Just because a customer purchased from you once doesn’t mean they will buy from you again. It takes effort to retain that customer. Why is this so important? Firstly, because if you are doing any marketing at all, it probably costs you money to turn them into a customer in the first place. So you can continue to spend money generating new business, or you can service your acquired customers in a way that makes them want to become clients for life. 

Second, increasing your customer retention rates by as little as five percent can grow profit by as much as 25% – 90%. 

So, how do you retain the customers you have already acquired? Let’s not forget the unique selling proposition that got me into the sunglasses retailer in the new customer acquisition introduction section. But what kept me going back was the exceptional experience I had in that clinic. Not only was my service friendly and timely, but the environment was beautiful and welcoming. After the fact, once I was back home and had questions, they were easy to get in touch with and delightful to deal with. And they gave me multiple options for how we could connect. Online, in person, over the phone, or by chat.

They gave me great service, which made me feel perfectly satisfied. But they also offered me additional incentives to remain a loyal customer with incentives such as member benefits – or loyalty programs. They made me feel like I was part of an ‘inner circle.’  So why would I want to shop anywhere else?

Customer retention should be an essential element of your marketing mix. Read on to learn more about what you could be doing to hold on to the ones that you have.

Loyalty Programs/Membership Privileges

What is it?

Loyalty programs utilize your clinic’s existing customer base to produce more lifetime revenue. Numerous approaches are used in a patient loyalty program, but a common approach is to provide exclusive discounts on hearing aids and servicing or offer a points program, similar to an Air Miles card. In addition to producing revenue, a loyalty program can also heighten your clinic’s brand engagement within a community, build trust and help create added referrals.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

Marketing to your current customer base is much more affordable than targeting new customers and ensures they are less likely to move to a competing clinic. It’s estimated that acquiring a new patient can cost five times more than simply retaining a current patient. A solid loyalty program can be a simple method to generate more profit for your clinic at a relatively moderate expense.

Incentivizing your patients with savings encourages them to engage with you more often and shorten the interval between visits. It’s also a great way to show that your patients matter by rewarding them for their patronage.

How do I get started?

Every loyalty marketing strategy is unique and can happen in-house or outsourced. There are plenty of loyalty marketing companies offering turn-key solutions, and some provide services exclusively for the audiology space. Programs can be as simple as giving patients a punch card or can be more complex using various elements of email marketing, direct mail, and online dashboards that track all aspects of the program.

Like many marketing elements, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with detailed patient records is an invaluable tool for generating more lifetime value from your patients. This will allow you to understand your patients better, making your loyalty program more effective. Get creative with your rewards. Try giving people free meals or gift cards. Free hearing aid batteries are another effective reward.

Analyze Metrics

What is it?

Tracking and analyzing your customer’s habits and potential reasons for churn is key to understanding how to fix any issues. If you don’t understand why a customer leaves, you cannot correct the problem.

Top reasons many customers churn include:

  • You may be attracting the wrong customers – Get to know your audience, ask the right questions upfront
  • Your customers are not achieving what they want from your product or service – Ensure the onboarding process is working
  • You lack adequate customer support – Make customer support a priority!
  • Customers think you are too expensive – Ensure you can validate your price and offer transparency

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

Understanding your customer’s experiences when dealing with your business will help you to improve the service you provide. Fixing the issues before they happen can help to alleviate churn.

How do I get started?

Simple suggestions on ways to have direct communication with your customers:

  • Company Newsletter – A newsletter is an excellent way to reach out directly to your customers, highlight new products and services, send updates and offers and remind your subscribers about you.
  • Customer Advisory Board – Loyal customers are the best evangelists a company can have. They will speak to your brand as a third party with first-party experience. Starting a panel of loyal customers to help fine-tune products and services keeps them involved as well as provides valuable knowledge.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Program: A CSR program highlights a company’s moral compass, involving customers demonstrates your commitment and initiative.

Understand why customers churn and do something about it before it’s too late. Churn is just too important to ignore