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4 Books to Improve Your Customers' Lifetime Value

Long-term buyers are the best. These titles will help you encourage shoppers to stick around for years.

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You owe quite a bit to your brand-loyal, long-term buyers. Without their repeat business, you'd have no dependable source of income. So, why not focus your attention on keeping them happy? When you do, you'll get a serious benefit in the form of a higher average customer lifetime value (LTV).

Harper Business & Morgan James Publishing & St. Martin's Press & Rick Grassi

Not currently tracking your overall LTV rate? You can figure it out fairly easily. First, determine how many visits a typical customer makes to your physical or online store annually. Multiply that number by the average purchase amount spent per visit. Then, multiply the annual figure by the number of years a customer stays with your organization.

For instance, say that customers tend to buy from you twice a year at $50 per purchase. This means they spend $100 yearly. If customers "churn" about every three years, you can estimate that the LTV of a customer is around $300. Now, you have a starting point and can start to make tweaks to get the LTV bottom line to increase.

Why pay such close attention to your customer LTV? It costs about five times less to keep current customers than to replace them, according to OutboundEngine research. Plus, the longer you know your buyers, the better you can understand and serve them. And don't forget that a raving fan base will give you an organic positive branding lift. In other words, you get more marketing for your products and services for the same budget!

Of course, figuring out what to change to bring about a more impressive LTV can be tough. To help you get some ideas, get a little closer to the following books aimed at making your customers happy.

1. The Hawke Method by Erik Huberman

Entrepreneur Erik Huberman centers his book on three pillars that he refers to as the principles of marketing: brand awareness, customer nurturing and buyer trust. He uses his years of experience to show how to close sales faster and hold onto the best customers longer.

Written in a straightforward, conversational style, The Hawke Method can help you refresh your marketing strategy to improve your customer LTV and, ultimately, your ROI. Huberman explains why you need to nurture early and often to avoid preventable prospect churn. Remember: Everything you do during those first critical touchpoints matters. Make certain that you're engaging with your prospects the right way so they hang around and maybe turn into your loudest cheerleaders.

Related: How to Retain Clients Longer Using the Lifetime Value Principle

2. You're Invited by Jon Levy

You've invited your customers to join you at the table. Yet are you delivering them a customer experience (CX) that leaves them practically speechless? Jon Levy uses his behavioral science background to lay out methods for you to form deep and lasting connections with the people who've chosen your brand instead of another.

You're Invited will encourage you to think of your customers as part of a distinct, exclusive community. Levy rose from "unknown" status to a well-known international figure, all thanks to the knowledge of human habits he shares in his book. Leverage his suggestions to establish a tighter, more meaningful affiliation with customers so they're more likely to stay.

Related: Customer Experience Will Determine the Success of Your Company

3. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Sometimes, the needle that will motivate your customers and inch up your LTV doesn't come from the place you assume it would. For example, perhaps your customers leave because your teams aren't headed up by the right kinds of leaders. In this case, pouring over Extreme Ownership might give you insights into how to close your leadership gaps.

Written by former U.S. Navy Seals-turned-consultants, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin lay out a plan for making sure your departments and company run smoothly and effectively. By streamlining your internal management decision-making and systems, you can avoid and mitigate problems that lead to customer dissatisfaction.

Related: 3 Powerful Internal Communications Tips to Become a Better Business

4. The Little Customer Service Book by Rick Grassi

Sometimes, we end up making everything seem too complicated. That includes the way we approach customer service. One method to get the edge on your LTV number can be through taking an old-school approach to service and support. Enter Rick Grassi's guide, The Little Customer Service Book.

Though small in size, this book touches on some wide-ranging topics and promises big "Eureka!" moments. It's worth passing this around to colleagues before brainstorming sessions just to get everyone's imagination flowing. If your communication has slipped off track, your customer LTV can't be far behind. Get back to basics and wow your buyers with knock-their-socks-off service that leaves them asking for more.

Every time a customer chooses to buy again, you've hit the jackpot, so heed these books' insights and make sure to position your business to stay on a winning streak by keeping abreast of the health and growth of your customer LTV.

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