By Brenda Berg

There are two ways to grow your small business. You can either invest the majority of your time in gaining new customers, or you could spend the majority of your time retaining the ones that you have. The latter is known as ‘customer retention’ and is by far one of the most effective ways to expand your business.

Instead of constantly going out of your way to bring in new leads, your old customers have already made purchases from you and are therefore much more likely to purchase again. But, just like lead generation, you’re going to need a loyalty strategy. Here are seven of the most effective to get you started.

Give Your Customers What They Want

As the old saying goes, you don’t get if you don’t ask. What better way is there to find out what your customers want from you to keep returning that simply asking them. Whether you’re creating a survey or asking for feedback about your products, this will give you all the information you need to know.

Of course, you may need to give them an incentive, such as a gift card or money off voucher to complete the survey, but this will give you the details on how to improve your services to retain those customers.

Create a Loyalty Program

One of the more obvious ways to gain customer loyalty is by creating a customer loyalty program. This is where customers dedicate themselves to using your website and in return will receive exclusive content, discount vouchers or codes and other incentives to keep them coming back.

“A customer loyalty program is a great strategy to implement since customers will usually share their loyalty status with their friends and family, causing more people to sign up with your small business.” – Bradley Baker from Ox Essays.

Accuracy is Essential

You’d be surprised how the accuracy of your content will affect your customer retention rates. Imagine you’ve just signed onto a website that’s full of grammar mistakes that make the content hard to read, process and provides an overall unenjoyable and difficult experience for your customer.

As you’d expect, the customer isn’t going to return after this. Using online blogs such as State of Writing and Via Writing, you can brush up on your grammar knowledge to ensure perfection.

Take Control of Social Media

As a business, you’ll already know that social media is your best friend and can-do wonders for drawing in new leads. However, it’s also a fantastic tool for retaining customers. Using social is a fast and effective way to communicate with your customers, sharing information on upcoming discounts and sales events as well as keeping them informed about the latest goings-on in your world.

Likewise, this goes hand in hand with creating a community, allowing customers to connect and chat with you, as well as leaving feedback and providing them with instant customer service.

Improve Customer Experience

A customer may have been after your product or service, worked their way through your website, made their purchase but overall, their experience with your business wasn’t the best, and therefore, they won’t be returning again.

In fact, some statistics show that over 80% of customers will be willing to pay a little bit more for an experience that’s better.

“Go through your sales process, go through your website and business and audit your customer service teams to ensure that you’re giving the best service possible.” – Thomas Hunt from Academized.

Creating a Company Community

Internet users love to have a sense of belonging and to feel as though they are part of a community. It’s one of the premises that ensures that social media platforms stay so popular. By creating a community around your company, this is a great way to retain your customers and to keep them coming back for more.

Fortunately, this is relatively simple to implement. For example, check out Paper Fellows. This is an online writing service that has a community for the writers that it serves, giving these users a reason to return to the site time and time again.

Guarantee Content Accuracy

Hand in hand with the consideration above, you want to absolutely guarantee that your content is the best quality that it can be. This means you need to go through your content to ensure that it’s completely perfect, free from mistakes and errors that your customers will notice, leading them never to return.

This means you need to proofread your content, looking for spelling mistakes, punctuation in the wrong places and to make sure that your content makes sense. You can also use proofreading tools, such as Australian Help, to ensure this high level of accuracy.

It’s always worth remembering that retaining one loyal customer is far more effective and beneficial for your business than gaining two new ones that will go after you’ve finished with them. Using some of the strategies above, you’ll be able to expand your small business beyond belief.

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at