Customer Retention Strategies
It’s a commonly held belief that it costs more to bring on new customers than keeping your current customer base loyal. And while this sort of thing isn’t always easy to accurately measure, as there are so many different factors to take into account, retaining customers should be part of any long term business strategy.
And because competition between organisations is becoming fiercer than ever before, with so many brands on the market, now is the time to focus on customer retention. So how do you ensure that your current users stay loyal to your brand? We’ve explored six simple customer retention strategies below, which are bound to help your business grow!
One of the best things you can do to increase customer retention is to improve your onboarding process. Recent research conducted by Wyzowl shows that 86% of customers believe that they would remain loyal to a particular company if they were actively welcomed when they signed up.
Customers also appreciate being educated on more technical aspects of a business or product. The same study above found that over half of the participants had returned an item because they didn’t fully understand how it worked.
In order to refine your company’s onboarding process, a common strategy is to offer a variety of formats. So try and create product videos that demonstrate how it operates, make comprehensive guides and resources, and offer self-service options where possible. The idea is to appeal to your entire customer base, not just a small section of your audience.
Customers often like to feel like part of your brand’s community, especially a younger audience. A fantastic way to encourage this sort of engagement is through social media. And this doesn’t have to be through content you’ve created either (though that will help). Simply chatting with your audience via social channels can encourage brand loyalty, as can asking them questions, or asking for user-generated content.
If you sell physical products rather than services, it’s also great to get your customers to post photos or videos of themselves using your products. This not only helps with building a sense of community, it furthermore boosts your brand awareness. A few of the best social platforms for these posts are Instagram Stories and TikTok, as both have a lot of views and engagement.
3. Reward Customer Loyalty
For the most part, people love free stuff. Even if it’s only a 5% discount voucher or a small branded item, like a set of stickers, people get very excited at the prospect of free things. So an easy way of rewarding customer loyalty, and thereby retaining customers, is to offer free or discounted items after an initial purchase.
Loyalty schemes are also popular. Customers can earn points when they shop, and redeem these points when they reach a certain amount. Big brands like Waterstones and Nando’s, as well as a number of supermarket chains, offer this points based reward system, and it seems to be remarkably effective.
4. Ask for Feedback
If you don’t have the answer to a question, you mustn’t be afraid to ask! This is certainly true of audience engagement and retention. If you’re unsure why you’re unable to retain customers, or simply want to provide a better service, ask for feedback. You can show that you care about your customers, and hopefully get a few glowing testimonials that you can share on your website or social channels.
As painful as it may be, you should look at your negative feedback too. Reviewing customer complaints, and seeing if you can spot common trends, can show you what strategies to avoid in future. There are even social listening tools you can use to get a better idea of what your customers think of your brand, such as Sprout Social and Brandwatch.
5. Be Transparent and Set Expectations
6. Follow Up Frequently
When it comes to retaining customers, you need to be proactive. It’s therefore important to create a follow up cycle which keeps your audience engaged, even after they’ve made a purchase. This could include anything from email newsletters to outreach calls, though there is a fine line between following up and bombarding your customers with marketing communications. Generally speaking, less is more, as long as you do have some form of strategy to remind your audience that your brand exists!
If you’re new to follow up cycles, it can be a good idea to utilise one of the many tools on the market. CRM systems like Pipedrive have a built in feature that reminds you to send out follow up campaigns, depending on how long ago the customer last heard from you. You can customise these settings, and then send personalised messages to customers to remind them of your services.