When it comes to improving customer retention, there’s no one-size-fits-all method to design your strategy. Always remember the goal is to drive retention. It’s an outcome that requires the right framework and teamwork. Below, we present tested strategies — the 10 keys to retain customers.
10 Top Customer Retention Strategies
After talking with our own customers who have successfully implemented their own customer retention strategies, we tallied the various tactics they used and summarize them below. Presenting: the top ten battle-tested ways to keep your own customers coming back for more.
Optimize Your Onboarding
First impressions matter. From the moment a customer first subscribes to a service or makes a purchase, your brand must make the most of every opportunity to delight them and hook them for the long term. And that begins with your onboarding experience.
Often, customers churn because of limited visibility into the value that your brand offers; what they don’t know, they can’t appreciate. So tell them! By providing useful tooltips, training sessions, or reminders to complete their preferences, you set your company up for success while decreasing the risk of them churning in the future.
Leverage Customer Feedback
You can’t please a customer you don’t understand. Feedback is critical to delivering the experience that today’s consumers expect. Involving people in building that experience is a winning strategy to retain them. Ask what they’re satisfied with or where they see room for improvement. Asking is caring, so use this lever to show you are determined to deliver an experience that resonates with your audience.
From floating a discount for user interviews to routine NPS surveys, going direct to your customers is more likely to make them feel valued and loyal to your brand. Plus, you’re more likely to gain the insight necessary to go above and beyond for them. It’s a win-win.
Once customers repeat a purchase, they’re primed to invest in, and try out, new features and services your brand offers. There’s less upfront to convince them of your company’s value, and you can devote more real estate to touting the benefits of what these new bells and whistles can do to benefit them.
Build Omnichannel Customer Support
During the onboarding phase, customers are quick to remember gaps in customer support. Most customers (81%) say a positive customer service experience increases their likelihood of making another purchase*.
The best way to tackle this is to get a handle on where customers go when they want your support, like an in-browser chat or email. Ideally, you should opt for a support system with omnichannel capabilities that can reach across multiple channels, such as a help desk tool or live chatbot. Do so, and you’ll find opportunities for customers on the fence to complete a purchase or gain more confidence in your product.
Identify Customers at Risk of Churn
Inactive customers are a potential churn risk and should always stay on your company’s radar. Once the rosy glow of those first 30 days fades, some will need a friendly nudge to return to your product or service.
The good news: you can now re-engage these users easily using omnichannel automated messages. Let’s say a customer leaves items in the cart without checking out or hasn’t visited your app in 15 days. A relevant and timely email with a promo code inviting them to check out or revisit your app is a great way to remind them how much value is waiting for them when they return. Customer retention strategy for the win.
Segment Your Audience to Elevate the Experience
Today’s customer is savvier than ever and expects brands to deliver the right content, in the right context, at the right time. Harnessing segmentation is critical to retaining your most valued customers for the long term, especially when it comes to retargeting.
No matter how you choose to group your customers, being able to segment your communications reduces the chance your customers will become annoyed with your company’s marketing efforts. For instance, someone brand-new to your product doesn’t want a win-back offer floated in their direction. Getting granular will enable you to target customers exactly where they’re at in the current customer lifecycle and enhance their overall perception of your brand.
Launch a Loyalty Program
Brands that give back to their customers often find customers are more likely to pay it forward, as the top 10% of loyal customers spend 3X more per purchase than the other 90%*. Brand loyalty programs, sometimes referred to internally as customer retention programs, effectively boost purchase frequency by incentivizing customers to unlock loyalty tiers or exclusive rewards. Research reveals 88.5% of respondents trust loyalty programs to help them overcome the inflation crisis and potential recession*.
While this tactic is industry-standard with enterprise businesses, you might be surprised to learn that many small- and medium-sized companies have launched these programs successfully. Not only are many of these programs helpful for building long-term relationships with customers, but they can also give companies valuable insights into their customers’ behaviors—and inform their retargeting and marketing efforts further down the line.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Customer retention is about making the customer feel seen and heard. When it comes to strategies, one of the most efficient ways to do this is with strategic personalization.
A recent Boston Consulting Group survey reports that consumers are 40% more likely to spend more than they had planned when their shopping experience is hyper-personalized*. Whether personalized recommendations, tailored communications, or valuable content to help educate users, these experiences tell consumers their interests and needs are a priority for your business. This relationship is built on trust, which paves the way for long-term loyalty.
Start a Referral Program
Referral programs turn your existing customers into your best salespeople by referring friends, colleagues, and family members to experience your product or service. Sending out a value match promotion or discount to customers incentivizes people to spread the word while encouraging them to return to your product or service to purchase again. If that doesn’t guarantee customer retention, we’re not sure what will.
Deliver Unique Incentives
Loyalty programs are just one way of incentivizing customers to come back to your business. We’ve all opened an email with a birthday promo code or an anniversary discount celebrating our first purchase with a brand, so why not get creative with your offerings?
These loyalty-based incentives are excellent win-back opportunities for customers who have recently churned or are considered at risk. Granted, it’s an investment. But it’s vastly more cost-effective than sourcing new customers from scratch.
Customer Retention Strategies are About Building Lasting Relationships
Retaining customers takes more than just having a great product or service. It requires building relationships with your customers, understanding their behavior, personalizing your approach, and anticipating customer needs. In this chapter, we explored 10 customer retention strategies that can increase your odds of success. Put them into play and watch your customers keep coming back.
Now that you have a solid understanding of what a customer retention strategy is, we will turn our attention to how actual brands use these strategies to achieve effective results.
Schedule a live product demo with our team today if you’re ready to see how a customer engagement platform looks.