Although we are still currently in the hubbub of the holiday season, business owners are already beginning to plan for the upcoming new year. In the interest of providing guidance for those planning out their 2018 marketing strategy, we have put together 5 customer retention ideas worth implementing in the year to come.
As the world continues to grow more digital every day, customer retention marketing is only going to become more important. Instead of waiting until it becomes a problem, each of these solutions is designed to be put into place as soon as possible. It is our hope that by reading this now, you will be more than prepared on January 1st to hit the ground running. Let’s get started.
(1) Focus on experience above all else
In today’s interconnected world, the power of the consumer has never been more apparent. This is why the overall customer experience has become one of the best ways to increase customer retention and reduce churn rate. In fact, in the same way that software development has begun to embrace user experience or UX, marketers need to embrace customer experience or CX.
This brings us to our first customer retention idea: make customer experience a focus above all else. This means that wherever and whenever possible, it is your job to make sure that customers are having a good experience with your company and that you are providing them value at every turn.
But why is this so important? Well, according to Bain and Company, “a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.” This is a pretty clear indication of the power of customer retention. However, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, research has found that a focus on the customer experience is enough to separate your brand from others, even if they have lower prices!
(2) Proactively engage your audience
Gone are the days when simply responding to customers when they call was consider good enough. With this customer retention idea, you can take the customer experience to a whole new level. By proactively engaging your audience, you are able to preemptively solve customer problems and blow them away with your customer service.
One example of how you can do this is with customer feedback. The old methodology for this would include waiting to receive a comment, either positive or negative, and then addressing it from there. Instead, by utilizing user engagement metrics and understanding your audience, you can reach out to them soon after an interaction while your company is fresh on their mind.
While it is not a foregone conclusion that the freshness of their interaction will lead to more favorable feedback, it will likely lead to more accurate feedback, which is far more important. That being said, we don’t understand that while running a business it can be difficult to be this on top of the ball. After all, you’re not a robot, but that does give us a good idea.
(3) Outsource to AI
As we move into 2018, artificial intelligence is only going to become more widespread and commonplace, so why not make the best of it? This is why we recommend outsourcing basic business functions to AI as a way to get the jump on this latest technology. Although this customer retention idea might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, the impact it can have on your business is anything but fiction.
Whether it is automated emails, a chat-bot, or something else, AI is making it simple to be in constant connection with your audience (see #4) allowing you to note miss a beat. Now, we will say that this solution is often more expensive than others, but when it comes to the customers you are retaining and customer acquisition costs you are battling, it is well worth it.
(4) Constant connectivity
Another retention strategy that customers are beginning to expect is constant connectivity. The internet never stops, so why should your business? Other than outsourcing to AI, there quite a few ways to connect with your audience. Some brands use social media, others use SMS marketing, but this customer retention idea includes a little bit of everything.
By combining each of the available tools at your disposal, you are able to present a constant and consistent brand image to your customers. Think about it this way, if a customer has to wonder how to get in contact with you regardless of the reasons, you have failed. Customers should always know how to contact you. If you can master this, customer retention won’t be a problem.
Next read: How to use mobile marketing tools to gain an advantage.
(5) Educate customers throughout
Our final customer retention idea is aimed at aiding customers on their journey with your brand. In the end, if a customer doesn’t understand your product or design, it’s not on them, it’s on you. Thankfully, with how connected brands now are to their customers, getting them the education materials they need has never been easier.
As you onboard new customers and try to keep existing customers interested, try creating content around each stage of the journey. In the same way that constant connectivity ensures that customers never have to look far to find a way to talk to you, by giving them the information they need before they need it, customers will come to trust your business.
How you choose to use this trust is completed up to you, but having an educated and trusted base of customers is a great stride toward making it in the fight for customer retention.
Ultimate goal: A seamless customer journey
The final words we will leave you with are what should be your ultimate goal in your customer retention marketing endeavors: a seamless customer journey. From the moment they enter the funnel to the time they either churn or convert, your customers are in your hands. By creating a seamless journey that provides customers with everything they need, they are more equipped and inclined to continue working with your business.
As you review these 5 customer retention ideas and begin to plan out your 2018, keep this goal in mind. Although it may seem like your customers aren’t responding to your hard work, the end result will be more than worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Get to the drawing board!