In today's day and age, it is of the essence to know strategies for customer retention.
If you cannot hold potential buyers for long enough, then you practically run the risk of losing them. This is especially important for the case where customers subscribe to services.
Fret not, because, in this guide, we'll be looking at 8 ways to boost customer retention. So without further ado, let's jump into the guide.
What is Customer Retention?
Customer retention is a measure of customer loyalty and the ability of a company or business to retain customers over some time. It is an essential indicator of how appealing the product, service, or brand is to the customer and whether it is engaging enough for the already existing customers to keep them from switching over to a competitor.
Different metrics (statistical methods) can give you an indication of customer retention and the choice of the right metric for you depends on your goals. For instance, the customer retention metric is the appropriate gauge to see how well-liked your business is, whereas the churn rate specifically tells you about the number of customers lost over a period.
Why is Customer Retention so Important?
Irrespective of the type and scale of your business or company, it is necessary for you to take customer retention into account. Strategizing is key when it comes to business and that is where a lot of businesses usually head south by spending large sums on customer acquisition (bringing in new customers) and overlooking the customers they already have.
According to Amy Gallo from Harvard Business Review, retaining a customer is somewhere between five to 25 times less expensive than acquiring a new customer. And with only a five percent hike in retention rates, you can increase profits by up to 95 percent. Customer retention is an important aspect of business strategy, and it can give your business a competitive edge over your competitors.
8 Ways to Boost Customer Retention Rates
Are you convinced that customer retention is important? If so, you're probably looking for strategies to pull up your retention rates so they reflect positively in your finances. We have concise yet effective strategies for you:
1. Knowing Your Customer and Their Needs
It is essential to know your customers because only they can directly help your business grow. You need a clear picture of the needs and expectations of your customers to know how to serve them.
Surveys and analysis are the easiest way to figure out the desires, pain points, and priorities of your customers. Multiple research methods can be used hand in hand to help you to identify customer behavior and the motivations and causes behind those behaviors. Some effective methods include:
It involves interviewing and gathering information from a group of people that represent your potential consumer base.
The most effective way to identify customer needs is to be in direct contact with your audience. The goal of the focus group is to start an open dialogue about your products or services, to get a better picture of what the target audience feels about your brand.
Does all this seem like a hassle? you may conduct surveys to collect feedback on online platforms like Facebook, and tweeter.
You have to identify the social platforms your customers most commonly use, and monitor what they talk about. What are they interested in? What do they argue against?
It's a way of monitoring centered around gathering and analyzing information such as mentions, recent activities, hashtags, and keywords, essentially any activity related to your company or brand to analyze your business from the perspective of your customers.
Knowing what questions, problems, or solutions your target audience is most interested in. This can help shape your business strategy to meet your customer's needs. With a little research, find the right keywords and you'll be right on track to meeting the right people.
It is one of the most effective strategies for pinpointing the needs of searchers as it helps you grab the right audience for your site. What is your customer looking for? Why and in what circumstances is he looking for it?
With this information, you will know in real-time what your customer needs and you can even anticipate what they might need shortly. You may expand your product and services to meet your customer's needs, and become the customer's genie who'll be there to provide everything at the perfect time. And customers never abandon a brand that provides them with what they need at the right time.
2. Making the Onboarding Process Effortless
A memorable first impression can go a long way. Every time a new customer approaches you for your product or services, your business has a chance to leave a lasting fusion - so your onboarding process must be fail-safe.
Any problems with customer service such as lack of assistance in their initial onboarding, or mishandling of information are very likely to stick with the customer for a long. Since such nuances can very easily be rectified by your business it is best not to leave a bad impression of your business with a new customer.
Is it all about customer service? Well, not entirely.
A good onboarding program is much more than just amazing customer service, a well-engineered onboarding program should have effective workflows with timely notifications and emails, follow-up messages, open sources help directories accessible to all users, and celebratory messages to all new clients and customers.
A good onboarding program directly translates to a satisfied customer, elevates your relationships with customers, boosts customer retention, and may just be the push toward success that your business needs.
3. Optimizing and Personalizing Experiences
Like no two apples are the same, one-size-fits-all solutions for consumers are not longed for. Customers appreciate tailored solutions from your business at each stage of their journey, they expect products with differing preferences and variants so they may choose the options that best cater to their needs.
A survey conducted by Evergage marketing prominently validated these claims, almost all marketers involved in the survey claimed that personalization helped advance customer relationships, with 78% claiming to have a strong impact.
A seamless user Interface and progressive profiling to create personalized shopping experiences, personalized responses, and experiences across all platforms can be a way to show your customers you care. Customers who feel valued are less likely to part ways with your business.
4. Creating an Effective Feedback Loop
You need to be aware of customers' opinions about your business, it is difficult to improve on any shortcomings if you're not aware of what the shortcomings are on the consumer's end. You need a structured process to obtain customer feedback and share it within your organization for any necessary changes to be implemented promptly.
The customer feedback loop is the process that provides the system to collect, analyze and distribute reviews, surveys, and feedback. You can gather feedback via surveys or you may promote customers to participate in focus groups, and user testing.
You can collect ample and relevant feedback with regular use of these methods. You may then use and analyze this information by looking for patterns. Then it can be shared with relevant teams to make appropriate fixes to suppress any hiccups on the customer's end. This system will enable your business to efficiently and promptly address criticism and improve customer experience and in turn your customer retention rates.
Getting Back To The Respondent
In addition to gathering feedback, closing the feedback loop with your customer is just as beneficial. You can send personalized messages in response to feedback and surveys to show your customers how their feedback is being used constructively. Such closed-loop processes have a long-lasting impact on consumers and are a great help in improving customer relationships.
5. Creating an Appealing Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs that offer exclusive discounts and prizes to encourage customers are the best deterrent to crunch. In addition to just discounts and services, you can add experiences that make the customer feel about using your services or products such as little gestures of appreciation for using your products, which can go a long way.
You can even keep track of how frequently a particular consumer returns to access your services and reward customers accordingly making the loyalty program customized to each customer's preferences.
Your customers treat you how they are being treated, if you offer them the right incentives they will respond accordingly. And loyalties and rewards are the perfect incentives, customers get discounts and you get higher repeat rates.
6. Forming a Dedicated Community
In today's world, where digital connections are necessary, you need to have a dedicated online space where consumers of your business can interact with you and other consumers in the same space.
Communities are not only helpful in establishing better relationships and communication but are beneficial in many other ways, especially for your business strategy. Customers can get responses to their queries without having to contact a customer representative, you can point and meet exceeding customer expectations, and identify at-risk customers. The feeling of belonging that one gets from a community might distinguish your brand from other competitors, making more customers loyal to yours.
Albeit all the benefits; building a community can be time intensive, and it may come to you that it doesn't reap as many benefits, but reflecting on a few basic questions like What is your goal of building the community? How does the community represent your business or company? Can give you a good head start. It may be intensive and demanding but it pays off in much-improved customer relations and customer loyalty in the long run.
7. Encouraging Reviews and Testimonials
Strategies may never overcome sentiments, social promotions, like reviews, testimonials, and case studies can reshape customer choices and are key in arousing sentiments in a customer about a particular brand or business.
New customers are attracted to such reviews, whilst the trust of the old customer is maintained in the brand. The hype buildup as a result of these testimonials gives loyal customers more reason to feel justified about their choices and they are likely to stay glued to your business or brand. Here are a few tips you can add to the mix to hype your testimonials up:
Highlighting customer success stories.
Potential customers looking to work with you can make more informed decisions and choices when they would look into such case studies. By acquiring customers that are more informed and whose requirements are a better fit for what your business has to offer, repeat customer and retention rates are very likely to go up.
Address Negative Reviews When Possible
Empathy can go a long way, just showing a disappointed customer that their critique will be considered and addressed promptly shows you are a trustworthy business that cares.
8. Showing your Gratitude
While free products or services, discount coupons, or little gifts are great ways to express gratitude it doesn't have to be a material thing, something as little as thank you email can go a long way, in making your customer feel valued and ensuring that will stay loyal to your business and will return
Exclusive, and personalized gifts like little souvenirs, handwritten notes, etc can leave a memorable impression on your business, the more attention to detail you pay in expressing your gratitude, the more you will stand out from your competitors. Such little sentimental efforts for your customer trigger a sense of reciprocity. These efforts are reciprocated from the receiving end and consumers feel compelled to offer something in return, their loyalty to you.
One thing to be mindful of is the customer's paraphernalia and timing when you're contacting them if in an online setting or via call. A thank you call only at the wrong time and the situation can go south pretty quickly. Customer appreciation results in their satisfaction and directly translates to lower churn, and higher retention rates
The aforementioned strategies are all methods centered around ensuring a good customer experience and are aimed at improving customer satisfaction. You may use them as a basic template to come up with plans that better suit your customers and your target audience. Customer retention is simple, all you need to worry about is your customers and their satisfaction, and all the metrics and indicators will just follow.