Getting repeat business, rather than attracting new customers, is generally considered to be a better strategy. Previous customers will have already heard of your business, so you won’t need to focus too much on brand awareness, and they’ll have experience using your product or service. Essentially, you won’t need to start from scratch, but can work to improve the rapport you’ve already built.
Customer retention needs to be part of any business strategy. The question is, how do you convince your customers to stay loyal to your brand? With so many other businesses on the market, what’s to stop your audience from going elsewhere, especially if the price is lower? We’ve looked at five great customer retention strategies below, to help you get started!
1. Improve Your Onboarding Process
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of your onboarding process. The customer has already signed up, so you can just leave them to complete their sales journey, right? Actually, customers really appreciate a personal touch at this point of the transaction process. According to research from Wyzowl, 86% of customers feel that they would be more loyal to a company if the business actively welcomed them when they signed up. Clearly this is something that your organisation should consider, if they haven’t already.
Another way to improve your onboarding process is to offer users a range of formats. You want to appeal to the entirety of your audience, not just a small section of people, so you have to provide different avenues for people to take, depending on their preferences. For example, you could create various product videos, demonstrating how the products work, as well as comprehensive resources and guides. Where possible, it’s a good idea to offer self-service options, as not everyone likes interacting with customer service representatives when they shop.
2. Reward Customer Loyalty
It’s never a bad idea to reward loyal customers. People love free stuff, even if it’s only something small. And a discount of even 5% or 10% could make all the difference when it comes to making an additional sale. Essentially, free gifts and reductions are a great way to reward customer loyalty, which in turn should lead to better customer retention.
You may also wish to consider setting up a loyalty scheme. This allows customers to earn points as they shop, which will be redeemable when certain thresholds are met. A number of supermarket chains employ this strategy, as do brands like Nando’s and Waterstones.
3. Use Social Media
Social media can be a fantastic tool when it comes to customer retention. Many people, especially a younger audience, like to feel like they are part of a brand’s community, and that their input is valuable. Social platforms are the perfect place to encourage this type of engagement, and chat with your audience. This channel allows your followers to see a more human side of the business, which they can better relate to.
Although creating your own content on social media is important, it’s essential to interact more directly with your audience too. Respond to their comments, ask them questions, and perhaps request user generated content. This could include photos or videos of your customers, using your products or services. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are great for this sort of content.
4. Ask for Feedback
It’s not always easy to know what your customers are thinking. And rather than making assumptions, the best way to discover their opinions is to ask them! So if you’re not sure why you’re struggling to retain customers, or if you’d simply like to ensure you’re offering the best possible service, you may wish to ask for feedback.
While it may be discouraging to look at negative feedback and customer complaints, this is a vital part of any customer retention strategy. You can see if you’re able to spot common trends, and make improvements in these areas moving forward. Resolving complaints can furthermore lead to even better reviews, as you’ve gone above and beyond. Such reviews might even result in testimonials you can share on social media or your website.
5. Stay in Touch
It’s crucial that you’re proactive about customer retention. A large part of this will involve things like a follow up cycle which will keep your brand at the forefront of people’s minds, even after they’ve made a purchase. Your follow up cycle could include outreach calls, email newsletters, or postal leaflets - as long as you’re careful to avoid bombarding your customers with communications!
It is also important to bear in mind that your follow up cycle needs to be updated and refreshed regularly, so that the message doesn’t get stale. One way to do this is to promote new products or services you’re launching, trying to create a buzz around them.
Overall, customer retention is about building and maintaining positive relationships with your audience. You’ll need to consider every step of the customer journey, and see where improvements can be made. You can then experiment with different strategies, finding the techniques that work best for your business.