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Running a successful business and ensuring customer satisfaction is equal parts acquisition, experience, and retention. Far too often, though, business owners tend to take the latter portion of the equation for granted and place way too much focus on the acquisition portion.

While some level of customer attrition on a small scale is unavoidable as people’s needs, preferences, and financial situations change over time, placing greater focus on the customers you already have is still incredibly valuable.

Keeping that in mind, here are the top 10 customer retention marketing mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

1. Improper or Inadequate Customer Data Collection

Customers like to know that all of the data you collect from them including their name, address, email, phone number, age, and gender will be kept in a safe and totally secure database. This isn’t an unreasonable assumption or expectation.

Moreover, customers expect that the information they provide will aptly be recorded under their digital file for security identification purposes. If a customer calls in with a specific complaint or feedback, it’s important to make detailed notes of their situation in case it’s an ongoing issue. This benefits the next customer service agent who is serving that customer and it also improves the customer experience.

Failing to properly collect data is a big faux pas because it slows down the customer service process and makes your existing customers lose faith in your business.

2. Failing to Collect Insightful Data

Insightful customer data includes paying attention to key touchpoints that your customers interact with such as brands they follow on social media, marketing campaigns they respond to, and the types of social media posts they make or comment on.

All of these touchpoints can give you valuable insight into the mindset of your customers and how they perceive your brand. By not actively tracking this data, you could be missing out on a lot of potential marketing and sales opportunities.

3. Grouping Customers in the Wrong Categories

One of the biggest advantages of tracking your customers’ purchases and behaviors is to help improve their overall experience with your company.

Segmenting customers into various groups based on their age, regional location, likes and dislikes, gender, or purchasing habits to name a few, gives you a better idea of the types of customers your business attracts and how to better serve their sensibilities.

It’s important to accurately group your customers in the right categories so that you can maintain the high service level they expect from you.

4. Not Being Proactive Enough

Delivering consistently high-quality customer service is a balancing act of sorts. There’s a time to be reactive, such as when you’re finding solutions to their problems, and there’s a time to be proactive, such as anticipating those same problems or pitfalls in the future.

It’s been proven that proactive customer outreach programs can be successful if executed properly. You need to strike a balance between being a pushy salesperson and truly listening to the wants and needs of your customers to provide them with products and services that actually fit their preferences.

5. Failing to Appreciate Effective Customer Retention

Customer retention is all about actively listening to your customers, paying attention to their needs, and finding appropriate solutions that fit their lifestyles. It takes more effort and capital to onboard new customers than it does to consistently satisfy existing ones and in the long run, the rewards don’t always justify the means.

By consistently focusing on the customers you already have, you can build up great brand loyalty which will, in turn, encourage them to recommend your services or products to their friends and family.

6. Lack of Proper Communication

We’ve all been there at one point or another when trying to get an issue resolved with a company. One representative will say one thing in the initial interaction while a different representative or manager will completely contradict what the first one said.

This type of communicative inconsistency isn’t just extremely frustrating for your customers, it’s also enough to make them turn their back on your business completely. What’s worse is that disgruntled customers are far more likely to air their grievances on social media and review websites than happy customers are to give you a good review.

Ensuring that all of your staff members undergo ongoing training can help eliminate this problem and result in more consistently positive customer interactions.

7. Underestimating or Overlooking the Value of Customer Feedback

What’s the best way to ensure customer satisfaction? The obvious answer is to ask for feedback.

Whether it’s a customer service interaction, a product review, or talking about service quality, customers appreciate being given the opportunity to provide businesses with their opinion.

Customer feedback is mutually beneficial because it makes your customers feel appreciated and it gives you valuable insight into exactly how they view your business. Customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to get the information you’re looking for so that you can make the necessary changes to your business.

8. Failing to Meet Customer Expectations

This point ties into the one about gathering customer information and feedback.

Failing to do either one of these things makes it impossible for you to truly get into the heads of your customers, which makes it harder to anticipate and understand their expectations of your business. This is where digital communications such as social media can be very useful.

9. Focusing Solely on Customer Acquisition

When it comes to building a strong customer base for your business, the acquisition is only half the battle. Once you’ve acquired your target audience’s attention and gained their support, you need to actively strive to maintain that support for as long as possible by working hard to meet their needs and expectations of your business. This is what’s known as customer retention and it’s the key to achieving long-term success.

10. Having a Stagnant Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are another great way to gain insight into what your customers want without being overly intrusive. But you have to stay vigilant about updating the program regularly to keep customers interested and coming back for more.

If you need help establishing or improving your customer retention technique, North American Media can help. As one of the leading direct marketing agencies in North America, we can help you maximize the revenue potential of your most valuable asset—your customers. Our services include print media advertising in newspapers & magazines, direct mail marketing, digital marketing, alternative media/inserts, radio & TV advertising, list brokerage, data solutions, list fulfillment, and list management.  Contact us at (475) 256- 0303 today to learn more.