An organization becomes successful when it gives a high level of attention to a customer needs, and the customer finds trust in their services. A healthy relationship between an organization and its customer is an essential parameter that should never be neglected.
You will be amazed to know that an average company annually loses over 20% of the customers because of the low customer engagement. Therefore, to have sustainable growth, it is important to maintain a good relationship with all your customers.
The following article discusses some of the best strategies to help you retain your customers, which leads to better growth of the organization.
Why is customer acquisition not enough?
Acquiring new customers is important for every company regardless of its scale and age. More customers essentially mean more business and better opportunities. However, most companies make a common mistake of running behind acquiring new customers without keeping track of how well they are catering to the needs of their current customer base. Customer acquisition alone is not enough when you want your business to scale up.
In the long run, it affects the organization in a very big way. The retention of the customer becomes hard without keeping up with the customer requirements as other competitive services attract the customers with new and effective strategies. Therefore, customer retention in your current database is a step that you must take into account. Retaining current customers helps in:
- Reducing the marketing requirements
- Getting enhanced conversion rates
- Achieving a better return on investments
- More valuable feedback to improve the services
What’s the best time to focus on customer retention?
Although there is no specific answer to the question, it depends upon many insights into the current working of the organization. However, the two parameters that determine the best time to focus on customer retention are:
1.The Lifespan of the Product
The fundamentals of the customer retention policy will be most influenced by the nature of the product that you are selling. No two businesses can run in the same way, and the demand in the market for the products vary according to the different industries.
If your product has a high value that does not have a regular demand, you need to focus more on customer acquisition. In that case, you can create a flexible customer retention policy that will spend limited resources on retaining the customers.
2.The Maturity of Your Business
The maturity of your business will determine how big your customer database has become. If you have just started a company, then the main aim should be to increase your customers. When your organization reaches a certain level of recognition in the market, the need for customer retention then arises.
However, you should always implement certain strategies such as automated email workflow, welcome emails, post-purchase emails that helps in giving a better service to your customers. This becomes a useful way over time in retaining the customers.
As your business becomes more established, more work and attention you need to put on the retention strategies. Retaining the acquired customers is a significant process for the development of business.
The primary aim of the customer retention programs is to implement the techniques that will help to retain the maximum number of your business customers. So, it is essential to first provide that you provide the best service to every customer that you acquire so that they wishfully choose your service over others.
Strategies to keep your customers for forever
No organization can afford to lose customers. So, it is important that once customers give trust to your organization by purchasing your product or service, you should do everything possible to provide them the best service.
This will not only help them stay engaged to you, but they will also encourage others to choose your service. Below given customer retention strategies will help you to retain the maximum customers.
1. Pull ahead of your competition, and let your customers know
One of the best ways to retain your customers is by being ahead of your competitors and providing top-notch services to your customers. The foremost step is to stay updated with the current trends and competitive services in the market.
At all times, you have to develop better services and products that are beneficial for the customers. Also, your customers must be aware of every new service launched by your company.
This will ensure that they do not turn over to some other brands and always pick your product as their first choice. You can use messaging and email services to let the customer know about the launch of your new product and services.
For instance, Amazon always keeps track of the products that you buy and accordingly, keeps you updated with new products that are launching in that business niche. Amazon will provide notification through emails and messages to its users.
Also, they have an Amazon prime membership plan that offers the members many benefits, such as free and fast deliveries, and better deals. This makes the user see their long time benefit, and they prefer sticking to the company.
2. Reward customers via Referrals, Gamification, Loyalty Programs
An effective way to retain the customers is by bringing in various user benefit programs like referrals, discount coupons, and loyalty programs. They inspire customers to increase the usage of your products.
When a customer gets reward points or value-added offers with a product, they keep coming back to avail the services. These days digital marketing is the most prominent way of making your product reach the targeted audience.
Gamification is a process in which small attractive games are generated and linked with offers and coupons of your products. The customer gets an entertainment source with additional coupons that makes them stay engaged with your brand and products.
To avail the maximum benefit, you need to focus on the following parameters for the loyalty programs:
- Make the customer an inclusive part of your organization so that they stay loyal to your business.
- It should be focused on giving some sort of benefit to the customer every time. This will help in maintaining the spending habit of the customer.
- To understand customer habits, preferences, and buying patterns.
- Showing your appreciation to the customer by providing them discount coupons and rewards for purchases done in the past. This will encourage them to increase their buying activity.
Dropbox is a well known online storage solution. It started a referral program in which they offered free 500MB space for referred and advocate accounts. The method worked miraculously for them, raising their sign-ups by a significant number.
If you want you can read a blog to learn how to build customer loyalty programs.
3. Leverage personalized follow-ups for engagements
An effective way to hike up your sales and retain your business customers is to provide individual attention to the customers. Everyone loves when treated special, however small it may be. Gone are those days when a common message was ok to be circulated to all your customer base.
The trends of modern-day shopping are changing, and you must stay in line with them. Now the customers have high expectations from the brands they follow, let it be in providing more innovative products, or providing better services. For every missed opportunity, a competitor is just staying behind, providing them a better offer.
The first thing is to personalize your email and notification campaigns to make the engagement more inclusive with the user. Today, almost every customer link their account with their phone numbers.
Use the messaging service to reach out and ask about the experience of using products like Amazon or any other eCommerce store does when you buy a product from them. You can make the engagement more appealing by converting it into a quiz form. A follow-up done with the right intent will be extremely helpful in making the customer appreciate your efforts and stay loyal to your brand.
Many brands are choosing the twitter platform to get in touch with their customers to show their appreciation for the customer. Tesco, a popular grocery store brand in the UK, interacts with its customers regularly by replying to their comments on Twitter and other social media platforms.
4. Educate and engage customers with new features or tutorials
While everybody is busy promoting new products and services, there is a lack of education on various products. This is one of the lead causes of low product demand for specific products. Educating customers can have a significant impact on your business. Let me explain how.
When a new innovative product launches, the customers aren’t aware of the product or its usage. Therefore, most customers neglect it and move on. While some that are interested will try to find more about the product from any source, they can find the information in the exploration process. The customer finds new sources to get the product, and they are attracted by other brands that are offering similar products.
However, if you only educate the customer with the required information, you may get the given benefits:
- Improved customer satisfaction.
- More trustworthiness to your brand.
- Increased loyalty.
- Boosted customer engagement.
- Higher quality customer support.
Whole Foods customer education strategy is an excellent example for this. Apart from providing fresh and authentic food items, they provide the best recipes for the products that they sell. Apart from that, they also conduct many campaigns and events in which they educate people about the benefits of targeted products.
In March 2019, they held an event to educate people about the harmful effects of various chemicals in cosmetic products. They also offered free products to the first 200 consumers in exchange for empty containers
This campaign helped them in making people aware that they should avoid phthalates, parabens, and microbeads made products. Post this effort of the marketing funnel, the market for their products grew at a better rate than before.
5. Surprise and delight customers with excellent services and support
A small surprise has the power to transform the day of a person. One may forget any other offers with time, but a surprise always stays in the heart of an individual. So, by surprising your customers with excellent services and support or a free gift, you will not only earn their appreciation but will, more importantly, get their loyalty for you.
You may categorize different customers depending upon their past purchases with your brand. And then surprise them with gifts and coupons for that particular range. Some of the wonderful surprise ideas are:
- Offering extra discounts to the most loyal customers.
- Giving holiday cards to the highest paying shoppers.
- Working on the complaints that have the highest frequency.
- Sending them personalized video messages.
- Posting the customer pictures on your social media to give them a feel of a little stardom.
- Making regular meets for the customers and celebrity brand ambassadors.
- Giving surprise with cash prizes.
- Providing them with gift cards on their birthday.
InterContinental Hotels Group sends a free $100 Amazon gift card for the customers who have availed their services as a return gift. They also have many other reward programs that give the customers many value-added benefits on choosing particular membership schemes.
Importance of Customers: The big picture!
The modern-day customer has become more powerful as compared to the customer of traditional times. This is simply because of the availability of the plethora of services and the power to choose with ease. So, to attract and retain your business customers, you need to keep updating your strategies and explicitly work on improving customer relations. This will help in retaining the customers and eventually lead to the improved growth of your organization.
About the author:
Hannah started as a copywriter, but it turns out her true passion is e-commerce marketing.
She is naturally inquisitive about human behavior and its interaction with the digital world. Now, she’s part of the HappyPoints team with a goal to help Shopify merchants boost their business.
Her team helps merchants launch their e-commerce websites and optimize their sales conversions with fully managed Shopify store setup and theme customizations.