A good customer retention strategy is the top investment you can make for your business.
It’s more profitable than acquiring new customers, and it costs less money to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some numbers:
- According to research from Bain & Company and Harvard Business School, an increase in customer retention by 5% can improve profits by 25-95%.
- Invesp found that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than keeping an existing one.
- Almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers, according to SmallBizGenius.
Customer retention is about making your customers feel appreciated and unique, keeping them coming back for more.
1. Improve responsiveness
Providing quick responses to customers’ inquiries is essential for customer retention. Customers don’t like to wait for answers, especially when paying you their hard-earned money.
Implementing an AI chatbot or live chat feature on your website is the most efficient way to improve your customer service response time.
Olipop, a healthy drink company, does an excellent job incorporating a chat feature into its website interface to help customers manage and track online orders. A key element here is that they also share how long it typically takes to receive a response (typically within a few minutes).
Another simple way to improve your responsiveness is to give your customers the option to contact you in whatever way they want. This tactic gives customers control by engaging with your brand via their preferred communication channel. It could be via email, phone, or social media messaging like Twitter and Facebook.
2. Create incentives
Incentives are an excellent way to keep your customers coming back for more. It can be as simple as a discount on their next purchase or as elaborate as a free gift with their order.
For example, this email from Tailor Brands offers 50% off business-building services. That is a hard offer to ignore and certainly encourages customers to continue to use this service.
Offering incentives is an effective way to retain your customers because it gives them something valuable in exchange for their loyalty.
It’s also very cost-effective since you don’t have to spend money on expensive ads or marketing campaigns as other retention strategies require.
You can start with a simple coupon code placed on your website or drop a quick email to recent customers.
3. Add a personal touch
As a customer retention strategy, personalization has been around for a while, but it’s not just about sending out mass emails with a “Happy Birthday” message.
Personalization is all about getting to know your customers and what they need. You can do this by using customer data to create personalized experiences for them online.
Personalized marketing can take many forms: a new product launch email that greets customers by name or an automated suggestion for an add-on product based on what they’ve already bought from you.
It can also include targeted advertising based on specific customer information shared when filling out an online form.
There are plenty of online resources to help you efficiently create unique content, from free vector images for designing custom visuals to email software that provides customizable fields to simply sharing user-generated content on social media platforms.
4. Provide unique services
It’s not easy to offer a superior product or service in the eyes of your customers, but the benefits are worth it in the long run.
If you can develop a niche that solves a critical customer problem, you’re on the right track to retaining customers.
Customers ultimately buy what holds value to them—eliminating a bottleneck, automating a process, or providing a one-stop shop is a strong reason for a customer to commit to your brand.
For example, Picsart is a visual creation and editing industry leader that offers different types of services and tools for free. Customers don’t need to go to other websites to make stickers, create a youtube banner, or edit pictures online. Picsart provides the one-stop shop for all things creative.
5. Prioritize relationship building
Another way to create loyalty with your customers is by building a relationship with them. When you talk to your customers, think about how you would like to be treated and act accordingly. Remember: the customer is always right. Without customers, you don’t have a business.
You can use social media to interact with customers. If someone posts something on Facebook mentioning they love your store, respond. Show interest in what they say by listening closely and replying thoughtfully.
Another way to build relationships is to be authentic and show your customers that you are in business to help solve their pain points.
For example, Preply offers free supplemental content for their business English course. This small gesture shows that Preply cares about its customer’s success in learning a new language and strengthens the relationship with the customer. Once the user finishes a paid lesson, they can practice or review their progress through the provided content and tools.
6. Offer value beyond the product or service
One of the optimal ways to keep existing customers is by providing them with more than just what you sell them at face value.
Spend some time creating a customer education program or knowledge base where users can learn helpful tips and tricks after purchasing your product or service.
For example, Scott’s Cheap Flights offers its customers an entire library of free guides to score the best deals for their next trip, including how to find the cheapest flights to save money when traveling.
Having an appreciation for each customer’s unique needs goes a long way.
A customer may come in looking for something specific. Still, they could walk away with something entirely different, possibly even happier, if they find something of added value that solved a pain point or answered a question.
Consider some of these customer retention strategies if you’re looking to improve your overall reputation, deliver a better brand experience, and retain loyal customers.
If you can build strong customer relationships both before and after the sale, it’s the best path to success. Happy customers are the key to driving business growth.