5 Surefire Customer Retention Strategies
In a landmark study, Harvard Business School estimated that returning customers increased revenue from between 25 to 95 percent. Loyalty, while a rare commodity on the internet, still pays. Keeping existing customers will always be cheaper and more profitable than converting new ones. So, when you’re completing your regular analysis of strategies to increase revenue, make sure to include competencies that not only lure new users to your product but also reward returning and loyal business.
1. Make Your Brand Social Proof
Having your customers tell their own success stories and posting them consistently and dynamically creates a sense of community. Sharing relevant numbers (social media followers, total sales, other key milestones) also helps to social proof your brand. Share press coverage, endorsements, certifications and subscriber numbers whenever possible. Using those metrics publicly increase your customers’ confidence. It validates their approval of your brand and encourages them to come back again and again.
2. Say Thank You When They Least Expect It
It’s a given that your confirmation emails will start with “thank you for shopping with us.” Where else in your customer experience can you say thank you to a loyal customer? Are there other ways that you can surprise them, like with a credit in their account for free shipping on their next order? Believe it not, people love handwritten notes. Can you and your team send out 5-10 during the week? Thank them for their business and ask for feedback often, especially if they haven’t ordered anything for some time. You may start a dialogue that leads them back to your products.
3. Make Everything Easy
Customers themselves know the importance of customer retention, so much so that people are far more likely to write up a bad review than a good one. Ensure that you create a friction-less experience on your website. Every time you make an update, check load times (no one is patient in the 21st century). Make sure that you’re using proven user testing strategies before you launch a new product. Everything from navigation to help and contact pages should have ease and flow. The simpler your site is to use, the more return business you’re likely to see.
4. Do Your Customer Support Homework
By the time someone reaches out for help, they’re probably already frustrated. Make it as easy as possible to help them by figuring out how your customers want to be communicated with, and then follow that to the letter. For example, if you’re confirming an appointment or an order, let your customer decide if they get an email or a text message. Do your customers need a chat function for better service? If you’re not sure, ask them. Email surveys can be frustrating for some, but if you segregate customers by spending habits and only contact your frequent spenders, they are far more likely to respond with helpful tips.
5. Reward Your VIPs
Frequent shoppers deserve rewards. VIP strategies tend to increase revenue because it encourages spending and repeats business. Whether you use a point system, special discounts, free products or other perks, remind yourself that whatever you give away to your volume customers you’ll reap quickly in repeat business. So, make those rewards meaningful and give them real value. Research what loyalty strategies your competitors use as a customer retention strategy and make it a point to one-up those competitors whenever possible.
No matter what your total annual budget is for your customer retention techniques, it is more cost-effective than new customer acquisition. Of course, a smart agency can always help. Ping us here and we’ll be happy to discuss some clever and creative content marketing strategies to keep your loyal customers happy.