How to boost customer retention
We’ve all heard it before: it’s much more expensive to acquire a customer than to retain one. So why does it seem like most businesses don’t invest time, energy, and resources into improving their customer retention rates?
These days, consumers have nearly limitless options, which makes customer retention more important than ever. If your customers are leaving, it might already be too late, but your business can always improve the way you treat your clientele.
That’s why we’ve put together this blog about the top ways that you can retain your customers.
Offer the Best Possible Customer Service
Boosting customer retention always starts with a commitment to excellent customer service. The single most effective strategy you can employ to improve your customer retention rates is to put your customers at the heart of everything you do.
To start, you may need to assess your website in order to improve your user experience. For example, more and more brands are using live-chat capabilities within their website in a bid to address customer questions and concerns the minute they appear. This engagement and personal interaction can often help to sway the mind of an undecided customer, especially if they are still looking to learn more about your brand and your offering.
Show your customer you care about them
Did you know that only 9% of customers leave because they decide to go with a direct competitor? While it may seem logical to assume that the competitive threat is an external one, it almost always comes from within.
Customers usually leave because they don’t feel valued by your company. In fact, over 2/3 of customers decide to leave a particular brand because they believe the company doesn’t value them as customers. That means customer retention has much more to do with what you’re doing, or more importantly what you aren’t doing, rather than what your competitors are offering. And let’s face it – a business relationship doesn’t have to be an impersonal one.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, then check out these simple techniques that can help you show your customers that you value them:
- Send them thank you letters or emails
- Engage directly with them on social media
- Reward ‘super customers’ and feature them on social media
- Respond quickly to their questions
- Discuss ways that you can improve your service or product with them
- Offer loyalty discounts to return customers
- Humanise your business and engage on a personal level
- Be nice and approachable
Market Research & Competitor Analyses
Even though your competitors might not be responsible for your customers leaving you, it definitely makes sense to keep an eye on what they’re doing. For example, if most of your competitors don’t have a loyalty programme, then maybe this is a way that you can stand out from the competition. But you’ll never know that unless you put in the hours doing market research and looking into your major competitors. This will allow you to understand the different offerings available to your potential customers and will help you identify threats to your value proposition.
KPMG actually calculated that customer retention is the single most important revenue driver in the retail environment, beating customer acquisition, product innovation, promotional strategies, technological advancements, and entering new sales markets, to name just a few.
Surprisingly, this means that it pays more to invest in customer retention than to come up with fancy new products.
Personalisation & Engagement
Even if you’re a large multinational corporation, you can probably be doing more to personalise the content you write. Not only can you employ social media channel managers who sift through and reply to all your social media comments, but you can also use personalisation strategies in emails or product recommendations.
If you’re a B2B business, you can do this by being approachable with your clients, rather than distant. Make sure to pick up the phone to your clients to establish a personal relationship and remember to be proactive about the discussions you’re having.
Reviews and customer surveys are also crucial, as this can allow you to open a direct line of communication between your business and your customers. With text messages, phone calls, and emails all an option, there are no limits to the ways in which you can get customer feedback. This in turn will help you build up a database of reviews, which you can utilise when acquiring new customers.
Want to learn more about customer retention?
Check out my Maven Monday Video about Brand Loyalty and why it’s so important to modern businesses: