By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights.

Churning through customers can crush your business. Although getting new customers is an obvious win, many businesses often undervalue the importance of keeping the existing customers they already have. Though I've found retaining existing customers to be easier than acquiring new ones, it's important to have a strategy in place to build a bond with your current customers.

Here are four ways to win more business from your existing customers -; and stop losing them:

1. Solve a Real Problem

One of the reasons why your customers leave your business could be that you don’t solve a real problem. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have the next big idea, but your business won’t succeed if you’re trying to solve a problem that no one has.

Successful entrepreneurs often sort this out by solving their own problem that they know many others have. By solving your own issue, you have at least one user from an early stage and the fastest feedback loop possible. When you’re just starting out, you can go with your gut instincts and try pivoting to something else if it doesn’t work out.

Personally, being my product's target customer has helped me identify new features to stay ahead of the game. Not to mention, it has made it a lot easier for me to stay motivated and passionate about my business.

2. Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

To make your business successful, it’s imperative to understand what makes it unique. For example, we sell a quick and customizable way to look at analytics. Once you find your USP, you can segment the market narrowly enough to find your target customers and retain them longer. 

• Understand your audience: Understand who your target audience is and why they should choose you over your competitors.

• Refine your USP: Come up with a strong statement that sets you apart from your competitors. For example, ours is to build software that helps website owners get the statistics that matter to make data-driven decisions that grow their website and business. 

3. Create a Killer Onboarding Process

One of the best ways to retain customers is by creating an excellent onboarding experience when they sign up for your product or service. With a great onboarding campaign, you can educate and inspire your customers at the right time in the right way and help them get the most value from your product.

• Make onboarding contextual: Instead of showing a swipe-through tutorial on the first launch, it’s in your best interest to provide guidance as your customers go so they don’t have to remember everything upfront.

• Celebrate success: Create an emotional connection with your customer and your product by acknowledging their progress when a user completes an important task.

• Email at the right time: Warmly welcome your users and help them solve the problem they face by sending onboarding emails at the right time. We like to send an email 48 hours after members sign up to encourage users to finish installation and start using our product. 

4. Be a Proactive Listener

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s vital for you to proactively listen to consumer complaints, praises or mentions on social media. Being a proactive listener can help you keep your customers longer. Along with responding to support queries, people always expect you to respond to their comments on social media and blogs. You’ll want to let them know that you’re always there to help right up front.

While responding to customer comments, keep in mind that you don’t want to have a negative customer support conversation in public. This can often create an impression among your fans that your brand has some serious problems. When possible, move the conversation to your help ticket system or add a live chat option to your site so you are the first direct point of contact. 

Start incorporating the above tips into your business development plan. They’ll help you earn more business from your customers and retain them longer.

Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.

Published on: Mar 30, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.