Customer retention is a combination of strategy and activity that companies use to increase the number of repeat customers or increase revenue and profitability from existing ones. And after customer acquisition, the second most hardest yet important task is to retain your customers. This helps you to engage your existing customers into repetitive buying of products and services that they value on a long term basis instead of letting them consider the idea of switching to a competitor. These strategies also enable your company to nurture your customers, and turn them into your permanent and loyal customers.
It is pivotal for any business to have customer retention strategies in place in order to succeed against its peers and competitors. There are a few sectors that have high retention rates such as professional services, streaming & media services industry, and hospitality industry, to name a few. To give you an estimation, a Statista report in 2018, stated that the media and professional services industry had the highest customer retention rate of nearly 84%, while most of the industries such as IT, telecommunication, consumer services and others have a customer retention rate above 65%. No doubt that in order to secure your position amidst such strict competition, you must focus on the customer retention strategies of your business.
And to guide you through the entire process, we have listed out the top customer retention strategies which will help you nurture your customers and increase the retention rate significantly.
Top Customer Retention Strategies for Your Business
1. Build Trust between your Brand and Customers
Before you invest in expensive marketing tools, make sure the basics are done, and building trust between your company and the customers is one of them. Be it any business, SaaS, e-commerce, hospitality, streaming or any other, trust is what keeps your customers coming back. You must remember that one-time purchase doesn’t indicate they find your business credible enough to take long-term services or products. And you must take every opportunity to establish the trust level required to make them your permanent customers in a stepwise manner.
Some easy-to-implement yet effective tips-
- Keep your customers informed – be it updating them about their order status or guiding them for a refund or notifying them about the latest arrivals based on their last purchases
- Maintain a high level of transparency while dealing with your customers, as it is the foundation of acquiring their trust in your brand. For instance, if an order is delayed, notify them about it, or, if a transaction is pending or their booking is cancelled, update them on time. These small actions don’t need much time or effort, for instance, you can simply opt for a notification system to automate all these easily!
- Provide them with prompt services, be it resolving their queries regarding an SLA or guiding them to deal with a pending payment. Delay in such cases may automatically result in customer churn as they will find better service in no time!
2. Simplify Customer Experience
Starting from the UX of your website or app to self-service portal – simplify everything as much as possible. Your customers prefer to have it quick and simple without investing a lot of their time and effort, especially while there are better options available in the market. Even for a one-time visit while they are purchasing or taking a free trial, ensure that the processes are the least complex and can be carried out by them without any help or support. For instance, if there is anything new on your website or app, send instant notifications mentioning it or attaching a link of the relevant roadmap or process as needed. This will simplify your customers’ experience and give them one more reason to continue with your brand instead of going to your competitors.
Also Read: Marketing Tips to Build Better Customer Loyalty
3. Communication – a Key to Nurture Your Customers
Nurturing your customers is easier and less expensive than acquiring new ones. Communication is often the key to a long-lasting relationship with your customers. And to leverage it, you can utilize all the communication channels to send them apt and timely emails, SMS, or WhatsApp messages about special discounts, promotional offers, latest products or services, their subscription details once upgraded or downgraded or the products or content of their similar interests etc. You can also use a customer portal solution to communicate with customers and solve any issues they might face. A go-to option is triggering event-based multi-channel notifications so that every customer gets notified on such events.
4. Track Churn Metrics
Are you tracking the churn metrics on a regular basis? If not, start doing it right away! Unless you know the exact figures or statistics regarding the customer or subscriber churn, it will be tough to work on it or improve it. Keep an eye on the number of customers churned over a specific period of time – monthly, quarterly or any other, comparative study of the present churn rate with the past ones and how far you are from reducing it to a certain level etc. Along with the churn rate, also keep a track of the other related churn metrics such as revenue churn, product return rate, loyal customer rate, customer lifetime value etc. for the best possible results.
Also Read: Guide to Improve Customer Onboarding for your Online Business
5. Conduct Customer Retention Program
As the name suggests, the purpose of a customer retention program is to increase your customer retention rate. And if you want to opt for a dedicated program focused to improve your customer retention rate, then you can run such a program instead of chalking out separate customer retention strategies. While these programs depend on several factors such as your business type, audience etc., we have pointed out a few top ones to choose from-
Customer Onboarding Program
Customer onboarding program is basically the whole onboarding process, but if your focus is on the customer retention from the very beginning, it can be another tool to boost the retention rate! And in order to make this program successful, the focus should be on training your customers to master the knowledge and how-to guides about your products and services so that there is no frustration regarding it in future.
No doubt that loyal customers are some of the best assets for your business and such a program is based on this fact. Basically, here you reward your existing loyal customers for their long-term commitment which in turn increases their probability of staying loyal in future too and helps in enhancing your brand reputation. Always remember, the lifecycle values of such customers are the highest among your whole customer base and so it is wise to keep their satisfaction level high.
If you use online apps or websites, you will often notice there are options to participate in beta testing. Beta testing is basically a field test of the products where an exclusive group can test and give feedback on it from the customers’ point of view. This type of program is a total win-win for both your business as well as your customers as they are often interested in being a part of such exclusive testing and using products for free. On the other hand, it gives you one more scope to improve the customer retention rate for your business by letting them know about the benefits of using your products.
Customer Training Program
Train your customers with educational mails, SMS or WhatsApp. Customer learning and satisfaction goes hand-in-hand. And keeping your customers educated and up-to-date about your products and services helps them understand their exclusivity better. This in turn helps in increasing the customer retention rate significantly. You can run such programs through simple three steps –
- Segregate your customers or audience on the basis of products or services taken by them
- Trigger notifications for each of the lists with the relevant content
- Analyze the reports and insights regarding your customers’ actions in order to optimize the future training programs
6. Add-ons – Can Never Go Wrong!
Coupons, discounts, vouchers, special offers – these can never disappoint you in grabbing your customers’ attention. And you can make all these even more effective by providing them with personalized offers!
Apart from the regular add-ons, surprise them with personalized offers on special occasions such as birthdays, sign up anniversaries, crossing a threshold for purchase etc. You can also trigger personalized mass notifications to update them instantly about the ongoing sales & offers! Such emails and SMS not only helps in increasing the CTOR but also in sales, product discovery and most importantly customer retention.
Customer retention is not an overnight process but needs a detailed plan, consistency and research. Various businesses adopt different retention strategies but one of the common factors that helps improve your retention rate is customer engagement. Because once they start feeling disconnected from your brand or products, they may churn shortly. In order to prevent this, always keep the customer engagement rate high. Update them about their latest purchase status, abandoned carts, wishlisted products, latest arrivals, new subscription plans and every other thing they can be interested in. And there will be very less probability of them losing interest. An automated notification system can be of your great help not only in retention but also in every other stage of the customer lifecycle.
A few tips to choose the right notification system for your company-
- Go for the one which is easily integrable to your platform and third party solutions to avoid any possible complications
- Make sure triggering and managing notifications is easy and flexible
- You can send multi-channel notifications and not only emails or SMS
- The system offers transparency to analyze the customer engagement to let you plan better retention strategies
Muvi notification engine Konviare is a multi-channel notification management system which provides you with the unique benefits of triggering and managing notifications from a single dashboard without needing to code or test. Additionally, it offers you perks of segregating audience lists, having analytics & insights and seamless integration with third party solutions and any app and website.
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