Getting leads and converting them into customers is hard work. Are you equally dedicated to keeping your customers happy? By incorporating customer retention strategies, you can turn customers into repeat customers.
Companies implement customer retention strategies to increase customer lifetime value and build customer loyalty. Rather than focusing on transactions, it emphasizes maintaining relationships with customers who have already purchased from you.
However, if you fail to meet customer expectations, you risk losing customers before you can correct the problem. By implementing customer retention marketing strategies, you can delight your customers every step of the way and build a strong relationship with them.
Why Is Customer Retention Important?
Customers view their relationships with brands as similar to those with friends. So much so that 52% of customers put on effort to continue supporting their favorite brands.
It is beneficial to your company's profitability to retain customers for a variety of reasons. You will be able to increase your company's profits, which is probably the most important benefit.
Loyal customers buy more, more often. They know your business can provide the products and services they need. As valued customers, they see that your company is more likely to listen to their requests and provide good service than others who offer similar products.
Loyal customers are more likely to refer your business to their friends and family. Customers love to tell people about a good service they received or a product that made their life easier. Word of mouth also builds credibility for your business.
Less sensitive to price
Fixed customers are less aware of prices; they know your business has a solution to their problem and are usually willing to pay a premium, even if your fees are higher than those of your competitors.
Receive valuable feedback
Proactively ask your loyal customers how your business can serve them more effectively. This can open up new opportunities that you may have overlooked.
Customer Retention Strategies You Should Use
No matter what segment your business falls into, it should be reflected in your customer retention strategy, and knowing your goals will help you choose the best strategy for your business.
For example, the goal may be to increase customer loyalty, in which case you should choose a strategy that focuses on that. You may want to show that your service is consistent and reliable and focus on building strong relationships with existing customers.
Now let's take a look at eight customer retention strategies that help improve your retention statistics.
1. Surprise gifts and discounts
Customers like to be appreciated. One way to show your customers you appreciate them is with surprise gifts and discounts.
You can offer discounts on products they buy often, along with a short, sweet message from the customer service team about why they're expecting a surprise. The message should make it clear that they received this discount as a loyal customer.
2. Provide excellent customer service
Whether you're talking to customers using a business phone system or communicating through email or instant messaging, customers should always feel like they're getting the same care and attention
You can offer multiple communication channels to suit different communication preferences. Be sure to assign the right agent to the right client by assessing the client's needs.
3. Customer survey
Send your customers a quick online survey to better understand what's working and what's not. You'll never satisfy every customer with every problem, but research can help you find the patterns you need to improve.
4. Be active in your community
Customers care about whether your organization donates to charity, whether employees are involved in community programs, and with whom you work and collaborate.
You don't necessarily have to develop a comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan or donate to a charity, there are simpler ways to show you care about your community.
5. Inform customers
One of the best customer retention strategies is to make customers feel informed by telling them about new products, partnerships, or exciting company milestones. You can communicate this information on your website, blog, or share it via newsletters.
6. Onboard and guide customers
Onboarding will vary depending on the niche of your business, but the goal is to educate customers about your product and brand. You don't want to bombard them with a wall of text about your business idea but being too quiet can make customers feel ignored.
When a customer purchases one of your products, you can send them an email with a quick how-to guide for the product and information about your customer service team, so they know who to contact if they have any questions.
7. Use gamification
Gamification is a fun way to reward loyal customers for your business and is a very successful strategy. You can offer customers a discount for referring a friend, you can reward them with redeemable points for every purchase, or you can gift them company ‘swag’.
For example, at Storychief we have a referral program that allows you to earn up to 20% recurring commission.
You collect a lot of data about your customers, so use that data to improve their experience. Before contacting a customer, you need to know how they like to communicate, what they have purchased in the past, and what their previous interactions were like.
Customers don't want to feel like just a number, and they get frustrated when they have to repeat the same message over and over again. By providing a personalized experience, they will feel like part of your team and connect with your business for a seamless and effortless experience.
Customer Retention Examples
There is a common misconception that the biggest brands don’t need to commit to customer retention because people will automatically continue to buy from them. That is certainly not the case. So what exactly makes these companies stand out from their competition?
Let’s take a look at some examples of successful customer retention strategies.
1. Uber: Referral, discounts and rewards
One of Uber's most attractive features from the beginning was its referral program. During the early days of Uber's popularity, these referral codes were everywhere.
But due to the one-time nature of referral programs, another retention strategy is required... And then came Uber Cash. It's an in-app wallet feature that makes payments easier while allowing users to save 5% on every $100. Easy to use ✔️. Attractive deal ✔️. Customer satisfaction ✔️.
Then in 2018 came the rewards program. It introduces tiers of users (what Uber likes to call drivers) who will be ranked based on points collected and delivered (pun intended). Through this program, Uber has not only shown how they can take unique steps to retain customers, but they have also been able to identify and automatically provide better service to their most loyal customers.
Result: a customer acquisition strategy that turns into a customer retention solution. 👏
2. Coca-Cola: Virality
As a company founded almost 140 years ago, Coca-Cola knows how to keep customers. Coca-Cola has a long history of attracting customers, from using captivating music videos in their marketing to the hyper-recognizable color red on everything.
When Coca-Cola launched the "Share a Coke" campaign, people went crazy. With a simple change of name on the bottle, Coca-Cola makes even Pepsi drinkers look for their drinks in the beverage aisle.
3. Amazon: Prime and free benefits
Amazon is known for its personalized user experience that helps users find relevant purchases in the form of recommendations, specially designed regional landing pages and websites, and quick and easy payments.
Now we all know what Amazon Prime is, but you might not know how much it has changed the e-commerce game even though Amazon is already the top player. According to a Digital Commerce 360 survey of 1,000 shoppers, 51% of shoppers said they would continue to use Amazon because they subscribed to Amazon Prime and received free shipping and other benefits.
It is impossible to deny the importance of personal relationships, so why should business relationships be any different?
The above strategies should hopefully give you some new ideas on how to approach customer retention, but they are not a silver bullet. Your products and services will do most of the hard work to keep customers loyal, and there are no shortcuts.