6 Customer Retention Strategies that are Here to Stay

June 19, 2019

Sam Makad

Marketing Consultant / Guest Author

If you think retaining an existing customer is expensive and unnecessary, try acquiring a new one. It will surely get your brain and bank account working overtime. Adding credibility to this statement is a research study by Invesp Consulting which suggests:

  • Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than new users! Shocker, right?
  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.
  • Around 89% of companies view customer experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention.

Simply put, if you’re not retaining customers, you’re not moving forward, even if it may seem so. Think of it like this: you’re exercising every day but not eating healthy, hardly a logical approach to staying fit, right?

Coming back to the main point, here are 6 strategies that you can embrace to offer value to customers and enjoy their undivided loyalty and prolonged attention in today’s fleeting consumer age.

1. Real Benefits with Real-Time Support

It’s one thing to talk the talk and a whole quite another to walk the walk. Demonstrating the latter with great finesse and building customer loyalty is the e-commerce brand, Modcloth.

This brand demonstrates that if you wish to engage with your users on a trusting level, go for the live chat feature. As drab and lifeless as this concept has known to become, it can be an extremely entertaining and interactive feature on your platform if used correctly, like shown in the example above. Notice how Modcloth prefers to display the person’s image and name on top so that you feel you’re talking to a real person and not a bot, a concern most people have when talking to a brand ‘virtually.’

How will this help?

Live chat comes with many benefits such as:

  • Addressing client concerns in real-time
  • Developing a one-to-one relationship with the user by way of conversational communication (and not a scripted, one-word talk to boredom).
  • Offering 24/7 support.
  • Letting consumers feel understood and most importantly, heard by the brand.

2. Personalized Offers Lead to Loyal Customers

Targeting customers with customized offers can act as the holy grail for businesses that are lost and confused amongst a sea of competitors. By offering customers real value and unparalleled deals, you’re giving them more than they signed up for – both literally and figuratively. 

How will this help? 

A loyal customer is 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, and 4x as likely to refer a brand as per research. Plus, 67% of consumers will modify the companies they purchase from in order to maximize points! Naturally, the importance of customized offers and deals cannot be emphasized enough.

Let’s look at an example to understand this better. The cosmetics brand, “Sephora” has managed to pull off the unthinkable & unimaginable popular loyalty program, ‘Beauty Insider‘ only by way of referral points!

How so? This program rewards users with points for each dollar spent. Correspondingly, these points can be redeemed for sample-size products that cater to the user’s skin type, beauty regimes, and past purchases: an ingenious offer their customers can neither refuse nor ignore. The result: 20% of its core customer base constitutes of loyal customers who spend the most.

The learning: An eagle’s eye focus on extending personalized rewards and referrals to customers can help any brand get more for the buck, time, and efforts invested in customer and marketing efforts alike.

3.  Webinars and Live Demos: The Secret to Leveling Up the Customer Game

Regular webinars and live demos aren’t restricted to the IT universe. Companies looking to increase engagement with their existing user base should encourage the use of these tools. Data suggests that a company which implemented a webinar session, ended up enjoying a 20-40% attendee conversion into qualified leads. You could conduct webinars on product features or simply conduct one to address widespread user concerns. Post the webinar, you can share it on video platforms such as Youtube, Vimeo etc. to reach potential customers. History indicates that companies like KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, HubSpot, etc. transformed into multi-million dollar digital marketing businesses through webinars alone.

How will this help? 

Webinars and live demos double up as effective content marketing tools for all organizations. They help address queries and encourage everyone to look at the brand from different perspectives and provide holistic solutions. Once the users are on the same page as the brand, they start understanding your offerings better and start trusting the brand more and more. In turn, the companies experience a reduced churn rate – the ultimate goal for any brand today, right?

4. Automated Marketing for Augmented Engagement

According to Invesp Consulting, email marketing is the most effective marketing tactic for retaining customers. Automated emails with customized, educative content and visuals can do wonders for your brand. Our suggestion is to use your user’s existing data – a gold mine if you ask us – and create passionate-yet-personable emails for your customers. Your primary goal could be to address any user concerns, feature a “how-to” guide on new offerings, provide special offers, or simply surprise users with a “Just-checking-in-to-see-how-you’re-doing-email.”

How will this help? 

Sending emails to existing/potential customers can ensure that your brand stays relevant, transparent, and timely to the user’s dynamic demands. In short, your brand name will leverage top-of-the-mind-awareness at all times. 

5. User-Based Community on Websites Is GOLD

If your brand isn’t active online, it’ll soon become a social pariah. Why? Consider this: People are 4x more likely to buy something when recommended by a friend. And the best way to get a user’s attention is to go online and create user forums that encourage discussions. 

Basically, every brand looking to connect with their users should treat user-based communities as their north star. This community could be a discussion board on the brand’s website, social media pages, among others. If you’re looking for social proof, this strategy can be your most likable effort yet. 

How will this help? 

An online community is the equivalent of having neighbors or gym buddies. It acts as your go-to buddy and is forever present to cater to your needs. Also, it turns passive users into active ones by providing them with a platform to discuss a variety of topics, ideas, questions, and concerns relating to your product/service. Surrounded by like-minded people, the discussions turn out to be productive, healthy, and lively. As you may have guessed, this helps retain customers because they feel acknowledged and appreciated, all at the same time.

6. Serious Follow-Ups for a Sustainable Front-Runner.

Contrary to popular opinion, conducting follow-ups is not a hard act to follow (pun intended). All it requires is creating follow-up calendars, also known as communication calendars, that are comprehensive (covers the entire user base) and concern-driven (for finding pertaining issues at regular intervals). 

How will this help? 

By sequencing and prioritizing events, phone calls, special offers, handwritten notes, etc., you can be assured of reaching your customers in their time of need and yours, that too in a timely manner thanks to an automated software at your disposal. Plus, it helps eliminate any post-purchase doubts, boosts trust, and encourages repurchasing. All in all, the customers feel valued and important as they feel they’re an intrinsic part of the brand’s growth journey and are bound to benefit with their association of the brand, together forever.

Closing Thoughts

In sum, every company, big or small, online or offline, B2B or B2C, local or global, needs to rethink their customer strategies and rewire it to a more user retention-focused one. This can be done by offering services/benefits that resonate with the customers to start with and then proceed with these six strategies to create a value-driven customer lifetime value that won’t require, well, a lifetime. 

Simply, all it demands is that you go the extra mile and have the brand’s heart in the right place a.k.a the customers. This can be done by reaffirming the brand’s core values and translating the benefits to the customers, aligning the company’s goals with that of the user, and building a rock-solid customer metric system that mirrors your customer’s aspirations. 

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