More and more marketers are seeing the benefits of shifting their marketing efforts from acquisition to retention. In fact, according to Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. These types of numbers are hard to argue with, which is why brands are looking for ways to add more customer retention tactics to their marketing mix. Retention is at the core of Retention Science so we’ve pulled together our top 10 customer retention tactics for the Data-Driven Markter:
1) Show personality
When your customers describe you, you want them to describe you like a person, not an obtuse corporate entity. This is why showing your brand’s personality through your messaging and communication is key. An example of a brand that does this well is Dollar Shave Club. Through their content, packaging, and customer service, they are now known for their humor and wit – which speaks well to their target audience.
2) Build trust
These days, trust is more important than ever to customers and once lost, it’s hard to gain back. Providing social proof of your product and services from current customers is a great way to not only win new customers, but reassure those customers you already have that they’re in good company. Another way to build (and keep) trust is to be transparent with your customers. Treat them with respect and keep them informed when crises happen: customers will appreciate your honesty and remember it when they make their next purchase.
3) Empower your customers
Putting your customers at the center of your marketing shows them that you’ve taken the time to get to know them on an individual level. Personalizing your marketing makes customers feel more ownership over their experience with your brand, resulting in them feeling more of a connection and more likely to stay loyal to you. Using the data that customers give you (both obivous information – like name, email, phone – as well as information that is a little less obvious – like promotions they click on) helps lets your customers decide what they want to see, rather than simply guessing on what you think they might like.
4) Build the customer journey
By differentiating your marketing efforts to speak to each customer with regards to where they are along their customer journey, you’ll be more likely to keep customers engaged and less likely to turn them away with irrelevant messaging. Keep in mind that customers who have been purchasing from you for several months will have much different needs than those who have just made their first purchase.
5) Surprise and delight your customers
The secret to any good relationship is to keep your partner guessing. Put in the effort to surprise and delight your customers: ask them to take part in product testing, send them promotions on special occasions (think beyond the birthday – maybe a promotion on the anniversary of when they became a customer), let them in on exclusive “behind the scenes” information, etc. Just make sure that your gestures are there to engage and interest your customers, not just for sales.
6) Build loyalty
Loyal customers are the key to retention and there are multiple ways you can build a loyal customer base. First, you need to give customers a reason to remain loyal. For example, anyone who has purchased from Zappos.com knows they give their cusotmers the VIP treatment, reasoning that treating your customers well pays off in the long run (and they’re right!). Strong loyalty programs and perks build loyal customers: Starbucks has a great program that not only keeps customers coming back, but let’s them track and manage their stars (points) on their mobile app – which is brilliant on their part, knowing that a majority of their customers are utilizing their loyalty program on the go.
7) Add value
You have a great product or service to offer, but are you adding enough value to keep your customers engaged? Adding value beyond features and benefits helps keep customers from moving to competitors with similar products. Take Apple, for example, who in a crowded PC market built a product that stood out among the rest and became the most well-known computer company. How did they do this? Instead of focusing on product features, they focused on adding value to their customers by making their products so easy to use. So easy in fact, most customers don’t even read a manual when setting up their machines. Add value to set yourself apart and keep your customers from jumping ship to a similar product.
8) Don’t skimp on your customer service
No matter how great your product is, if your customer service isn’t up to par, you’ll never be able to keep customers. According to Kissmetrics, 71% of customers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service. Good customer service means being quick to take action (both reactive and proactive) and communicating with customers on their prefered platform (i.e. if someone reaches out to you on Twitter, make sure your first interaction with them is also through Twitter). Customer service is where your brand can really shine by setting and beating customer expectations.
9) Take advantage of automation
While it may seem counterintuitive to use automation for customer retention when so much of what keeps customers engaged is personalization, customer retention platforms that use data science models to analyze customer information can help you give each of your customers a personalized experience. By using information you’ve gathered on your customers, automated retention tools can make recommendations and predictions on what your customers will be interested in, therefore increasing engagement with your brand.
In the end, listening to your customers is one of the best ways to keep customers from churning. Listening to both the good and the bad feedback from customers will give you a better idea of what customers really want and need from your brand – and give you ideas on how you can provide it to them.
Smart marketers know that retaining customers is one of the most cost effective ways to impact their bottom line. By focusing on adding value, personalizing customer experiences, and listening to their customers’ needs, marketers are keeping more of the customers they’ve worked so hard to acquire.