Buyers these days are bombarded with countless clever ads trying to push them to the purchase as soon as possible. The question is, how to keep the existing customers right beside your business and enhance customer retention?
Customer retention strategies have never been easy to deploy. Equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge and skillset then plays a vital role in keeping customer retention rates at high levels. Read through this article to find out all the fundamentals about setting your business apart when reinforcing the customer relationship management.
What Is Customer Retention?
Generally, customer retention is the act of keeping customers close to the business instead of losing them to any other competitor. A customer/ user retention strategy involves all actions it takes to encourage buyers to stay and be loyal to the business’s offerings.
This concept then makes it completely different from the term “customer acquisition”. While customer acquisition refers to the gain of new customers for the company, customer retention means retaining your customers that were already converted at least once.
Retention is actually more preferred than acquisition as it is proved to be more cost-effective for business growth and easier to achieve. Most marketing proofs show that user retention is around 5 times cheaper while the ROI is around 2-3 times greater.
Why Is It Important To Care About Customer Retention?
Higher Conversion Rates
As long as the customer has a satisfactory buying experience with you, it’s likely that they will come back and buy something from you again. With the first positive impression, it’s easier to build trust and inspire confidence in your offerings.
User retention strategies will then facilitate in predicting customer behaviors, making it faster to convert traffic into sales. A properly deployed strategy can really help you to rake in the dough and raise customer success sales rate.
Less Time And Effort Consuming
With the current customer base, it saves you time and effort to build up the revenue stream. Timely promotions with appealing offers can easily keep the customers stay with you for a longer time.
Unlike customer acquisition, customer retention costs less of your resources. Your existing subscribers already believe in your business, making it easier to convince them into settling down with their purchases and improve user experience.
Higher Profit & Lower Cost
As compared to selling to new customers, selling to the existing ones is much easier. As they already have a certain level of trust in your business, they’re more likely to be interested in cross-selling and up-selling.
Customer loyalty programs are also a cost-saving approach. A 5% rise in subscriber retains can increase profits by 75%. Kill two birds with one stone – this is what the customer retention rate strategy is all about.
Better Word Of Mouth
Client retention results in positive and widespread word of mouth. Satisfied customers won’t hesitate to recommend your business to their networks. They are also repeated customers, adding more sales to your revenue stream.
That’s why a loyalty rewards program is a must-have act when it comes to initiating a retention marketing strategy. It builds up a base for customer loyalty, generating more repeat purchases.
More Rooms For Improvement
Customer feedback is a treasure to any business. Contributive comments and studies during the sales will push you forward the better, further improving your service/ product standard to fulfill and even exceed customer’s expectations.
Customer retention programs can also bring a huge pool of customer behavioral data. Repeat users/ subscribers can generate valuable insights into their preferences, interests, and buying patterns. Their demographic traits and customer value/ customers lifetime value are the keys to customizing your strategy for higher conversion rates.
7 Simple Tips to Leverage Your Customer Retention Strategies
Customer retention programs can come in many forms, one of which is the surprise offers. People all want to feel appreciated, and one of the most popular favored ways to appreciate your customers is to offer them surprise discounts/ gifts.
However, a surprise without saying anything won’t do much to impress. You need to let the customers know they’re receiving this surprise for being loyal to your brand. Different brands may have different ways to deliver their thank-you message. Still, the purpose here is to let them know they’re appreciated for staying with your business.
Besides loyal customers programs, surprise offers can be VIP discounts or gifts on special occasions – Birthday, New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. People like being a part of a special group with premium/ exclusive benefits. By showing them that you treasure their companion, the bond between you and your customer is much stronger.
Offering surprise things is a great way to show your care for your target audience. It also leverages your brand exposure and indirectly attracts new customers to your online store (WooCommerce or Shopify store). The offer is not always necessarily a discount, it can be anything that your client is interested in – a concert ticket, cupcake, free dinner, etc.
Product quality is a pillar of a business, but it’s not everything. People also set expectations when they interact with the business. How you deliver your product sometimes determines whether you can close the sale. Besides the customer rewards program, your service can play a vital role in encouraging customers to spend more time with you. Here are three keys to providing outstanding services:
Whether it is in person, on the phone calls, via email, live chat, or social media message, customers should feel the consistency in the service quality. Prompt response, detailed information & knowledge base, reliable sales process, and customized offers are most important when providing any customer service.
Diverse contact channels
Don’t limit your channels when communicating with your customers. It’s important to make sure customers can reach you by as many channels as possible. Social media messages, email, hotline, etc., people may have different support preferences. Providing several contact points means you can interact with your customers faster, reducing the unwanted disappointment from the delay in getting support.
Perfect match for the need
When offering service, be specific, personal, and straight to the point. If there are many support/service areas in your business, make sure your customer gets to the agent that is most skilled in that particular area.
A relevant survey will give you useful insights into how to improve your customer service. A survey won’t help you satisfy every single customer, because such a thing is impossible. Still, a survey can be a great help to move forward. With customer retention metrics, you can calculate your customer retention rate (with a customer retention formula). Its performance indicator shows you what is working well and what needs an upgrade/ modification/ removal in a certain period of time.
A survey gives you a closer look at the patterns you have missed, allowing for on-time action to fix the problem or further boost the customer retention program. Most customer surveys include both multiple-choice questions and with-text answers. Multiple choice questions save customer’s time to give out an answer. In the meantime, text answers allow them to freely share their opinions.
Besides the survey content, it’s also crucial to determine the frequency of delivery. The survey should be timely sent; otherwise, it would be a pain in the eyes, causing many reverse effects when trying to get customer feedback.
The survey audience is another significant factor. You have to decide which group should/ should not receive the survey. This depends on their newness to your business and participation status (Is this the first time they receive the survey, or you are planning to send it again?).
Games are a fun way to interact with your customers. Reference gifts, redeemable points, rewards, badges are some popular gamification ideas for your retention program. With these little tactics, you will make the customers feel more connected to the business, enhancing their sense of belongingness.
It is also an excellent way to step-by-step train your customers about your offerings. There’s no use in bombarding them with useless coupons or verbose thank-you letters. Instead, some fun games will be much more effective in keeping your audience close to you.
When running gamification in your retention programs, don’t forget to inform your customers (in a very newbie-friendly manner) about the rule of the game. Make sure they are well aware of the terms, conditions, and rewards/ prizes.
Another note is to keep your content as personal as possible. This will truly engage your audience to the game, ignite their interest to reach higher levels for more rewards. UX/ UI design should be prioritized to ensure the smooth and catchy gaming process. Otherwise, it’ll just be another annoying feature that your users won’t ever enjoy.
Automation frees you from your marketing routines, saving your time and effort on user engagement. Especially if you are building relationships with your audience or expanding your business, a marketing automation tool is a must-have item. There are now countless plugins out there that can help you with the work.
If you are looking for a simple yet comprehensive marketing automation tool, our recommendation is Ecomfit. This plugin is a helpful sidekick automating your push notifications, emails, and other marketing programs in need. It also comes with an advanced analytic machine to provide you with detailed data on your campaign/ strategy performance.
Ab testing, audience segmentation, content customization, and campaign schedule are the biggest selling points of this plugin. If you are planning to send your offers/ discounts/ promotions/ blog post newsletters/ partner programs in great quantity and high purchase frequency, this plugin is a great help. It systemizes your marketing work, giving you more resources to invest in other projects that matter.
As soon as you can standardize your procedure, it’ll be much easier to deliver what you promised to the customers. With marketing management tools, you have better control over your subscription list, customer base, and all your content marketing.
If you are not sure if you can deliver what you promised, don’t promise. Once there are negative customer experiences with the brand, the word of mouth is even stronger and more widespread. That’s why business owners/ app developers should always under-promise and over-deliver to turn their customers into brand ambassadors.
Promises make people expect, and if you are not up to your “promised” standard, customers will lose trust in your brand. They can be very aggressive if their expectations are not fulfilled, customer relationships will then be depreciated. So when offering a service, dare to exceed their expectation and shorten customer journey; this will boost their trust and engagement to your company.
However, it’s of great necessity to keep your promise and your action consistent. You cannot over-deliver in all cases, but at least make sure what you do is aligned with your promise and try to do it a bit better than said.
Over delivering is a great push in brand loyalty. For example, if your announced shipping time is 20 minutes yet you can make it at 10 minutes, the buyer is very likely to choose you again for their upcoming purchases.
Learning From The Customer Complaints
Don’t run away when people give you complaints, face them! Complaints are a treasure to a business, and people give complaints when they care. In many cases, how you deal with the complaints can even help you win back the buyers and further increase customer engagement with your product/ service.
Professionalism, attention to detail, personal care, and honesty are the key components of a complaint handling strategy. A complaint gives you a closer look at the defects of your offerings. It thus shows you what you are missing and what should be done to get over the negative feedback.
Don’t be afraid of complaints; instead, run to them, and encounter them with an authentic attitude. People who complain are actually willing to stay. It is then a chance for you to win back the game, retain customers and their positive word of mouth.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are running a startup or a big corp, customer retention strategies and techniques are always necessary. If customers are satisfied with what you are offering and how you are serving, there’s no reason to lose them to any other competitor. These 7 tactics hopefully bring you more ideas in implementing a customer satisfaction program to delight your customers. Put them into practice, create your own success customer stories, and enjoy the fruit of your labor.