Whether you’re running a multinational agency or a small local business, you must have wondered how to properly retain your customers in the long run. Highly successful businesses understand the significant difference between customer acquisition and customer retention. Both processes are equally important, though many contemporary businesses neglect the latter.
When you focus on your current customers, you are not only saving advertising budget that would otherwise be spent on acquiring new people, but you’re also ensuring that your brand’s potential is constantly growing.
Customer retention strategies are not beneficial, but critical. It’s common sense. Why spend a lot of money on advertising your products and services to people who are not even familiar with your brand when you can spend way less money and time enriching the relationships that you have with your current buyers?
In today’s post, we’ll be exploring several tactics, tips, and tricks to boost your customer retention success. Follow today’s guidelines and start improving your present customer’s satisfaction, interest, and loyalty!
Nurture Relationships Through Email Marketing
Email marketing is a goldmine strategy if leveraged properly. Email is the most effective communication channel that brands currently use to grow and nurture relationships with their customers.
Email segmentation is the process of separating email subscribers according to their status (prospects/one-time buyers/repeating customers). It is also the process that allows you to personalize your communication and bring more relevance to each segment of your list.
Therefore, you’ll need to focus on developing one or more email strategies that prioritize the relationship with your one-time customers, with the purpose of turning them into loyal customers that keep buying from you every time you launch new products or services.
How can you do that?
First of all, you need to separate your prospects and buyers. Once a person becomes your customer, the proper way to strengthen your relationship with him is to offer your appreciation by providing additional value.
For example, you can send your one-time customers a discount coupon for a different product or service in stock. Or, you can send a detailed report that explains the customer why he made the right choice and what benefits he can expect from now on. The paper writing company that I work for offers a free career consultation to students who buy services more than three times.
Second, you can use email communication to get in direct touch with your first-time buyers. When brands take their time to create a direct rapport (personalized message), customers will immediately feel that they truly matter.
Third, you can encourage your buyers (through an automated email) to provide their genuine feedback in return for something that they care about. You can provide a one-time offer, a discount, a coupon, a free eBook, a resource toolkit, or anything that would fit your customer’s needs.
Study and Analyze Customer Feedback
The best way to retain your customers is to know what they truly want and need. You can figure that out using two simple strategies.
The first strategy is to analyze your own customers’ feedback. Every time your prospects turn into buyers, make sure that you ask for their relevant opinion. Ask them how did they enjoy the experience, and what can be improved.
Show your genuine interest and analyze every single detail that you receive. Try to keep it simple – a short survey comprised of only a few questions is ideal!
The second strategy is to pay attention to your competitors’ customer reviews. If you sell physical products, you can gather this information by analyzing product feedback. You will find a lot of clues that you may otherwise miss if you focus only on the feedback received from your own customers.
Overdeliver and Don’t Overpromise
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you purchase something because you’ve been promised a lot of benefits and you don’t get those benefits, you will probably feel disappointed. When a customer associates any sort of negative feelings with a brand, a second purchase is very unlikely to happen.
Nevertheless, if you’re purchasing a product or service that under-promises but over-delivers, you’ll feel great because you’ve been given something that you didn’t even expect.
Try to keep your promises low and focus on the actual value that your customer experiences once they purchase your offers.
Create a Customer Loyalty Program
Supermarkets, pharmaceutical companies, subscription services – they’ve all understood the huge importance of loyalty programs.
“The best way to make your customers buy something from you again is to offer them real reasons to do that. The biggest problem with customer loyalty programs comes when the buyers do not find enough value in the incentives that you offer for repeated purchases.” – Michael Gorman, CEO at My Assignment.
For that reason, you need to carefully study and acknowledge your current customers’ interests. You need to figure out what makes them “tick,” and you must keep exploring and testing this aspect until you find a winner solution.
This may take time and extensive research. I would suggest you carefully assess what your competitors are offering to their repeating buyers, and find ways to do it even better. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. There’s nothing new under the sun, meaning that originality is often impossible to achieve. However, uniqueness is very much accessible.
To some businesses, small discounts work perfectly. However, that doesn’t work all the time. For your inspiration, here is a list of some of the most successful customer loyalty programs that generated massive amounts of attention and interest.
Offer Incentives for Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Have you considered rewarding your customers for their word-of-mouth marketing? Offering incentives for social media shares and direct recommendations is not a complicated process.
Referral programs have always worked and always will. If you’ve never done it before, you can find plenty of specialized tools and software that will help you track your customers’ voice. Many businesses and brands are already offering exclusive offers and discounts to people who are actively mentioning their brand’s name online.
Also, social media promotion is extremely relevant today. If, for example, a person that is being followed by 2000 people is actively promoting your business by posting new updates on their social walls or through daily stories, your brand awareness and reputation will skyrocket.
If 100 people do it, you can probably imagine the incredible benefits that your brand will receive. And, if you consider it for a second, rewarding 100 loyal brand ambassadors is a way cheaper process compared to the process of reaching new eyes through paid promotion strategies.
How can you do it?
Get in touch with the customers that receive decent engagement on their social media profiles. Message them, offer them incentives, and keep them close!
Tempt Your Customers with Exclusive Offers
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, every single customer wants (and craves) to be or feel special. As a brand, you can easily impress your current customers by approaching them directly, letting them know that you’re acknowledging their existence and that they’re not just numbers on papers.
While a direct message or phone call is often enough to improve the loyalty of a customer, offering exclusive offers that are granted only to those who have purchased your products or services more than once is ideal.
After all, who doesn’t like exclusivity?
Obviously, your exclusive promise must bring the same or more value to the user. You need to keep improving your image over time by showing that you care more and more about your repeating customers.
Focus on Developing a Dedicated Community
If you manage to create an engaged community around your brand, you will no longer have to shout for yourself because people will do it for you.
You can create a community by creating social media groups or by developing your own forum. Also, you can try organizing and hosting local events where people can gather and discuss relevant topics.
Setting up the foundation of a dedicated community is not easy. The first thing you should do is discover ways to give your customers a voice. For example, you can create an event where your current customers can meet and discuss issues and solutions that are somehow related to your products and services.
Record this meeting and create short videos that showcase the fact that your brand isn’t just a name or logo, but a dedicated movement that everyone can be a part of.
Well implemented customer retention strategies are usually making the difference between average businesses and strong and purposeful brands. Quite frankly, it’s a matter of choice. If you want to keep spending money on customers that come and go, keep doing it.
If you’re ready to move to the next level, reduce the focus and budget you spend on customer acquisition and begin setting up the foundation of customer retention techniques. What do you want to win? The short-term battle or the long-term war? Start thinking long term and put today’s tips and tricks into implementation as soon as possible!