Customer Retention: 8 Ways to Retain Customers
Having clients return to you after you’ve made the sale is no less important than the efforts you constantly make to obtain new customers. After all, if the strategy is handled correctly, customer retention will grow your revenue, agree?
Although this seems self-explanatory, many retailers still underestimate the immense value of customer retention and continue to do business in the style of “one-off sales”. In this post, we gladly share the eight latest trends that may help you gain more from your company.
How Do You Define Customer Retention?
Customer retention deals with focusing on existing customers. While winning new clients remains crucial, retaining people requires less effort. You have already persuaded them to buy for the first time. So the next step is to strengthen your bonds:
- provide bonuses or free items for repeat purchases;
- personalise communication, which is easier because you already have their data in the system;
- Show their value to your company by sending invitations to special events, congratulating them on important occasions, etc.
You can go beyond customer retention and build customer loyalty. It happens when your clients become your fans and promote the brand without being asked to do so. As a result, you can entrust them with company promotion and even save on advertising.
8 Actionable Customer Retention Tricks
There are numerous points of the client journey worth thinking through from a business perspective. For starters, you have to do everything you can to make it simple to navigate your website, leading the customer to take action. What does this include?
- working on the website’s performance and speed;
- improving the UX\UI to provide a nice look and usability on any device;
- following site search best practices so that the user has no trouble finding what they need.
Once that is covered, try to focus on those customers who’ve already done business with you. After all, returning buyers bring businesses much more profit than you think. Let’s take a look at a couple of trending strategies.
1. Loyalty Programmes Can Be Rewarding
Building customer loyalty won’t happen at the snap of your fingers. It takes time and effort. Yet, a great thing, to begin with, is establishing a client loyalty programme.
Subscriptions and memberships have long proven themselves to be a working tactic. Here’s what you can do:
- Give returning customers perks for being your regulars (discounts, early access to new arrivals, etc.).
- If you agree that “a friend of your friend is your friend”, don’t deprive yourself of the pleasure of attracting more real buyers thanks to friend referrals. For example, give incentives to customers who’ve referred your business to acquaintances. Provide your loyal “promoters” with a promo code or unique offer in return for the favour.
- Award them with statuses and ranks (such as VIP clients) for doing business with you. It helps customers get better deals for buying more from you.
For instance, Levi’s has a “Red Tab” membership programme. It offers numerous exclusive perks for joining, including free shipping on all orders, birthday gifts, and more.
2. Utilise Customer Feedback to the Fullest
With the recent leap in social media, and the ever-growing importance of online presence, no positive reference to your business would be “over the top”.
What are the best practices for stimulating your clients to be more engaged? Once again, you could offer your clients shop credit, free shipping, or discounts for leaving comments about their purchased products.
The same can be offered for shares, mentions, and reposts featuring your products on social media. After all, your clients will also be happy to get more post views and likes if their content gets featured on your website or social media account. See how Timberland uses such widgets on its official website.
Such user-generated content and opinions make for a great first-hand experience that your potential clients can fall back on. Plus, you build credibility for your business. At the same time, you inspire existing clients to repurchase something, thanks to the additional discount motivation.
Without a doubt, the mentioned above are great strategies for customer retention to incorporate.
3. Up-Selling and Cross-Selling
Combo offers are a proven way to bring value to your customers. Especially if you know what to pitch and what a client may find to their liking. You may be neglecting up-selling and cross-selling (and it’s your loss, then!).
The eCommerce sphere has long set its heart on functionality that automatically pitches “related items” or “other things you might like”. If you use customer segmentation, relying on the info you’ve obtained, consider pitching selections of products that your client might like based on their previous buying experience.
However, users’ prior purchases aren’t the only source of personalised suggestions. You can pitch product combos that have worked well for other clients who’ve made similar purchases.
Look at how Fila promotes other goods that’ll be an excellent match to the browsed jeans. The suggested tops can complete the look and lead to larger order sizes.
4. Personalising Your Communication
How else can you build a relationship with existing clients, make them feel special, and show them that you know their tastes and necessities? If you already have an email campaign to congratulate your clients on their birthdays or holidays, great! But is there something else you may add?
Personalise these messages, refer clients by name, and deliver tailored content. For example, employ placeholders where you want to insert the needed word. Customer retention software will do it, and your messages will appear in all their glory.
Words are great, but actions are better. Individual coupons and discounts can assist you for sure. The data suggested by Blippr states:
“Retailers who offer coupons through their online platform see 26% higher average order values from their customers who use them.”
Providing some more pointers, on eCommerce example, those online shops with wish list functionality have a bigger chance of selling. The wish list feature is a tested tactic that helps reduce the abandonment of carts, plus it’s also a great way to retain your customers.
Users place desired items in their wish lists that they can’t buy just yet. For example, this can be a product they want to get for their birthday, or it’s out of stock. Such product selections can be put in emails or flashed in ads or push notifications before the client’s eyes. It may eventually stir the purchase action.
Moreover, have you ever thought about gift hint functionality? These subtle “helpers” can lead to more new customers as well. Check out how Tiffany & Co. organised this on their website.
5. Effectively Promoting New Deals
Furthermore, ensure all your clients and prospects are informed about new products and hot deals. It’s another neat customer retention strategy. It’s a fundamental way to get someone interested in trying fresh arrivals. And who, if not the clients who already know you and your business well, can assist you in the matter?
Timely client notification is a trick up your sleeve to immediately put into circulation if you haven’t done so. Newsletter send-outs and social media posts are standard methods to achieve that.
You also need to update your website. Consider adding a separate page for new arrivals, such as Lee has (on the screenshot below). The products from a new collection have a corresponding “New” tag.
6. Focusing on Educational Content
No one forbids creating content purely for SEO purposes. But are you interested in selling goods and ensuring your material is valuable?
Quality content will help you with lead creation, especially if you promote it across numerous channels and track the performance. Your audience will also know that your blog or social media are worth returning to. Maybe you educate on makeup? Or conduct yoga classes twice a week?
The content should focus on a critical goal. And it is to motivate the user to act. It should fit different stages of the purchase journey and encourage a potential customer to click a particular button. How can you do it?
Add pages, posts, and blog articles with helpful information to potential and existing customers. First, it should touch on their pain points and address their problems.
One of the possible paths is using the power of video marketing. Videos educate and entertain. They tick all the boxes and present information visually. While streaming videos, you can share tips and mention your products or services.
I’ve made this screenshot on Nestlé’s Instagram account to back up my words. The company retains its customers by sharing recipes in Stories. Its employees present ideas to find easy-to-prepare delicacies to your liking and subscribe immediately.
7. Enhancing Customer Service
You can’t imagine a satisfied buyer without decent customer service. People want to get their answers fast and, preferably, outside business hours. Not to mention that you can’t afford to postpone mitigating damage when someone leaves a negative comment.
It sounds like you need more customer service specialists, doesn’t it? You can keep the same employee number but leave some tasks to automation tools and assistive technologies like chatbots.
Chatbots are based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, improving their performance with every call. For example, they facilitate communication with purchasers from around the globe.
Hiring multilingual employees costs more than configuring a virtual assistant. Not to mention you may not need to operate these languages every day. That’s where you can accommodate such clients with the help of ML-powered robots.
They utilise natural language processing (NLP) to understand different tones and languages. As a result, the language barrier won’t catch you off-guard. Below is the Little Tim chatbot, suggesting you select the preferred language. When you pick it, the chatbot continues the conversation.
8. Sending Push Notifications at the Right Time
Push notifications are the alerts popping up on the screen. Businesses benefit from push notifications in the following ways:
- They are easier to deliver. You don’t have to persuade people to leave their contact details or personal information. It’s enough to click the “Yes” button, which may be more comfortable for clients.
- Push notifications require less time to read. It’s another decisive factor to subscribe to them rather than open an email, read a longer text with images and links, and click on them to visit the store.
We’re bombarded with messages during the day. That’s why send notifications at the right time and keep them personalised. If your customers receive misleading messages, you’ll lose this opportunity to retain them.
Note that push notifications consist of a few sentences maximum. So make them convincing enough with powerful calls to action and relevant deals. Suppose you offer a client a discount on the goods from the cart. Users should appear on that page, not new arrivals or other collections when they click on the message.
Push notifications are not just about app users; they can come from websites. But keep in mind some restrictions: iOS doesn’t support such freedom as Android does regarding notifications.
Retention takes less effort and money than nurturing and acquiring new customers. And loyal customers will work for you, increasing average order value and driving more clients thanks to referrals.
Summing up, it’s never too bad to overdeliver. At least, in this case, you know for sure that you’ve done everything you could have. Having good products and services, knowing your clients, communicating with them properly, and giving them enough personalised attention are significant steps towards customer retention and building relationships to last a lifetime.
Author Bio: Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the ever-advancing online world. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and online sales in general.