Last week, we had the following local entrepreneurs and marketing executive come speak on a panel about Customer Retention and Referral: Jen Nausin, founder of Detaale, a marketing consulting firm; Nathan Kaiser, founder of 2bar Spirits, a Seattle-based craft distillery; and Kelby Johnson, an associate director of Integrated Media Strategies at Wunderman. Each had a different perspective on customer engagement. Here are the key learnings from the discussion:
- Acquiring Customers – Listening is key and so is relationship marketing. This could mean literally knocking on doors, but most important is talking to potential customers. You want to share your vision and the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s the “Why” not the “What”.
- Retaining Customers – Be your true self. Set expectations right from the beginning in order to retain the relationship. Keep them engaged and determine what motivates them to action. Consider contests, games, incentives, or an ambassador program. Also, what would make your customer switch to a competitor? What are the barriers to switching? Think about the businesses who have you as a repeat customer. Jen’s example was Nordstrom. Do something special that goes above and beyond. Understand the reasons why you return for to those businesses and services, and incorporate those aspects into your own customer retention strategy.
- Customer Referrals – Deliver quality always. Start with your local customers first. Provide a great product or service and your customers will talk about you.
We had a great discussion with our panelists and also had an opportunity to talk to them individually about our product ideas. Thanks again to Jen Nausin, Nathan Kaiser, and Kelby Johnson for taking the time to speak to us. We really appreciate your advice!
– The Ring of Engagement team