One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is the notion that a great product or service is sufficient for an effective customer retention strategy. However, this is only one aspect of marketing, while there are many other customer retention strategies. Undoubtedly, every business needs new customers, but it is equally important to improve customer retention, since the cost of attracting new customers is several times higher than retaining an existing customer.
What is customer retention?
Customer retention is a marketing strategy ensures your customers stay with your brand. The key goal of a successful customer retention plan is to help businesses retain customers and discover how they drive business growth.
An effective customer retention strategy always starts with the customer's first contact with your business and continues throughout the relationship.
Why Does It Matter
The probability of a successful sale to an existing customer is around 65%, while the probability of a successful sale to a new customer is only up to 18%.
Understanding a customer retention strategy to turn them into brand loyalists is critical to growing your business further. Implementing different retention ideas can have a significant impact on your business. There are three important aspects that you can achieve with the right strategies:
- Improve customer loyalty.
The proper customer retention programs will help you create a positive experience that will not only satisfy your customers needs, but also engage them in building a loyal relationship with your brand.
- Increase customer lifetime value.
Increasing your customer retention rate by 5% can increase profit up to 95%. That's why, any business looking to increase the bottom line should focus equally on customer retention as well as customer attraction for sustainable growth.
- Create positive reviews.
The best customer retention plan provides you with the opportunity to build strong relationships with customers who become loyal to your brand. After all, they may even become your brand advocates and spread positive feedback.
How to calculate customer retention rate (CRR)?
Calculating the customer retention rate is necessary in order to understand how effectively your tools work. The higher the score, the better your retention strategy is performing.
To calculate CRR, you need to subtract the number of new customers for the period from the number of customers at the end of the period, and then divide this difference by the number of customers at the beginning of the period.
It's important to strike a balance between attracting new customers and making your existing customers feel special. This can be done by colliding their needs and expectations. And, special attention should be paid to increasing the group of your loyal customers and ensuring their experience is exceptional.
Top 5 customers retention strategies
The proper customer retention strategies provide a great experience that builds loyalty and encourages customers to stay with your brand for life. Customer retention not only increases the value of a product, but also encourages them to share their reviews and experiences to attract new customers.
We have rounded up the list of strategies for an effective customer retention program. Let’s take a look!
1. Make customer experience a priority.
Everything you do affects the attitude of your customers and their decision to return to you or not. The customer experience includes every touch point with your business, from website navigation, customer support interactions, to the final purchase and delivery.
So, as we already know, a great customer experience is your key to success. Exceptional customer experiences are those that create an emotional connection with customers.
How focusing on customer experience can increase customer retention?
- Improve customer satisfaction. Satisfactory engagement with your brand undoubtedly creates a great impression and experience that encourages customers to stay with your business.
- Turn new customers into loyal customers. Providing your customers with exceptional experience encourages them to return to your business over and over and develop loyalty to your brand.
- Improve customer advocacy. Happy customers not only have a high lifetime value, but also turn out to be the best brand advocates. They share their experiences with their friends in order to increase brand credibility.
Parcel Trackr, Shopify order tracking app, can help you to achieve all the above listed aspects. With this order tracking app you are able to provide your customers with real-time order tracking information that helps to improve customer satisfaction as well as increase brand trust.
2. Reward your customers.
One of the most obvious customer retention strategies is to reward customers for their loyalty. Rewards may include discounts, gifts, exclusive events and more.
Incentive-based loyalty programs are one of the best ways to show customers that you appreciate them. Customers who are emotionally connected to a brand have a higher lifetime value and recommend brands 75% more.
An emotional connection is created through a shared positive experience and a sense of belonging and understanding. The simple act of giving customers an incentive to thank them for their business is a great way to build loyalty, regardless of the reward's value.
To put it simply, you just need to positively reinforce their actions by offering something in return. The customer is offering a repeat order and you are offering a reward – a win-win situation to keep customers coming back.
3. Collect customer feedback.
The best way to know what customers think about your business is to ask them. Using customer satisfaction surveys to collect feedback and diagnose potential dissatisfaction is a great starting point for understanding what needs to be improved in your overall online experience.
A good survey should consist of multiple-choice questions and free text response fields to allow the customer to provide more detailed feedback where needed.
Customers appreciate it when you ask them for their opinion. This means you care and that you’re ready to go the extra mile to keep them.
4. Communicate with your customers.
Regular communication with customers through various channels is the key to retaining customers online.
Keeping in touch with your existing customers keeps you in the spotlight. Continually reach out to your customers via email. Email is an effective marketing and customer retention tool. Use it to build positive relationships with your customers.
You can send emails with special offers, product or service updates, birthday wishes, or just say hello to your consumers.
Blogging is another option to communicate with your customers. Blogging provides one of the easiest, fastest and direct ways of interacting with your audience. By creating and writing your blog, you can tell your customers and audience what you want to tell about yourself, your product or service and your company and invite them to share their opinions and feedback etc.
Blogging is an initiative on your part, and you can choose the amount of time and attention you want to devote to your blogging and building social interactions. Blogging gives you the opportunity to get honest discussion and opinions from an audience and community that are definitely interested in you and your product.
5. Provide excellent customer service.
I know it seems obvious. We know that customer service is the key to happy customers. But often, what a company considers great customer service doesn't always match up with what a customer sees as great customer service. There is often a huge gap in perception.
Actually, about 68% of organizations believe they are customer centric, but only 26% of customers believe the same. Many studies have already confirmed that customers are willing to pay more to get a better experience, thereby becoming brand loyalists.
Here are a few tips:
- Your customers should always feel like they are receiving the same care and attention, whether you are talking to them on the phone, via email, or live-chat.
- Provide multiple communication channels to accommodate a variety of communication preferences.
- Personalize your service. Many customers say they want human service. This means they want to feel more than just a ticket number. They get angry when they are not treated as individuals or receive formulaic responses.
- Going the extra mile is one of the most important things you can do to provide great customer service. Sometimes being helpful means anticipating your customers' needs before they even have to articulate them.
With well-prepared customer retention strategies, you will be able to understand the needs of your customers and increase their loyalty. You must provide exceptional customer service and develop interpersonal communication to engage them in your brand.
Let your customers feel like they are part of your business by listening to their opinions. Implement their suggestions and thank them to show you appreciate them.