Customer retention rates vary across all industries. You’ll find it depends on the competitive environment that your business is in and how easily customers can switch from what you offer to someone else.
Are you indispensable?
That is why it is so important to find ways you can improve customer retention and make sure that your business stays afloat. Therefore, the first thing you need to look into is if the retention rate is lower than average for that industry.
If it is, then it may be because you are committing one (or more) of the following mistakes.
Are your customers having a poor experience?
Poor customer experiences are normally the main reason why customers jump ship and go elsewhere for what they need. It could be a number of things such as having a bad experience with a product, or service or dealing with unhelpful or inattentive employees.
Therefore, to protect your brand’s reputation, you may need to consider monitoring and observing the customer experience side of things in order to identify any points of friction that could lead to dissatisfaction from clients or customers.
You are failing to provide good value for money
It does not matter if the products or services are budget-friendly or a luxury, customers and clients will always want good value for money. Therefore, if they feel even slightly taken advantage of, they will be likely to seek an alternative provider for exactly what you are providing.
The solution to this is usually to improve the quality of the product or service wherever you possibly can as well as ensure you’re pricing is fair and competitive.
You could just not be understanding your customers
In order to retain customers, you must take the time to thoroughly understand the experience they have before, during and after the sale. This could take some time, effort and investment, especially if your company is struggling financially.
Therefore, you should be sending out customer surveys as a way to show customers that you care about them and their experience with your company. It is also a great way to gather feedback to put programs and things in place to stop customers from leaving.
At the end of the day, all customers and clients want is to be kept in the loop. You don’t have to email them to check in with them every single hour of the day but you should be notifying them if something directly impacts them such as letting them know in advance if you are moving store or office locations, getting rid of or changing a product or service and you should explain to them why you are doing what you are doing.
You may have been unintentionally ignoring customer complaints and feedback
Many of your customers just want to be heard and listened to and empathy goes a long way in terms of customer retention. All you have to do is acknowledge that you heard the customer’s complaint and are doing something about it.
You can do this by simply responding to any and all online reviews (the good the bad and the ugly) and by immediately acknowledging and sympathising with those customer complaints even if you can’t give them the solution to their problem.
Always make sure that you thank them for their feedback, apologise for the problem and let them know that you are looking into it for them. Through doing this you are showing old and new customers that you care about them and value them.
Now that we have looked at why numbers may be lower, we can focus on the following:
7 ways you can improve your customer retention
To start off with you need to stay ahead of churn rates
The first step is actually knowing what your churn rate(the rate at which customers leave your website and stop buying from you) is.
Your churn rate is a great tool that can tell you what’s not working in your customer engagement strategies and therefore by understanding this number can help you to anticipate changes in your bottom line and thus you can then make the necessary strategy adjustments needed to keep your customers more engaged and happier.
If you aren’t already then you need to use CRM software
It is a known fact that good customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you to understand when customers are at risk of leaving which can then give you the chance you need to communicate with them in order to get them to stay with you.
The right CRM software will support and improve your customer retention by helping you keep track of client and customer behaviour. Over time, this will be able to tell you about customers’ and clients’ purchase patterns and product usage thus alerting you when they stop buying from your business.
These can be key warning signs that you might lose a customer and therefore allow you to intervene and potentially stop them from doing so. Once you have a clear idea of your customers’ behaviour patterns, you can determine if you’re on the right track or if your customer experience strategies need to be reevaluated.
Use email marketing to your advantage
Once you have the information that tells you when and why customers may be leaving, you are then in a position to target them through email marketing which is one of the most effective online strategies.
By integrating any of your email marketing software solutions with your CRM you could do the following:
- Send targeted emails to customers who you fear are at risk of leaving
- You could offer customers discounts on abandoned products, free trials or other perks to try and persuade them to stay with you
- You could follow up with customers who ask for support straight away
- You could ask customers for feedback or to leave a review of product/services
- Using templates that you created you could get content to go out immediately when triggered thus enabling rapid responses and better communication
Personalise how you communicate with your customers and clients
Through CRM and email marketing services, it has been made so much easier to personalise your communications so customers feel prioritised and important instead of overlooked and neglected.
CRM systems are a way for you to store data about purchases, customer preferences and customer support history. You can then use this data to launch email marketing campaigns with timely, personalised content that is specific to that customer and includes a subject line that addresses them by their name solely due to the fact that customers are more likely to pay attention to something if it is addressed to them.
By doing things like this, your customers and clients are able to see that you care and in the long run, it creates a closer relationship for them with your business thus is a great way to improve your customer retention rates through improved customer experiences.
Have a go at creating customer loyalty programs
Customer loyalty is crucial to any business being a success as it creates repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
That is why having a customer loyalty program in place is so beneficial as it rewards your customers who frequently buy from your business and in turn gives them the incentive to continue shopping with you.
The CRM system that you have in place can help you to identify your top customers and reward them. Through this, you can then create specialised loyalty programs for your various customer groups so that they get the most benefits.
Another way to make customers feel more invested in your brand is to gamify your loyalty program. By doing this you can reward users with points, badges and other recognition. It’s also essential that you offer exclusive discounts and other benefits when customers reach various levels that need to be recognised and rewarded.
By doing this, you can motivate your customers to buy from your brand and this is a surefire way of keeping customer retention high.
You could build an online community
By building an online brand community that offers various benefits you can bring your business and customers closer together.
A brand community can create a space where you can discuss your brand, products or industry exclusively with those you choose to do so with. You can also open it up to people who can ask questions and answer them along with other members’ queries thus creating rich discussions.
An online community is an amazing platform where you can advertise your events on and other content such as competitions that can help to boost/grow your brand engagement. By engaging your user community you can generate content that increases brand loyalty and that is why it is such a beneficial way to maintain customer retention.
You should always aim to improve your customer support
Customer support is crucial for any business as customers are always more likely to post a negative online review after a bad experience than happy customers are to post a good customer review. That is where customer support makes all the difference.
By simply considering adding some additional support channels such as chatbots, texting support and social media support you can have your team focus on dealing with issues and responding to customers who need fast and efficient support.
Through doing things like this you could not only be saving time and resources but you can also improve your customer retention as you are making a point to resolve issues swiftly.
I hope that reading this blog on ‘7 ways how you can improve your customer retention’ has helped to understand the importance of how they are able to help your business. If you would like to know more about what is written in this blog or need more information on what I can do to help you and your business click here to be taken to my website.