Introduction to customer retention strategies
A customer retention strategy is a process used to improve consumer loyalty. These strategies help determine whether a business is performing well, or if there’s room for improvement.
There are countless customer or client retention strategies to choose from. The best ones minimise the number of lost customers, build better consumer experiences, and encourage loyalty for the brand.
Let’s take a look at 17 examples of customer retention strategies you can promote within your business today.
1. Start investing in customer service tools
There’s no denying we live in a world that’s heavily reliant on digitalisation. Let’s start off by investing in customer service tools.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, or how big your company is. Customer service tools can help businesses reach great levels of customer satisfaction. Be sure to invest in a customer loyalty and retention strategy that’s perfect for your business.
2. Live up to your values
Customer retention is heavily influenced by a company’s values, ethics, and missions. Be vocal about your cause and live up to your words.
It’s important to find something you genuinely care about, then shape your brand around it. Join a charity, raise awareness, or become an ambassador. Your efforts will evoke respect and appreciation from your consumers.
3. It's all about making life easy
The biggest reason why people buy products, or services is because of satisfaction. If it makes their life easier, they’re bound to invest in the convenience it provides.
Outline how you’ll meet these needs in your customer retention plan. An example could be using a chat-bot to manage online complaints. Often, these programs provide instant direction – minimising the impacts on your customer experience.
4. Give them first-class treatment
Who doesn’t love being pampered and given first-class treatment? This kind of personal retention strategy helps meet individual customer needs.
It’s often easier to provide this level of service in smaller businesses compared to bigger ones. But that doesn’t mean you give up altogether. Find a strategy that enables excellent service for your consumer experience.
5. Be honest about mistakes
Honesty is (almost always) the best policy. Whether a product has a typo, or you’ve sent out a batch of dodgy samples, it’s best to say sorry by owning up to your mistakes.
It can leave you exposed to a few negative comments, but owning up rectifies your business integrity and retention instantly. Remember, being dishonest can cause more damage than the actual mistake.
6. Blow the competition out of the water
You’ve jumped through endless hurdles to get your business up and running. Why make it easy for your competitors to level up with you?
It falls on you to protect your hard-earned customer retention by blowing the competition away. Sure, it’s a hard task in today’s crowded marketplace, but keep at it – you’ll soon see the levels of customer retention strategies promote your brand-name.
7. Utilise all forms of subscriptions - old and new
People are creatures of habits; if customers have a preferred way of interacting with your business, invest in it. A classic example for this is subscriptions.
Most businesses will probably have more virtual subscriptions compared to paper subscriptions. Don’t neglect or push these customers into the digital age, though. You’ll end up losing them going against your customer retention strategy altogether.
8. Take your socials to another level
There’s no denying the power of social media platforms. It’s an integral part of customer experience – businesses are lost without them in today’s society.
Why not invest time in your socials by taking them to the next level? Test out new processes on different platform to see what works. You’ll soon be able to sit back and watch those views change from clicks to cash.
9. Give a little more
All sales are valuable and appreciated by businesses. But how do you turn single purchases into double figures? A great way to achieve this is by giving a little more than they asked for.
A free sample here, or a gift card there, these incentives can turn one consumer experience into multiple ones. They often don’t cost businesses much – making them the most investable customer retention strategy out there.
10. Provide round-the-clock support
Having round-the-clock customer support might be a hard strategy to create. But it doesn’t always involve spending £1000s on 24-hour virtual assistants.
A customer support phone number, or email address, is far greater than having no contact details at all. Customer service strategies like this help to grow satisfaction and retention, especially during difficult times.
11. Show gratitude and thanks
Take the time to show customers gratitude for investing in your business. You don’t need to hand-deliver expensive fruit baskets to them all. Instead, why not send out a gift card or newsletter outlining your heartfelt gratitude for their loyalty?
12. Avoid cancellations at all costs
It’s always disappointing to see customers cancel their subscriptions and memberships. But does that mean you ignore them? Absolutely not!
Businesses need a customer strategy in place that helps minimise or avoid cancellations. Why not offer a discount deal before their membership expires? You could even charge them for leaving early. In the end, a little push can really benefit your retention rates.
13. Become part of their life
When you promote positive messages and values, your business quickly becomes part of your customers’ lives. From staple items or household names, they’ll find it hard to live without your products or find alternatives elsewhere.
This results in an irreplicable level of loyalty, satisfaction, and investment. It can even promote a migration of new customers through recommendations and hearsay.
14. Stand out from the rest and second-best
There’s no denying how hard it is to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace. Every business needs to set itself apart from copycats and second bests.
The trick is to offer something you can’t get from a rival company. Why not offer a full-size product with monthly subscriptions? Or send samples that customers might be interested in? Whatever strategy you follow, make sure it sets you apart from the rest.
15. Aim to solve one problem, not all of them
Rather than claim a product cures every problem in the world, it’s more beneficial to offer customers one that guarantees to solve issues for good.
This leaves customers feeling more satisfied and trusting of your service. They’ll heavily invest in the reliability and practicality of your business – leaving customers with no need to look elsewhere.
16. Keep spiking their interests
Continuing from above; the danger of having one perfectly, functional product is that you’re only targeting one marketspace. That’s why businesses need to keep spiking the interests of their customers.
Don’t worry about your ‘bread-and-butter’ sales too much. Instead, why not invest time into switching up your inventory. In the end, customers will be interested in what’s in store for them, leaving you with a growing retention rate.
17. Upgrade your business through gamification
It’s quite a mouthful – gamification. In simple terms, it means digitalising things. For example, maybe you buy a planner every New Year’s. Gamification offers the same thing but in the form of an app, software, or program.
Gamification allows you to sell products, or services, through virtual means. It’s not about replacing humans. Some business areas will benefit from automated, digitalised production. Once you speed things up, you’ll be struggling to keep up with the influx of new customers.
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