One of the biggest mistakes businesses across the globe make is thinking that having a great product or service is enough as a strong customer retention strategy. Although it is only one aspect of marketing, retaining customers is a bitter truth.
It is just as important to keep customers as it is to get new ones because it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
Customer retention is a blend of art and science.
The goal is to maintain strong relationships with customers by putting in extra effort to exceed their expectations.
The science of customer retention involves understanding the customer journey, making sure there is consistent help available from all touchpoints, and providing your team with the tools they need to deliver an excellent customer experience.
So what does client retention mean? And how to retain customers with different relationship-building strategies?
What are some key concepts and examples to consider when building a client retention strategy to scale your business?
What is customer retention strategy?
Customer retention is the process of keeping customers satisfied and engaged with a company’s products and services. It involves creating loyalty and repeat business by delivering a positive customer experience at every interaction. The goal of a successful customer retention plan is to help businesses keep customers and how they contribute to the growth of the business.
Customer retention strategies are most successful when they begin from the very first interaction a customer has with your business. Continuing this relationship throughout the customer’s lifetime is key to customer retention.
The importance of customer retention strategies
What is the average amount that your clients spend during their time working with your agency?
The biggest takeaway from the research, published in the 1990 issue of the Harvard Business Review, can be summarized by an introductory paragraph:
If customers defect, or leave, it has a surprisingly powerful impact on the bottom line, or income. A service company’s profits can be more affected by factors such as scale, market share, unit costs, etc. than by other factors. As a customer’s relationship with the company strengthens, so does the company’s profits. And not just a little. If companies retain just 5% more of their customers, they can boost their profits by almost 100%.
How does that make sense?
The more satisfied a customer was with a service provider, the more likely the customer was to use the provider again in the future, according to the study’s authors.
- the longer they continued to do business with them
- the more they trusted them
- the more they invested in that service
- the more likely they were to recommend that service provider to a friend
12 retention strategies on how to retain customers
Customer retention strategies are designed to deliver great experiences that develop loyalty and encourage customers to stay associated with your brand for a lifetime. Keeping customers not only gets them more value from a product, but also encourages them to share their feedback and experiences to influence new customers.
1. Make customer experience (CX) a strategic priority
The way you conduct yourself affects how your customers see you and whether or not they’ll come back to your business.
If you create a good experience for your customers that is consistent and predictable, you will likely improve customer retention.
Customer experience refers to a customer’s impression of a company based on their interactions with that company. Touchpoints include website navigation, customer service interactions, and the final purchase.
2. Respond to customer issues instantly
The primary reason for the bad customer experience is that it takes longer to get a response.
Adding a live chat option to your website can help keep customers happy and reduce the negative impact of anything that might ruin their experience.
If a brand responds to a customer’s query within a minute, that customer is 59% more likely to make a purchase from that brand. Customers who are loyal to your brand tend to stay with you for a longer period of time.
How can live chat be a good customer retention idea?
- Immediate assistance – It helps to provide instant solutions to all the sales and support-related queries. By routing the conversation to the right support team the queries are solved faster.
- Boost customer satisfaction – It drives customer satisfaction by reducing wait time and converts visitors to loyal customers who not only retain with your brand but also advocate positive word of mouth.
- Proactive customer engagement – You can engage customers proactively in the right direction before the doubt becomes a big problem.
3. Deliver real time customer engagement
If businesses want their customer support team to be more efficient, they should consider using live customer engagement tools such as co-browsing and video chat. These tools can help customer support representatives resolve issues more quickly, especially during the initial contact. The live engagement tools help to resolve customer issues more quickly and effectively by reducing the number of customer touchpoints.
The visual tools can help simplify the process of filling out complex forms, make joining your company smoother, and provide the feeling of a face-to-face interaction.
- Personalize support – Having a face to face interaction encourages personalized conversations and removes all fears and frustration settles faster, thus, building personal and reliable customer relationships.
- Improve customer experience – With instant response you reduce the number of customers touchpoints. Live sessions have a great impact on customer satisfaction. With co-browsing, you can deliver interactive real time experiences to your customers.
4. Consider your clients an extension of your own business
When you see your client’s business as an extension of your own, you will be more committed to the success of your project. Their PPC conversion rate is your PPC conversion rate. Their leads are your leads.
It will also make your client feel less like a customer and more like a partner. They are more likely to work with a partner for a long time if they are interested in the revenue.
5. Create well tailored customer retention program
Any idea why loyalty programs matter?
Loyalty programs help your customers feel valued and appreciated. You can keep your customers coming back by giving them special offers and rewards that will make them feel good about their purchase.
Customers who feel emotionally attached to a brand are 306% more likely to stick with that brand for an average of 5 years, and will also recommend it to others far more often. The key ways loyalty programs help in customer retention marketing are:
- Loyalty programs are inexpensive to implement but can significantly increase customer lifetime value (CLTV).
- An effective loyalty program helps you to identify your brand ambassadors who have turned out to be your loyalists and spreading the word of mouth virality.
Loyalty programs that give customers frictionless experiences can be highly beneficial in fostering better customer relationships.
6. Offer incentives
If you are able to offer your clients an incentive for staying with you for a long period of time, do so. Giving customers a discount for paying their invoice early or a month-long trial of a bonus service are both ways to show appreciation.
This approach provides benefits to both you and the recipient. Paying their invoice early makes it easier to maintain cash flow. The business will see how useful the service is during the free trial period and may decide to invest in it in the future.
Both parties are happy with the mutually beneficial rewards.
7. Pay your clients more attention
Most agency employees believe that they are good at multitasking, but they are actually wrong. According to studies, our brains are not good at doing two things at the same time. This means that spending extra time trying to do many things at once is actually making us less productive.
If you work smarter, you will have more time for your partner and they will be less likely to leave you for someone more attentive.
8. Treat your clients like people
The words “you” and “exclusive” are powerful in copywriting because they make the reader feel special.
Your clients are people too, don’t forget. They don’t want to feel like they are just another logo on your “clients” page, paying to keep your business running.
It is a good idea to show your appreciation every once in awhile. The experiment found that sending a small token, such as a after-dinner candy, at an unexpected time can be fascinating.
When a waitress dropped off an after-dinner candy and then returned a minute later to let them pick another, the patrons left tips 23% higher.
Gifts, especially personalized ones, can make clients feel valued, rather than simply being a source of income. Think of it as an investment in your relationship.
9. Understand who your client is and how to handle them
No two clients are the same. It is important to learn how to identify different types of people and how to interact with them in order to build strong relationships.
For example, it will be relatively easy for you to land the “Flake” as a client and they won’t require much maintenance. On the other hand, the “Control Freak” will often make unreasonable demands of you and your team, to the point where you may wonder if keeping them is even worth it.
10. Admit your mistakes
Whenever you make a mistake with a client, act as though it were a public mistake, and fix it in the same way you would if you accidentally started a hashtag controversy on Twitter. I am sorry for the mistakes I have made. I will do better in the future. using “It’s not our fault” in any customer communication is not helpful and should be avoided.
If you lose business and don’t know why, ask. You can learn from your mistakes by talking to your lost clients and understanding why they left. This way, you can avoid making the same relationship-ruining mistakes twice.
11. Keep your cool when they aggravate you
Some clients are aware that they are a pain to work with, but don’t seem to care. Others are completely oblivious to the fact. If someone is regularly giving you bad feedback, don’t get so angry that you send a message you’ll regret later. This technique is called “How To Lose A Client In One Email.”
Wait until you have calmed down before trying to understand why the feedback was given and how you can use it to improve. You will be expected to apologize for every small mistake you make, but your clients will not be held to the same standards.
12. Deliver consistent omnichannel customer service
Customers want to be able to engage with a company using multiple channels, such as phone, social media, and websites, and they want those interactions to be smoothly integrated. If businesses take the time to understand their customers’ journey and needs, they will be able to provide a personalized service experience.
If you understand how customers interact with your brand on different channels, you can improve your procedures to reduce customer frustration and fill in the gaps in the process. It makes customers happy and helps keep them coming back.
How to improve customer retention programs by going omnichannel?
- Map your customer journey to gain valuable insights on their previous interactions, conversation history, etc. that helps to take proactive actions.
- Identify the most preferred channels by customers to connect with your business. It provides customers as many ways to reach out to your business.
- Be where your customers are to deliver customer support 24×7 across those channels
To provide the best omnichannel customer service, you need to be able to engage customers across all channels and provide a consistent level of service.
If you want to improve customer loyalty, you need to understand their needs and design well-thought-out strategies to retain them. In order to provide great customer service, you must be courteous and develop positive relationships with customers.
Include your customers in your business by taking their opinions into account. Make sure to implement their suggestions and give them credit to ensure the customer’s success.
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