For many years, companies have spent the majority of their marketing budgets and marketing manpower on customer acquisition. They thought that if they could only reach more people, they would sell more.
Today, as studies abound on the Internet, companies have powerful data to back up the importance of customer retention. To that end, businesses across the world are focusing their marketing efforts on how they can motivate their customers to return again and again.
In today’s article, we’re going to introduce you to five customer retention strategies to keep your customers happy. Content customers are motivated to purchase again, and they’re more likely to be ambassadors for your brand.
#1: Communicate Frequently
You’ve probably heard the term, “top of mind.” To retain your current customers, you have to stay at the forefront, so when they’re ready to purchase, it’s you they think of.
One of the best strategies for staying in touch is through your email marketing and blog posts full of tips and tricks. Personalized marketing that provides valuable content at the right time is key to relationship building.
Content really is king – when it adds value to your customer’s life. With your blog and email marketing, you provide actionable, engaging and often highly entertaining information to your customers.
For example, let’s say you are a real estate company. You might provide 10 tips on how to stage your house for the sale. This is a great blog post published in the spring as homes start to hit the market. This also indirectly promote your services.
Your customers will remain happy and stay engaged when you provide the personal touch and targeted information.
#2: Reach Out Using Automation
Have you ever wondered about those customers who purchased from you once or twice, but haven’t been back in a while?
Since acquiring a new customer can cost six to seven times more than retaining an existing one, it’s a good idea to take a look at how you can make your dormant customers happy.
These customers aren’t lost to you forever, and you can make them happy. They simply need a wake-up, or reminder, as to why they should do business with you.
Now, does this mean you simply send them more email? While you do need to send them email, you should segment your list so you are meeting their needs. It’s up to you to show them you value them, and you want to earn their respect and loyalty.
Segment your email list by some of the following:
- New list subscribers
- Opens with no clicks or conversions
- Opens and clicks with no conversions
- Opens, clicks and conversions
- No opens at all
Once you’ve done this, you can further analyze your list to provide them with the right content. Perhaps it’s time for a survey with an added a benefit, or a blog post with very valuable content.
Reactivating your customer base is a great retention strategy, and one that can make customers happy by providing the right message.
#3: Provide Unexpected Customer Service
It pays to always over-deliver. Make it your company’s mission to surprise your customers with added value, the personal touch and engaging content.
Here are a few things to look at when you decide to concentrate on customer service:
- Buy-in by your employees. After all, they are the ones of the front lines providing great service.
- Respond immediately to your customers when they contact you through your website or social media.
- Deliver ahead of schedule.
#4: Use Loyalty Rewards
You might also think of introducing a loyalty program. This not only helps retain customers and bring back the lost sheep, but it encourages your new customers to make their first purchase. Loyalty should come with rewards and benefits.
While a traditional loyalty program is beneficial and can make your customers happy, you can add some extra value to your program by offering some of the following:
- Loyalty member-only monthly benefits.
- Birthday surprise.
- Member-only tips and how-to videos.
- Extra points for referrals and participating on social media.
Loyalty rewards are important because they create loyal customers and help you retain them. Your loyal customer is someone who has an emotional connection to your brand and wouldn’t consider switching. Rewards can help you create this loyalty.
#5: Deal with Complaints
Did you know that most unhappy customers don’t complain? While it’s never fun to hear a complaint, they can help your business grow by solving the problems of dissatisfied customers.
You’ll end up with happier customers if you deal promptly and kindly to customer complaints. This is even more important when the complaints are posted to your website or social media platforms for the world to see.
Be the company who tries to meet customer’s needs with empathy. In turn, you then have a greater chance of retaining the unhappy customer and turning him into a happy customer while also providing good will for any potential customers.
We’ve looked at five customer retention strategies to keep your customers happy. Customer retention is vital to the success of your business.
The results of a study by the Gartner Group, show that 80% of your businesses’ future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers. What this shows is that the bulk of your revenue resources are sitting right there in front of you waiting to be cultivated.
In fact, Retention Science shows us increasing your customer retention by even 5% leads to an increase of profits some 25-95%.
With all of the studies on customer retention, it’s also worth noting that you should balance your customer acquisition needs with your retention costs.
It can be a struggle for balance, but the most critical question to ask yourself is, “Should I invest time and money into getting new customers or focus on retaining my current customers so I can personalize and enrich their experience?”
You don’t have to choose one over the other. You can balance the two so you can improve your conversion rates, encourage engagement, build your customer base and use the strategies we’ve looked at to increase your customer retention.
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Image: Tim Gouw