How to Improve Customer Retention
Keeping our current customers happy is the goal of most businesses, though not all prioritize it as a core money-making strategy. According to the book Marketing Metrics, businesses have a 60 to 70 percent chance of selling to an existing customer while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent. There’s another benefit to customer retention. When you create a positive and rewarding customer experience, they're more likely to spread the word about your company and attract more customers to you, Stella Service says.
So apart from offering great products and customer service, how do you really improve customer retention? Start by offering the resources your customers need to succeed and end with creating a phenomenal customer experience from start to finish.
Create a one-stop-shop resource
Give your customers a reason to stay and shop around by empowering them to make the best decisions from the start. We see platforms like Amazon doing this well by showing relevant products customers might want to buy, reminding them to add products to their Amazon Fresh cart that they’ve bought in the past, showcasing subscribe-and-save options and providing plenty of product information along the way.
However, it’s not just B2C models leveraging their platforms for success. Businesses in the manufacturing industry, like Apple Rubber, also attract and retain customers by offering a quick and easy way to get more information, sizing guides, how to use their supplies and access to a dedicated sales team in one place. The tools provided make it simple for customers to keep coming back and buying more without jumping through hoops to find the products they want.
Incentivize customers to come back
You need to give your customers a reason to come back and view your business as their favorite go-to stop to snag what they’re looking for. Incentivizing repeat business with coupons and reward programs can help spark immediate traction and is now widespread across most industries. A study by Accenture found that royalty and reward programs are on the rise with 77 percent of consumers participating in retail loyalty programs. There’s also a rise in loyalty programs for hotels at 46 percent and airline programs at 40 percent.
Create your own loyalty and reward program with your own email list. Entice customers to sign up and keep opening their emails by offering the promise of immediate and ongoing coupons. You can also incorporate links into your site’s blog posts that encourage readers to share your post in exchange for an automatic discount. Shopify owners can use their Share For Discounts app to entice customers to share socially in exchange for an instant discount.
Solicit customer feedback
It’s easy to assume what your customers want based on bits and pieces of feedback you’ve seen on social media or your own personal preferences. In reality, guessing in business is a surefire way to slow your sales and produce mixed results.
Go straight to the source and solicit specific feedback on your products and services from your customers directly. Your email marketing provider like ConvertKit or AWeber provides surveys and forms to send out to your customers, or you can use a resource like Survey Monkey to get started. However, customers might need an incentive to stop what they’re doing and fill out the survey. Offer a discount on their next purchase or a chance to win a gift card from your business.
Curate a phenomenal customer experience
Doing business in today’s market is more than just creating fantastic products and services to sell and calling it a day. As the world shifts to a customer-centric market, customers want a smooth and seamless experience with omnichannel capabilities. When your customers can communicate with you in the methods they prefer best from phone to chat to social media, they're more likely to feel positive about their customer experience and stick around.
Embrace customer retention as a business journey that improves the quality of your products and services, not to mention trust with your customers. When your focus is all about how to keep your customers happy and returning for more, your business practically grows itself.