Retaining customers is far easier said than done. In theory, it does not seem complex, but in practice — it’s something every business needs to be striving towards on a day-to-day basis. The long-term success of your company hinges on your clients. Keep reading to discover 10 customer retention strategies to start using today.
So… what exactly is customer retention?
Customer retention is the process of managing your customer base by consistently encouraging them to come back and buy your products or services. Because retaining customers costs far less than acquiring new ones, you can generate more profit by focusing on your customer retention program.
Why should you focus on customer retention strategies?
Your existing customers have already tried your product and know about your company, so trust has been established and you have the client’s details in your database, which means you know what they like and want from your brand. Instead of focusing on acquiring new customers, it is far more profitable to invest in clients you already have. Make a customer happy and you can be sure that at least a few other people will learn about it. Word of mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to marketing. In order to create buzz around your brand, it’s important to keep customers coming back. When existing customers buy your product and enjoy their experience, they are likely to recommend it to their friends and family in real life and online.
Customer retention gives you insight into how satisfied your customers are, not only with your product or service, but also with your customer service. Most clients who choose not to repurchase from a brand do so because they are unhappy with the way a company treated them.
By implementing the below customer retention management strategies, you can boost the client retention in your business.
1. Maintain high quality customer service
In general, consumers are more influenced by negative events than positive ones. That means you need to do everything you can to maintain high quality customer service and limit negative experiences. Customers are also willing to dwell on negative experiences, and to comment on them, both in real life and on social media.
Good customer service can mean the difference between a customer being loyal to your brand or never repurchasing from you again. Customer satisfaction should be achieved through a number of means. It’s not about just one thing — it’s about how your customers are treated through each interaction they have with your brand. Employees’ approach to their job and to customer service is a large factor in determining how clients see your company. Anyone who represents your business and has direct contact with customers must have a positive and professional attitude.
2. Build and constantly maintain a relationship with your customers
Use communication to build customer relationships. You can’t expect your customers to form a bond with you overnight — but with consistency a bit of patience, it’ll happen. Remember that listening to your customers is just as important as promoting your business, especially when it comes to building relationships. If your customers trust you, even if you make a mistake, they will be willing to forgive you and, instead of complaining, simply admit that it sometimes happens even to the best of companies.
Once a client interacts with your brand, you will have access to nformation about them — make sure you’re using this data to keep in touch, send discount codes and special promotions or small gifts. Give the customer a reason to remember your company, come back in the future, forget about the competition and maybe even recommend you to their friends.
3. Personalization is key
Each one of your customers is unique and requires a different approach. Today, clients demand a customized shopping experience. Personalized messages and discounts can be the difference between more business with a particular client and losing them forever. Personalization has become an essential tool and is one of the keys to a retention strategy. By providing the ultimate personalized experience to your customers, you can drive overall revenue growth for your business while engaging customers and boosting customer lifetime value (CLV).
4. Show customers you appreciate them
If your clients share something nice about your company and show their loyalty to your brand – show them some love. Take a proactive approach and make it clear how much you appreciate them. It can be something simple, like a discount code, better promotions for the most loyal customers or even just a “thank you” message. Make an effort and the appreciation will be mutual.
5. Clearly define and set customer expectations
Show clients what they should expect from you at the beginning of your relationship. Setting expectations keeps customers satisfied with your service and allows you to build trust with customers. This is done by being transparent through your website, social media pages and customer platform how you do business. If you are promoting your loyalty program, make it clear how the customer will benefit from joining — what kind of promotions or discounts will they receive? Another classic example of setting customer expectations is predicting response times. If a customer is contacting customer service, it is wise to let customers know when they should expect a response. Otherwise, they may assume responses will be immediate — and they’ll be impressed if you ‘beat’ this response time.
6. Use social media
Nothing boosts customer retention like a strong social media presence. Your customers are probably on social media right now, so you should it to your advantage. Start official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat and whatever else is appropriate for your business. Figure out what channels your customers use most frequently and communicate with them via those platforms. Not only will you be able to reach them through multiple touch-points, you will also be able to learn their opinions about your company (and maybe even your competitors). You can encourage them to share your products and become brand ambassadors.
7. Collect feedback
Ask customers how they really feel about your company. Allowing customers to voice their opinions helps them feel heard while giving you feedback on how your company can improve. Reach out to clients through short messages or surveys. Ask about their customer service experience, whether they like your products or if there’s anything they’d change about them. Honest customer feedback is worth far more than expensive market research, and will make your clients feel important and empowered to make a change.
Once you get feedback from customers, it’s important to act quickly. If you receive negative feedback, make sure to let the customer know you heard them and what your next steps are to ensure their experience is improved. The information you gather from surveys along with the aforementioned data stored within your loyalty management system will allow you to gain a better understanding of your customers, which is essential in customer retention management.
8. Keep your website, mobile app and purchasing process customer-friendly
The more seamless your shopping process is, the better. Clients need to understand how your e-commerce Site and/or application works, and the payment process must be user-friendly. If customers experience any difficulties during the purchasing process, whether it be findig the item they’re looking for or filling out their payment information, you will likely experience abandoned carts and unpaid orders. Simplify the process as much as possible: run tests with focus groups, introduce more language options and make the content understandable for every client.
9. Become the customer’s source of know-how
Make sure it’s you that your customers turn to when they’re looking for advice or in the event of any problems. You already are an expert in your business, so it’ll be easy to provide educational information for your customers. After-all, you know your product better than anyone else. Use positive testimonials about your products, and maybe even start a blog with insightful posts. Customers are buying your products because they trust that you know your business and are offering a high-quality product, backed with industry experience and know-how.
10. Customer-management platforms
With a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, you can easily keep track of your customer retention. It will also help your employees to provide clients with high-quality service. A CRM platform will allow you to easily manage your client database, send automatic messages, suggest promotions and issue payment reminders. This means your customer retention program will be more seamless and give you more time to focus on different tasks.
Customer retention management leads to loyalty
Managing customer retention is an important part of growing your brand and can lead to improved customer loyalty. Additionally, it can improve customer advocacy, which helps create buzz around your brand and products.
Customer loyalty allows you to measure how often a particular customer uses the products and services offered by your company. It is not possible to create customer loyalty without an effective client retention strategy. Acquiring and maintaining comprehensive customer data facilitates predictive analytics, which makes it possible to identify trends in customer behaviour, reduce their churn effectively, and later run a successful loyalty program. Yet even with these significant benefits, many are not executing their customer retention strategies effectively.