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Customer Retention. Isn’t this something rarely focused by companies nowadays? Well, the organizations and their sales teams have almost forbidden customer retention in pursuit of concentrating more on bringing in new customers.
In fact, customer retention is helpful in both ways, .i.e. increasing revenue and reducing costs. Yes, you heard it.
Keeping customers coming back helps in higher ROI at 5-25 times less cost.
Let me help you believe this with a few stats.
A recent Gartner study mentioned that A 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25%.
82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition – Emarsys research
Existing customers spend 67% more than the newly acquired customer – Business.com.
Customers are undoubtedly the biggest asset to businesses. But, focusing only on new customers and not on existing customers can be a significant loss. Business owners must not underestimate the power of a loyal customer base.
But What Exactly is Customer Retention?
The strategy/process built by organizations to convert one time buyers into returning customers is called customer retention. These activities used to increase the number of repeating customers also helps in increasing the profitability of each customer.
Basically, customer retention is how you build customer relationships and help your customers get value from your products.
And Why is it Important?
There are many reasons customer retention is a crucial factor for a business. Customer acquisition is more expensive than retaining an existing customer being at the top of the list.
Keeping customers loyal to your brand after their first purchase is highly profitable. And keeping those existing customers happy with a robust customer retention strategy also helps you experience the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Even though there are numerous marketing strategies, word of mouth remains the most potent and effective way to promote the brand and products. The trust you get from your happy customers will drive more sales and also decrease the advertising costs saving you a considerable amount of money. Apart from that, it also offers you an opportunity to build a constructive relationship with your customers and improve customer experience in your store.
Now that you know the importance of customer retention, it is high time for you to build a solid customer retention strategy and make the most out of it. There are a lot of ways to enhance the customer retention of your store. Interact with customers on social media to ensure their experience on your website, email marketing, and others.
Well, here are the best practices to utilize in order to increase the customer retention of your website.
Customer Loyalty Program
75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards – A recent Bond report
The customer loyalty program is one of the most excellent ways to increase customer retention and boost customer loyalty to your brand. With a customer loyalty program, you can reward your customers with incentives to come back and shop again. Once your customer opts in for the loyalty program, delight them with exclusive offers, a glance of your new products, notification of ongoing offers, etc. This royal feeling will help you make them feel valued and is an excellent way to keep customers coming back to your website. The more they shop, the more they are rewarded. You can reward customers for more than just shopping, like writing reviews, referral rewards, social sharing rewards. The program helps you maintain a loyal customer base and gain new customers recommended by your existing ones.
Setting realistic expectations help improve customer retention rate with a considerable impact. This is a process that can have a significant impact on a business’s ability to keep customers. For instance, if you own an e-commerce store, when a customer orders something and has to wait for nearly two weeks, he/she tends to get annoyed. But if you inform them while they are ordering that the order might take a little longer and keep them up to date with the status every day, they will at least thank you for updating and won’t be annoyed for late delivery. There are various ways to keep them informed. You can have transparent shipping information on your website, keep them updated through emails or text messages.
And while you are setting realistic expectations, make sure you don’t under deliver the product or service in any way. Whether it is about meeting the deadline or expected quality, if your goal is to retain the customer, never over-promise and under deliver.
It isn’t easy to improve the services or products if you don’t know how your customers feel about it. There must be a process to collect the customer’s feedback and share it with the respective team members. Whether positive or negative, feedback must be collected and analyzed. You can ask for feedback from the customer via email or by developing a survey. With this, customers feel valued and the businesses can improve overall customer experience with the insights received from customers. We can’t see the flaws of our product or service, as well as a customer, can, so it is always a great idea to collect feedback. You can also keep watching what your customers are talking about your brand on social media or other parts of the web.
A communication calendar is a chart that keeps track of communication done with your customers. If customers don’t interact with your brand for a while, your team must be proactive in reaching out to them and re-establishing the communication. Maintaining a communication calendar will help you get in touch with them and make them feel special every once in a while. A customer that feels valued is surely coming back and purchasing from your business. For example, if a customer’s subscription is coming to an end, you can send them reminder emails for renewal and offer them some discount on renewal to influence their decision quickly.
Smart Product Recommendation
As a business owner, you are more experienced in your products than a client who just visited your store. In cases of products or services, having a smart product recommendation at the time of purchase. Not only does it help the customer find what they are looking for, but it also helps the business owner with increased sales. For example, if you have a jewelry store and a person is looking for a necklace, you must start recommending the earrings that go along with the necklace they are looking at.
If you are a services-based business, when a customer is planning to develop a website, you can start recommending the themes that go along with the idea of his business.
This way, customers feel special and that is obviously rewarding your business with increased customer retention.
Customer Support System
A support system is added to a business to improve the overall customer experience and customer satisfaction. It can be anything, a help desk, or a live chat, basically, something that helps your customers get the answers to their queries on the spot. Having a customer support system can help you resolve customer issues efficiently and quickly, resulting in customer delight. A customer tends to forgive a mistake that happened when it is solved quickly. A support system allows you to engage with customers in real-time. For example, if a food delivery guy or the restaurant makes a mistake, live chat support on Zomato or Swiggy helps the customer get their issue resolved. The support team must deliver the best possible solution to the customers.
Personalization is winning customers in almost every sector nowadays. It allows businesses to increase customer retention with well-crafted and relevant customer experience. With personalization, you can collect data about your customers, which can be later used to offer personalized recommendations or exclusive offers to the customers. Utilizing personalization through email is the simplest way and is highly beneficial to increase customer retention. When you address the customer by their name and offer them an exclusive discount on their birthday/anniversary, they will be forever loyal to your brand. Turn the data into personalized information and make the most out of it.
Email marketing is one of the most efficient marketing tactics and is a crucial factor for customer retention. The email marketing campaign implemented rightly can help boost conversions, increase customer retention, and generate more revenue. There are specific ways to follow; you can send a thank you email to your new customers, recommend some products or send them the latest offers to the customers to make them feel valuable and stick around your brand. Engage with your customers and acknowledge their requirements.
Customer retention is the future of business growth. Attracting new customers with compelling content and marketing is no more enough to sustain the business. In the fierce competition, to stand out of the crowd, it is necessary to retain customers by offering extraordinary customer services. Whether it is increasing customer retention or revenue, everything surrounds a persuasive customer experience strategy. So, make sure you ace the customer experience.
Author Bio: Ankita Tanna – Creative by soul; technical writer by passion & profession, Ankita is an elegant wordsmith at MageDelight having profound interest in Content Marketing and advancements of the technology. …and when she’s not doing that, she enjoys her time reading or following the ‘Netflix and Chill’!