Even though attracting new customers is important, retaining existing ones is even more significant for your company’s growth. Research says that 40% of your revenue comes from only 8% of your customers.
Given that, it’s not surprising that the 5% customer retention rate may boost your organization’s profits by up to 95%.
Here are a few proven tactics that will help you maintain a competitive edge and increase customer retention rates.
1. Provide Exceptional Customer Support
World-class customer support is the backbone of your business success.
Today’s customers are tech-savvy. They use multiple devices and platforms to do their research, compare brands, and make buying decisions. When interacting with your brand, they will probably check your website, social media profiles, contact forms, online reviews, etc.
And, no matter where they land first, they will expect you to provide them with real-time, 24/7 customer support. Stats back me up on that. Namely, 77% of customers highlight that valuing their time is the most critical thing a brand can do to provide spotless customer service.
For starters, make sure that your support tabs are prominent on your website.
Next, encourage customers to solve problems themselves. Research says that 67% of consumers prefer self-service over connecting with a customer service representative. For example, you could create a detailed FAQ page that features your customers’ frequently asked questions. Optimize it for your top-performing keywords to make it easily findable, provide detailed answers, and link back to valuable guides on your blog.
Combine live chat with chatbots. While live chat is always a good solution during your work hours, chatbots provide exceptional customer experiences 24/7. They are constantly learning about your customers’ needs and preferences, striving to provide them with highly relevant and personalized purchasing experiences.
Social listening can be useful here. Social media monitoring tools let you set the keywords you want to track and inform you when someone uses them on social networks. This is a great opportunity to track what questions your customers are asking and provide them with instant support.
2. Create a Magnetic Customer Loyalty Program
A loyalty program is one of the most effective ways to show customers that you care about them. Knowing that they’re going to be rewarded for buying at your store, they will feel compelled to come back again and again.
Research shows that the average U.S. family participates in about 30 loyalty programs. Furthermore, 84% of consumers say that they’re more likely to stay loyal to brands offering rewards programs.
Many big brands are starting to understand the importance of loyalty programs for their customer retention rates. For example, Sephora provides the Beauty Insider loyalty program that has attracted 17 million members that can get reward points for each purchase and choose how they will spend them.
Now, your loyalty program doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. It will work as long as your rewards are relevant and valuable to your target customers.
3. Regularly Ask for Customer Feedback
To retain your customers, you first need to learn more about their preferences, expectations, problems, and frustrations. This is why you need to collect their feedback regularly:
Ask online customers for post-purchase feedback. When they complete the purchase, send them a brief survey and ask them to tell you about their buying experience.
Create a customer satisfaction survey to collect unbiased customer feedback. In addition to popular email surveys, SMS surveys are also gaining lots of popularity as they have incredibly high open rates and answer rates.
Monitor your brand mentions across the web. Aside from the abovementioned social media listening tools, you can also use tools like Google Alerts to stay on top of your brand mentions online.
Observe chatbot transcripts to collect customers’ insights directly from their conversations and understand the common problems they face.
Ask your customer support teams or account managers to call each customer. This is a simple call, where they should ask them about their experiences so far, the issues they face, their expectations, and so forth.
Form a customer advisory board. This is a chosen group of loyal customers. They should meet once monthly or quarterly to exchange their experiences with your products and help you improve them over time.
4. Continually Create Valuable and Helpful Content
Your customer engagement strategy doesn’t end with the onboarding strategy. Once they start buying from you and coming back to your store, you need to keep delivering value to them. This is where your content creation strategy can help.
Start by publishing long-form and valuable blog posts regularly. Use tools like BuzzSumo or Google Trends to track the hottest industry topics. Don’t pack your articles with fluff text and spammy links. Instead, focus on the value they bring to a reader. They need to inform, educate, and engage a reader. Most importantly, be it an ultimate list or a how-to guide, an article needs to help a customer solve a specific problem.
In addition to blog posts, you could also create comprehensive, step-by-step guides. They should be written in a simple and understandable language and be full of actionable tips readers can implement in real-life situations.
With the help of case studies and customer success stories, you will build trust with your potential customers. Namely, the purpose of the case study is to emphasize the problems your customers faced before buying your product and how you helped them solve these issues.
Don’t forget that your knowledge base is also an educational source. Therefore, the content and links found there should also be easy-to-understand, helpful, and practical.
There are many forms of interactive and immersive content that may also educate a reader, such as free training videos, infographics, or podcasts.
5. Build an Active Online Community
When launching a business and promoting it online, your goal is to increase brand awareness, grow your industry authority and, above all, to increase customer loyalty. And, this is exactly where building an engaged social media community may help. Just like its mere name says, this is a place where the online users with similar goals, passions, and pain points connect to exchange experiences and help each other.
As for your brand, it adds a sense of exclusivity – people considered your top fans or prime customers will feel good about their titles. Your goal as a community creator is to target the right audiences, help community members get to know each other and foster the culture of respect and helpfulness.
Sure, it all starts with the choice of the right platform. LinkedIn is, for example, perfect for connecting with other professionals in your industry. Slack lets you create different channels customers can join according to their preferences, while Facebook groups are an ideal place for actively engaging larger groups of customers.
Over to You
The key to retaining customers lies in putting yourself in your customer’s shoes’. To build stronger relationships with them and encourage their brand loyalty, you will need to understand their needs, backgrounds, and problems.
For starters, ask them for feedback and use it to improve your marketing and customer support strategies in the future.
Provide them with amazing customer support and let them know that they can rely on you 24/7.
Use your blog as a valuable source of information and a relevant customer support channel.
Create strong customer loyalty programs to celebrate and reward customers’ loyalty.
Finally, build and nurture a vibrant online community of both prospective customers and loyal ones.
What tactics do you use to retain loyal customers? Let us know in the comments!