Regardless of how much work and effort you put into acquiring new customers, keeping them coming back & satisfied is probably the most important & trickiest part of your business. It’s your high-value, loyal customers that will sustain your business, not to mention help you grow & remain stable. Focusing on this all-important customer group should become imperative; also important to note is that these customers can become the most important source of referrals if you keep them satisfied & get them coming back for more. The key here is to understand how to continuously engage your customers across the various channels. This is where your customer retention strategy comes into play.
Investing into a well-crafted customer retention strategy goes a long way & is an important factor that can contribute to your long-term growth and ultimately company success.
1. Frequent customer communication
It’s one thing to gain a new customer but the real value comes by building and nurturing customer relationships. A well-planned series of letters, calls, thank you emails, follow-ups and anything with a personalized touch can make your customers feel special & valued. When you have on-going communication with your customers it reinforces why they chose you over the competition. At the end of the day no one wants to be treated like they’re just another customer. A solid customer relationship built on integrity & transparency can go a long way to paving customer loyalty.
2. Assess Customer Lifetime value
What is CLV? CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) is a prediction of total value & profit a customer will yield over the lifetime of the business relationship. This can change your perception on customer retention/acquisition. Assessing how much time/effort/resources/budget you need to invest to retain a customer over the long term, his total value & aggregate profit to your business is critical to a successful long-term marketing strategy.
To learn more about CLV, download our free eBook by clicking below and find out how valuable your clients are to your business:
3. Product/Service Offering & Message consistency
he product/Service offering your customers are getting should be in-line and consistent with your marketing messaging. Avoid overpromising and under-delivering. There’s nothing worse than a customer who is let down by a product/service that ended up not living up to its hype. Focus on delivering exactly what you put out in your marketing delivery. Integrity, honesty & transparency are key. Most importantly, don’t take any shortcuts!
4. Improve Customer Service
This should be viewed as a long-term commitment rather than a short-term tactic. Providing excellent Customer Service can help differentiate you from the competition offering the same product/service as you. The importance of a well-tailored customer service strategy should flow down from leadership to all levels of the organization. Focus on continuously educating your customer service team on customer satisfaction. Customer knowledge is an ever-changing process, particularly because customer habits & behaviours tend to shift drastically. Ensure that all levels of your organization are constantly updated on the latest buying behaviors and retail trends.
Customer service does not start & end with the in-store experience only; it should be re-enforced at all levels of the purchase path, especially on the pre-sales and post-sales process.
Some useful techniques to keep in mind: Administer customer satisfaction surveys, make it easy & quick for your customers to contact you, have a well-trained CS team in place available to customers via various channels: Chat, email, Customer service telephone line etc.
5. Reduce Customer Churn
Customer attrition is a widespread issue that affects a variety of industries. It’s no secret that customer loss can lead to untapped revenue. Acquiring customers is just the first step, keeping them is another! How to remedy this problem? Focus on solid customer retention strategies. Assess the net profitability of your retention strategy. Don’t narrow it down only to those customers that are likely to defect but look into the overall cost of your retention strategy and overall customer responsiveness of your retention program. The objective is to target those high-value customers that may become inactive & maximize returns not just reducing turnover. Some customers are likely to defect but their overall value may be minimal, focus instead on the ones that matter.
6. Build Customer Loyalty With CRM
Your most loyal customers are also your best brand ambassadors. They are also high-net revenue drivers at minimal marketing cost & help you drive your business via referrals & word-of-mouth etc. A properly implemented CRM program allows you to identify the needs of your high-value customers & target them accordingly. Customers tend to have different preferences, creating different customer segments while analyzing their past interactions allows you to craft different marketing messages and offerings that match your customer preference criteria & shopping habits. Mass-marketing campaigns tend to frustrate existing customers (especially millennials) who expect you to know their buying preferences & patterns; going the mass-marketing route can create much frustration & annoyance not to mention end up as spam in their email folder. A carefully crafted CRM strategy can go a long way to cementing successful long-term customer loyalty.
When it comes to improving customer retention for your site remember these 6 tips:
- Frequent customer communication
- Assess Customer Lifetime value
- Product/Service Offering & Message Consistency
- Improve Customer Service
- Reduce Customer Churn
- Build Customer Loyalty With CRM