If you look hard enough, you’ll find plenty of advice online for increasing your ROI, but many of those methods are only short-term. Some of them aren’t even quantifiable, and others might not apply to your business.
You probably already have the basics down, like educating your employees to make them more productive, growing your sales, and eliminating tools and systems that don’t work. These are obvious. However, there are other ways to increase ROI consistently and long-term, and most of them center on the customer experience.
1. Calculate and track ROI wherever possible
The first step to increase ROI is to track it whenever you can. You can’t grow what you aren’t tracking. For example, fleet maintenance teams calculate ROI using the Cetaris software bundle, which includes tracking everything from warranty reimbursements and parts cost to labor and asset management. This makes it easy to see if the benefits outweigh the cost of each investment, including the software itself.
If you don’t have a way to track ROI, this is the first place you’ll want to start. You can’t assume that every investment you make in your business will produce results. Some of them won’t. For the investments that do provide a return, not all can be measured in terms of dollars. You need to identify what each investment is intended to achieve and measure results against that standard.
For example, if you switch CRM applications to a more expensive vendor, make sure your reason for switching is realized. For instance, if you switched to get access to better automation tools for email marketing, verify that this feature is being used and that it’s producing the results you hoped to get.
2. Continually improve your services/products
Customer satisfaction is an indicator of positive ROI, and you can increase it by improving the quality of your offerings. Even if you only sell a product once and your customers never return, quality matters because they’ll tell people about your product and if it’s poor quality, you can expect a scathing online review.
If your customers are going to continue interacting with your brand in any way, they’ll be happier if you’re constantly working to make improvements. For example, this can be as simple as accepting customer feedback and applying it whenever possible. Your customers want to feel like their input is valued, and it’s possible that some of that feedback can help you transform your business for the better.
Sometimes customers can give you great insights into what is and isn’t working. To get this information, consider investing in a service that allows you to send out customer satisfaction surveys either by email after a purchase, or an app that will ask for user feedback right on your website. Getting customer feedback is always a good investment because when you know what people want, you can sell more products or services.
3. Focus on customer retention
Working to retain customers will increase your marketing ROI and can justify nearly any investment you’ve made in your business because of the long-term effects. In fact, according to data, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits from 25%-95%. Loyal customers are more likely to buy again, overlook mistakes, refer your business to others, and try a new product or service. Having these kinds of customers is the ultimate ROI.
This is why it’s necessary to focus on customer retention in addition to customer acquisition. It costs more to acquire new customers than it does to get repeat business. It’s much easier to get an existing customer to make an additional purchase. By nurturing existing customers and maintaining those relationships, you’re effectively increasing your sales, strengthening your brand image, and building a positive reputation without the extra cost.
Satisfied, repeat customers tend to become fiercely loyal to your brand, which can give you brand ambassadors, glowing reviews, and positive feedback in social media spaces.
Strive to be better for consistent ROI
Businesses that don’t make any effort to improve their offerings or customer service tend to become stagnant, and are less likely to see a consistent increase in ROI. They can buy top-of-the-line software applications and have experts train their staff, and they still won’t see much of a return.
The biggest returns come from having satisfied customers. Even improving internal operations has a positive impact on customer satisfaction. Making sure every investment can be connected to making customers happy is the best way to generate long-term ROI for your business.