Increase Customer Retention. Get Out Of The Comfort Zone.

increase customer retention

Are you willing to simplify a process to increase your customer retention?

If you are then you could increase revenue.

And have an increasing number of customers returning to repurchase.

In any business, you have strategies and processes in place to retain customers. You may  not have changed or looked at the processes to see if they can be improved.

Often this comes down to habit and business as usual.

What if there was a better way? Would you be willing to break out the comfort zone?

Get out of the comfort zone

In order to use simplicity at times it needs a willingness to break out.

For example, take the eyewear market.

If you wear glasses, you are aware of the usual process. Every couple of years you get a reminder to have an eye test, try on different frames and then eventually select one.

Often the choice of frames is overwhelming so the optometrist or an assistant helps you.

The majority of optometrists use this process and have done for decades. And they hope many of their customers return to through it.

Yet a willingness to seek to simplify and get out of the comfort zone is helping to increase revenue for my optometrist. He started recording the brand and style of glasses each of his customers bought including me. He also noted the prices we paid.

No real surprise the majority had a favourite brand and style.

Now when he sends a reminder email he includes images of a small range of frames that match up with what we like.

This simplifies the process for returning customers, as they do not have to go through a large range of styles to find ones that suit.

It saves them time as many have already chosen there new frames before their appointment.

This change simplifies his process and he has found it also saves time. This means he can see more customers each day increasing revenue.

As well and although it is early days, it appears the number of customers returning is increasing. This cuts down time and money attracting new customers.

Simplify your process

Whether you sell a product or service there are processes in place for your current customers. These includes when they repurchase, if they have a complaint, need help etc.

If you look at your strategies and process what part can you simplify for the customer? See what common denominators there are for your customers.

If you can simplify a process and save customers’ time they will remember and it can increase your revenge.

Over to you: have you ever broken out of the comfort zone and simplified your processes to increase customer retention?
photo credit: Pedro Glez. via photopin cc

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20 Responses to Increase Customer Retention. Get Out Of The Comfort Zone.

  1. Hi Susan,
    I’m wondering what advice you have for startups in terms of designing their process in the simplest terms for best chances of success. In other words, startups often have little or no idea of the preferences of their customer base since it is still in the early growing stages. Yet, obviously trying to do too much or present too many options is particularly dangerous for a startup since it can potentially waste time and resources while delivering options customers may not even want or need. Any suggestions here? Would love to have you post your thoughts in the comment section of the BizSugar community for the benefit of all our members.

    • Excellent question Heather. It does depend on the market, what they sell etc. I agree with you about presenting too many options and trying to do too much. The obvious answer is to do some research first to understand how they think, feel and behave and discover the gap.

      My suggestions is with simplicity is look at the obvious and use common sense. See where you can simplify from what your competitors offer by simplifying a process. For example when my past business sold software the usual method was to send out the disk, plus we included a comprehensive guide as a book. We changed it to have the software downloadable and the guide was a PDF. It simplified it for customers, especially those from overseas and it cut down our and their costs. I guess it takes stepping back and look at the process objectively form a customers’ point of view.

      Hope this helped and any other questions, happy to expand the answer.

  2. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for this great article! I would agree on your saying that a business owner or entrepreneur needs to go out his comfort zone in order to try a new product or venture into different industry to increase the chance of returns on investments. However sometimes, getting out of the comfort zone could be so risky especially to those who have yet to master their skills or do not have enough knowledge to handle a different kind of business besides what they already have. But I would agree on the retention is the most crucial part. Have your customers remember your brand, and even if you jump into different comfort zone, you can still have increasing number of customers who are following your trails. 🙂

  3. Susan — Your timing is right for me, too. I just bought a new pair of glasses yesterday. A local chain was having a big sale. However, I wanted to try the more stylish, heavier frames people are wearing (talk about breaking out of your comfort zone). In the U.S., some companies have sprung up on line where you can choose 5 pairs of frames, they will mail them to you, you pick the one you like, and return the frames in the same box with a prepaid mailing label for them to complete with your prescription. Talk about simplicity. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people bought more than one frame.

    • I am sure your glasses look great Jeannette. That is interesting what the companies are doing. Are they in competition with optometrists? It seems it is costly way to do things and wonder if the frames are more expensive.

      • No, they don’t compete with optometrists for exams (but, yes, for the eyeglasses). You have to email them a prescription. But their glasses are only $99 and for every pair sold they donate a pair to the poor in undeveloped countries. The company is Warby Parker and I heard the founder speak at an American Express Open Forum seminar which is how I learned about them. Here is the link to their website. http://www.warbyparker.com/

        • Thanks for sending the link Jeannette. I had a quick look and I bet they are not popular with optometrists. Good on them for what they are doing and it is as you said a great example of simplicity.

  4. Love the story with the optometrist. I’ll have to re-read this post (maybe even print it) before my next visit, because it would be fun to discuss with the people in my optometrist’s office.

    Sometimes it is easy to think for someone else (of new marketing ideas). When I read The Referral Engine, I read about a computer guy that uses referral stickers. I’ll have to bring in that page to my favorite local computer repair guy.

    • let us know what they say Leora. The sticker is a great example of a simple way to get referrals and has been used for ages. Also agree sometimes it is easy to think for someone else 🙂

  5. It’s so funny that you mentioned eye glasses. I am going through that right now. Getting a new set of eye glasses is such a pain in the neck for me. Partly because of my prescription type and then what that prescription will work with the frames that are available. Like you, my eye Dr keeps all that on record making a selection easier but it is complicated by the frame company whe. They discontinue a type/style that works for my lens… Sigh!

    That said, it is always helpful when a business takes the time to take note of likes, dislikes and what is your favorite style or item. My hairdresser does that and it really helps. 🙂