13 Customer Retention Strategies to adopt immediately

May 18, 2020

Customer retention strategies

As frightful as it sounds, studies show that 77% of brands could disappear, and no one would care. This means a staggering number of businesses failed to satisfy and retain customers. 

And what have you done to make your customers care about your brand? Have you failed at customer retention? Are you one of them?

You better not be, because the Pareto Principle shows 80% of your profits come from just 20% of customers. In other words, if you have 10 clients, the most loyal 2 of them are more valuable than the rest combined. This is where you should put your focus – on retaining customers.

Furthermore, revenues for businesses that prioritise customer service rise 4-8% above their market. 

However, it is not our goal to scare you but to show you ways to do better at customer retention. There could be as many customer retention strategies as there are businesses in the world, but you should only adopt the ones that fit your brand. Start from the following:

Surprises

Although there are people who claim that they don’t like surprises, we doubt they will return a gift, no matter how small it might be. That’s what makes surprises one of the best customer retention ideas.

In fact, 61% of consumers think surprise gifts and offers are the most important way a brand can interact with them.

Now, we understand that you can’t give away cars for free as Oprah did, but your customers will be grateful for a lot less than that. To put it differently, these surprises shouldn’t cost you a fortune and overburden your already tight budget. A small gift, a special discount or even a handwritten note of appreciation can take you a long way with your customers.

Complaints

In the business world, you need to understand that complaints shouldn’t be taken personally. Instead, they are opportunities for growth. The product or service you offer is built for the needs of the customers and should serve them 100%. Complaints will show you where you failed to deliver the maximum.

77% of consumers say they favour brands that ask for and accept customer feedback. It’s important to know to accept the bad as openly as the good.

Overdeliver

Don’t promise the stars and the moon to your customers. Instead, promise them only the moon and then bring along the stars. In this case, they won’t be expecting the starts so if you were unable to deliver them, they won’t feel betrayed and robbed. On the other hand, if you manage to deliver the stars as well, that will win you major points. 

To put it differently, you have to exceed their expectations by adding a pre-calculated extra.

48% of people expect specialized treatment for being a good customer.

Personalise

Do you keep detailed notes about your customers? If not, you should start immediately! 

Listening and understanding the particular needs and wishes of each customer will help you connect with them on a more personal level. It is now surprising at all that 86% of customers say an emotional connection with a customer service agent would make them continue to do business with the company. 

Instead of treating them as a number, you should engage with them in a meaningful way.

For example, this is how Konnexx do it:

 

  • Empathy – understanding their situation and being mindful not to force our agenda onto them until it is appropriate. Booking call back times if necessary.
  • Being Polite. Asking if it is a good time to talk – and if not, booking a call back time at their convenience.
  • Asking questions rather than delivering information. Listening more than talking.
  • Mirroring some of their language.
  • Confirming their needs and wants and dovetailing these with the benefits of the products/services we have to offer.
  • Talking about benefits rather than features.
  • Confirming what action needs to be taken and following it up where necessary.
  • Booking in a convenient time for the next call.

Community

Build a community! You can do so by creating a discussion board on your website or a Facebook group where all of your loyal customers will be invited to join. This gives them the opportunity to connect with each other and exchange opinions regarding your products or services. You can also turn it into a place where you share promos, discounts or general news about your company.

Another way you can leverage the power of social media is to create engaging accounts that will constantly interact with your audience through meaningful and branded content.

Customer service

We are aware that customer service is a relatively broad term including a lot of factors. However, knowing that 93% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases at companies with excellent customer service leaves us no space to ignore it.

Take a better look at your customer service and identify your weaknesses. Maybe it’s response time – reduce it! Or maybe you over-automated it – bots are good to an extent, they can’t replace real humans. 

Know your offer by heart but don’t be scared to admit when you’re into the blue. Turn to your colleagues, act as a team. Customers can recognise a genuine effort to help them and will be patient even if it takes more time to get what they deserve.

Just show that you care!

Purpose

Did you know that brands which are meaningful and viewed as making the world a better place outperform the stock market by 134%? Why? Because people love to feel like they’re contributing to a greater cause.

Find a way to support a cause that fits well into your brand. For example, you can donate a percentage of your proceeds to a charity organisation, or plant trees for every purchase, or finance scientific programs… It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s done with good intentions and pure heart. Your customers will see and recognise this effort, and reward you with their loyalty.

Onboarding

How do you welcome new customers? If ‘Thank you for shopping with us’ is the best you can give, then you’re not trying hard enough or you really don’t care about your customers.

The welcome message they get the first time they spend their money on one of your products or services is of crucial importance! It is the first step to building a long-lasting relationship with mutual respect. 

Customers are five times more likely to engage with you in the first 90-100 days than at any other point.

For that reason, you should educate them with branded content. Email newsletters are great for this. Send them regularly but not too often because it can be perceived as pushy. Include content that will teach them how to use your products or services e.g. step-by-step guides, behind-the-scenes footage, etc. Give them a reason to stay with you.

Loyalty Programs

Reward, reward, reward! 

Create your own loyalty program where your frequent customers will be rewarded with discounts, special incentives, better deals, exclusive offers, etc. This is a perfect way to encourage them to spend more with you. Your brand will become part of their daily life.

Involve them

Put your customers in your shoes and give them a feeling that they are not just spending their money on your offers, but they’re also creating them. 

  • Ask them for ideas and suggestions
  • Involve them in the designing process
  • Give them first access to prototypes
  • Invite them on company events
  • Hang out with them on neutral grounds

    Payment methods

    Whether you have a digital-only product or a brick and mortar store, one thing is for sure – you have to make payments as easy and quick as possible. The easier it is for a person to pay, the more likely they will.

    Remove unnecessary steps; forget about only-cash; implement contactless card payment (it’s quite convenient now because of the Corona situation); captchas are not always the wisest choice

      Demonstration experience

      Emma Ede – Managing Director of retail experience business Stellar

      “The recipe for customer retention is simple – retail has to become relentlessly customer-focused. We place a strong focus on in-store product demonstrations to help consumers learn about a brand and increase their knowledge around a product. This facetime with the consumer not only helps promote brand knowledge but it gives customers a reason to return to your store. In-store events encourage repeat visits and, eventually, transactions. The more a customer visits your store, the more likely they are to make purchases.

      Our most recent survey of UK consumers found that 84% of people would feel more inclined to buy from a brand in the future after a demonstration experience, and this stresses the importance of giving customers more than just a visit to a store as consumers value outcomes and unique experiences. 

      We’ve worked closely with our client Sage Appliances over the past few years and they’ve seen a 350% increase in ROI from last year as a result of our schedule optimisation, ensuring the best brand ambassadors, in targeted stores, at the best time to attract potential consumers.”

        Conclusion

        Retaining existing customers is probably even more important than attracting new ones. In fact, statistics show that satisfied, loyal customers share their positive experience with a brand to 11 other people. Which means, by retaining customers you’ll be also bringing new ones.

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