14 Customer Retention Strategies to adopt immediately

May 11, 2022

Most effective 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 creating a solid customer retention strategy? Are you one of them?

You better not be, because the Pareto Principle shows that 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 implementing the most effective customer retention strategies.

The most effective customer retention strategies for 2022

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. 

To save you some time doing research, we’ve done it for you, thus, keep reading and find out what customer retention strategies are proven to be most effective these years.

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.

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 and customer feedback

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

Personalize

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

Listening to and understanding each customer’s particular needs and wishes 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. 

At the end of the day, your job is to make sure that your customer doesn’t feel like just another number. Use whatever data you collect on your customers to personalize your correspondence with them. Know how best to contact them and how previous interactions went. By making customers feel like you know and care for them, you’ll be making a lasting impression that is bound to keep them around.

For example, this is how Konnexx does it:

    • Empathy – understanding their situation and being mindful not to force our agenda onto them until it is appropriate. Booking calls back times if necessary.
    • Being Polite. Asking if it is a good time to talk – and if not, booking a callback time at their convenience.
    • Asking questions rather than delivering information. Listening more than talking.
    • Mirroring some of their languages.
    • 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 at a convenient time for the next call.

Community

Build a community! You can create 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, but they can’t replace real humans. 

Know your offer by heart but don’t be scared to admit it when you’re into the blue. Turn to your colleagues, and act as a team. Customers can recognize 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!

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! 

One of the most effective customer retention strategies businesses can do is to offer incentives to their customers. Incentives can be a powerful tool for customer retention. By offering customers incentives for sticking with your product or service, you can show them that you value their business and want them to stick around.

Some common incentives include loyalty programs, which offer points or other rewards for repeat customers, and discounts for customers who renew their subscriptions or contracts. Other incentives might include free shipping, early access to new products or features, or bonus content or features.

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 to 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. Therefore you need to remove unnecessary steps, forget about only cash, implement contactless card payment, and even consider Bitcoin payment gateways.

Build customer trust

Building customer trust and long-term relationships are proven to be one of the most effective customer retention strategies. Businesses should always aim to provide value to their customers and show that they are reliable. For one, businesses can educate their customers about their products/services prior to purchase and after. They should ensure that they are always there to help customers should they need help. 

Furthermore, it’s important to provide excellent customer service to help them solve issues. Be sure to ask for customer feedback to know what area of your business can you improve on. When customers see that they can rely on your business, they trust you and become loyal to you.

Thank your customers

Even though it may sound like a simple customer retention strategy, it works wonders. Even if it’s just a simple thank you email or sending gifts, it shows your customers that you value them and appreciate them for sticking around. 

If a customer doesn’t feel appreciated, they are more likely to jump ship when a better opportunity from your competitor comes along.

Leverage social proof

User-generated content is still one of the best marketing strategies for acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. Since reviews influence people’s buying decisions, it can greatly help if you encourage your customers to post their experience in using your products/services. 

People trust brands that are recommended by their peers or if the brand has many positive reviews on their page. By showing proof that many customers had positive experiences doing business with you, you can convince existing customers to stick around.

Be active in your community

Customers are getting increasingly concerned about social issues, and you should be too. Hence, customers want to know if your business gives to charity if employees participate in community service initiatives, and with whom you communicate and cooperate. 

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 organization, 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 recognize this effort, and reward you with their loyalty.

Furthermore, suppose you’re a tech business, for example. In that case, you might volunteer to go into a local school and guide the future generation of technologists. You may also write blogs about how to get into the sector or record a short podcast about it. The trick is to be innovative when it comes to your brand.

Conclusion

Retaining existing customers is probably even more important than attracting new ones. In fact, statistics show that satisfied, loyal customers share their positive experiences with a brand with 11 other people. This means, that by retaining customers you’ll be also bringing new ones, hence don’t wait any longer and implement the most suitable customer retention strategies in your business.

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