Business uncertainty is at a 42-year high. Companies are growing increasingly concerned about their ability to effectively plan and forecast for the future, and are suffering setbacks in establishing priorities. In this mixed-up business landscape, what do most companies want from 2017? Late in 2016, GetApp conducted research into the top priorities for small and medium-sized business in 2017, revealing that their main business priority is client retention and attraction.

With client retention and attraction at the top of the priority list, businesses have to be mindful of the fact that customers are now hyper-aware that they have more choice than ever when it comes to where and how often they spend their money.

The business landscape is dynamic, but companies can be too – the right tools teamed with solid priorities can help businesses excel at client retention and attraction. In this piece we take a look at some of the innovative cloud-based software solutions that businesses can use to execute their business priority of attracting and retaining customers.

3 Smart Ways to Attract and Retain Clients

Customers are a fickle bunch: 95 percent of customers have abandoned a purchase in store, while 85 percent have abandoned a purchase online. For whatever reason they abandon your online or brick-and-mortar store, the customer knows that if you can’t offer everything they want, someone else can.

It’s clear that businesses need to do more to hold the attention of customers, even loyal ones. In fact, according to McKinsey, only 13 percent of customers are now ‘loyal’ to brands, choosing instead to ‘shop around’. Customers today need to be engaged with: as we know, customer engagement equals customer retention.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a great tool for helping businesses maintain healthy relationships with their customers and acquire new ones through the use of customer journey mapping, tailored engagement, and performance analysis of sales strategies. But, while CRM software can help foster these relationships, the following software can help businesses take more granular and actionable steps to build on customer attraction and retention efforts.

1. Video marketing

You don’t need Scorsese level skills to sell your business through video, but there is a reason that businesses are investing so much time and energy into video marketing: almost 50 percent of consumers have made a purchase after watching a branded video.

Video marketing has been earmarked as the ‘next big thing’ for years, and the rise of branded business videos that create stories to provide a well rounded view of their products continues.
Engagement with video is high for re-targeted customers too, with 43 percent of consumers more likely to read an email newsletter that contains a video or links to video content. Overall, four times as many people would rather watch a video than read about a product.
How to do video marketing right:

Birchbox, the subscription box which sends subscribers samples of beauty products, makes great use of video marketing to showcase individual products from each box. This simple video takes one of its products and demonstrates its multi-functionality in under one minute.

Plated is a recipe and ingredient delivery service that uses video marketing not only to explain how simple their product is to use, but it also produces short and succinct tutorial videos on how to use its ingredients in the right way.

Check out these video marketing solutions:

Wistia

Panopto

2. Live chat

If your business isn’t yet enamoured with chat bots, a great way to bridge the features of digitalized and traditional customer service is with live chat, which boasts an incredible 92% customer satisfaction rate after use. Live chat has a big impact due to its immediate, personable, and convenient nature.

Live chat is the most interactive way to talk in real-time to visitors while they’re live on your website and potentially looking for help or solutions. Chatting live with visitors can build relationships with prospective customers while helping them with product decisions or queries, and can help past or recurring customers that need help with items they’ve already bought. By using live chat software, businesses can be agile and reactive in supporting customers to prevent problems before they arise.

Check out these live chat solutions:

LiveChat

LiveChat

Userlike

LiveAgent

Zoho SalesIQ

3. Customer reviews

Customer reviews may make some business owners quiver in their boots – the potential of hosting bad reviews on their websites is a risk that some just aren’t willing to take. However, there’s a skill in being able to react and respond well to bad reviews, and the presence of good reviews on your website can outweigh the bad ones.

In terms of attracting new customers, it’s reported that reviews influence 90 percent of buying decisions, and almost 90 percent of customers trust reviews as much as they would trust a word of mouth recommendation. In fact, recent GetApp research showed that reviews are more important to customers than website security when it comes to trusting a website.

Check out these customer reviews solutions:

Yotpo

Grade.us

ReviewTrackers

What are your tips for client retention and attraction?

We’d love to know how small businesses are using new and innovative ways to attract and retain their clients, so leave us a comment below, or get in touch at rhian@getapp.com.

You can also check out our full catalog of online video platform software, live chat software, and reviews management software.