Customers always leave. And for most businesses around the world, they just take this as a business truth. So they spend more resources, money, and time on getting new customers.
But this is a short-term strategy. It’s unsustainable. Every day, your company is struggling to maintain its footing instead of targeting growth.
And in the end, your customers may just leave.
So you see that you cant keep plugging in a hole by pouring from the top. You can’t just keep on spending to get new customers.
What can you do instead?
7 practical examples of customer retention strategies
It's clear and straightforward. One of the bedrock of retaining customers is plain and simple customer satisfaction.
Here are 7 customer retention techniques you can implement to keep your customers by your side and increase revenues on the side!
1. Tailor your approach for different customers
Creating better customer relationships is important. When you know your customer base, you can tailor your approach to better reach them. Determine what kind of offer will be the most appealing to each individual and increase relevancy, which will keep your brand on your customers’ minds.
You can offer special discounts, consider different programs, and have separate promos to revive their interest and convert it into an actual purchase!
Special offer deals or a discount on new products can make them feel that you care and haven’t forgotten about them.
2. Setting up Customer Expectations with Better Onboarding
Your journey to improving your customer retention rate can and should start the moment you acquire a customer.
Onboarding should be a simple and effective process, clearly explaining how to use your products and highlighting the value at every single turn.
Customers are after quick and painless experiences, and your onboarding should deliver it.
Think about using easy-to-read language when sending an onboarding email. The email productivity app, Boomerang, found that email messages written at the reading level of a third-grader had a higher chance (36%) of receiving a response than those written at a college reading level (17%).
3. Lookout for Churning Signs
Churning is not an instant decision. It can be the little things here and there culminating into a final blow. For Voluntary Churn, customers leave small signs here and there. If you want to stop them from leaving, be on the lookout for these signs.
Be proactive. If you really pay attention, you can always detect the signals of your customer’s impending departure.
Is there very low engagement? Were they bothering to log on? Did you notice that some haven't purchased anything for the past 3 months?
They might be considering quitting your services and taking their money to your competitors.
Work on your customer list and see how your current customers are behaving. Find out why they are behaving this way and work your product to try and fix the problem. For example, low engagement might mean that they're looking for something else in your course. Or they are not logging in because of a problem with your SaaS software.
4. Use automation to reach out
Everyone hates automation like it’s a bad word but combined with an intention and personalized; it can be an excellent way to reignite your customers. For example, if you can send out the right emails at certain periods, you can capitalize on opportunities to strengthen relationships and reduce customer churn.
When a customer becomes inactive for a pre-defined period of time, sending an “activation” email campaign can reengage them with your business. Or, you can also use this to offer a one-on-one meeting to address any questions they may have—actions like these result in happy customers that stay.
What about ChatBots?
The resounding answer is yes. You should make it as easy as possible for your customers to get ahold of you the first time they have a problem. Customers will not wait 24 or 48 hours to be contacted by email when they have a complaint or a question...and neither should you. Handling customer complaints in real-time is critical.
Therefore, if you don't offer live chat, you’re failing to cater to the needs of over half of your subscriber base or membership base. User experience, customer support, and customer satisfaction are super crucial to your metrics and bottom line.
5. Reward your VIP customers
Your VIP customers, the ones who spend on your products, these are the customers you really don’t want to let go of. For this purpose, let’s call them the VIPs. Give them incentives to stay and reward them to increase their loyalty to your product. Create a loyalty program that rewards them for using your products and services.
Knowing who brings you the most revenue allows you to allocate your time and resources efficiently, as well as increase your chances of cross-selling or up-selling. Make them feel that as your best customers, you acknowledge them as a partner.
6. Personalize your follow-ups
A relationship is something that is established between people, we are people, and we want to be recognized as such. In order to keep customers and increase customer lifetime value, you must take the time to personalize your outreach.
The effects of personalization cannot be understated, as research from Econsultancy found that personalization based on purchase history, user preferences, and other relevant information delivers a high impact ROI. Gravy has been at the forefront of personalization, and it has become the bedrock of our payment recovery. If you have a support team, you must train them to always personalize messages, especially to repeat customers.
Now, you know whom to follow up on with a personal invitation!
7. Really listen to your customers
Solving your churn problems can become problematic if you're customers are not heard.
Unfortunately, just one in 26 customers makes a complaint when they are unhappy—all the remainder churn without saying a word or providing customer feedback. Your messaging will have to be able to make the customer feel that their feedback is valuable.
Another thing to consider is how you believe you are delivering customer support. In a 2005 study titled “Closing the delivery gap,” Bain & Company found that 80% of companies think they’re providing a superior service. And yet, only 8% of customers feel that they are receiving excellent service, meaning that many businesses believe the service they provide to their customers is better than they think.
So what’s the best way to understand how customers feel about your company?
Reaching out to your customers via a questionnaire, survey, or just a quick email helps your clients feel that they aren’t just numbers to you. Maybe your customers aren’t feeling a connection with your company, or they don’t feel that they’re appreciated enough. You can ask directly if there is an area in your business that they think needs working on. Reaching out to engage with your users can help you earn their loyalty and reduce the churn rate.
You can ask them if your product is what they expected, if there some way you can improve, or if the customer service is as great as you think it is. You might be surprised by the answers. So ask, listen and improve.
Build (or rebuild) your processes and systems according to your customer’s feedback. This way, you can get loyal customers who know that you are listening to them. This also makes for a better customer experience.
Everyone agrees that gaining new customers increases your company's profitability. Even so, losing customers is not something that you should ignore as a business owner. Losing customers is simply too expensive, as the average global value of a lost customer is $243! Avoidable customer churn is costing U.S. businesses $136 billion a year.
The number of customers more likely to buy from you is higher with your existing customers than prospects. And in order to make it happen, you need to focus more on customer retention than customer acquisition.
The above 7 strategies deal with voluntary churn. But what if you're losing more money on involuntary churn? While there are 101 ways to reduce voluntary churn by using customer retention programs, there has traditionally been only one main solution to involuntary churn – dunning software. Here at Gravy, we go a step higher for keeping customers.
Because we know that dunning has to be backed with a full-time focus on payment recovery to effectively create a negative churn. We offer services that help prevent subscriber churn with increased conversion rate and customer lifecycle.
Our support team are experts in recovering failed payments while boosting customer engagement and loyalty. Gravy boosts your profits and customer lifetime value (LTV) every end of the month and increasing customer retention. Our proactive retention specialists present a human face to the automation of Dunning software, enhancing customer relationships.