feedback channels are open, easy to find, and inviting to customer compliments and criticism.
Use Multi-Channel Engagement
It’s important to reach customers where they are. Market through multiple channels, including social media, blog or video content, SEO, email campaigns, and more.
Create Educational Tools for Your Products
Loyal customers become loyal because they understand your product inside and out and get maximum value from it. Encourage this by providing free educational materials to customers that can let them know how to get the most out of your products.
Provide Support on the Customer’s Terms
Customers should be able to find support anywhere and anytime they need it. Where possible, set up multiple customer support channels, including phone, email, and chat support.
MXTR Can Automate Multi-Location Marketing for You
Our platform is a solution for multi-location brands interested in improving their customer retention strategies while increasing lead nurturing capabilities and data collection and helping you provide consistently high-quality customer experiences.
MXTR will work with you to create marketing automation packages targeting specific customers based on their behavior and where they are in the customer lifecycle. We close the loop of lead attribution and tracking, making it easy to track marketing efforts across all locations.
If you’d like MXTR to automate your marketing efforts while improving customer retention, click here to schedule a demo.
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