As marketing professionals, customer retention marketing is becoming a key to business success. More and more marketers are gearing their overall marketing strategy towards keeping existing customers instead of going after new clients. This is important because as customers have more options, they are becoming less loyal to brands than ever before. For this reason, customer retention strategy is now a vital part of running a company.
In order to make sure you are fully prepared to take on customer retention, we have put together 5 tools that every marketer needs to round out their customer retention strategy. Each of these tools should be used in conjunction with each other. However, there are certain tools that work better in one industry than another. We will guide you through each.
Marketing tool belt
Just like a real tool belt, each tool has a specific purpose and can make a big difference. However, when used incorrectly or for the wrong reason, they can be as useless as trying to drive a nail with a screwdriver. Remember to employ these customer retention techniques and tools when it fits into your overall plan.
Customer relationship management is a tool that is used to increase satisfaction at every point in a customer’s journey. CRM is the backbone of a customer retention strategy. Each tool and interaction can be tracked and managed through a CRM system. Not only will this help you have a consistent marketing message, but it will also give you insights you might not be able to receive from one of these tools on their own.
As you start to plan out your customer retention strategy, make sure you consider CRM. While it is best used for subscription model businesses, CRM has many operational benefits for every industry. If you choose to use any of the following tools for your own customer retention strategy, you should also use a CRM.
2. Loyalty Programs
Often loyalty programs are associated with retail, but any business with repeat customers and purchases can benefit from employing one in their customer retention strategy. When a customer is given additional value for shopping at your store, the competition suddenly seems less appealing. If the customer were to leave for that competitor, they would be leaving money on the table they could have used with you.
Ecommerce loyalty programs also allow you to award more than just repeat purchases. You can give your customers points for reviews, referrals, and social sharing. Along with this, by giving them points instead of straight cash, you can hide the true value of a reward. For example, earning 30 points sounds a lot better than 3 cents, even if that is the equivalent value.
Use a CRM to monitor your loyalty program for best results.
Personalization is becoming such a widespread staple of customer retention marketing it almost goes without saying. However, personalization is a good way to reduce churn rate across every industry and marketing plan.
The first requirement of personalization is collecting data about your customers. This can be done in a variety of ways, from an email signup to a simple form. It doesn’t matter exactly how you are able to collect this information, just so long as you receive it.
The next step is to use this information in all of your branded messaging. Looking to send an email? Personalize it. SMS message? Personalize it. Pop up on your site offering a discount? Personalize that too. Not only will this show your customer you know who they are, but when done right, you are saving them a lot of time by giving them exactly what they want or need.
4. Support Systems
Support systems are used to increase customer service and satisfaction. While they are often used with more technical products, there will be customers who need help no matter your product offering. The important part of support systems is that they offer direct communication with your customers to solve their problems.
For instance, if your customer goes to your site looking for help and is met with a live chat from a real person, they are probably going to feel much more taken care of than if they have to search through a long series of FAQs. Customers don’t want to wait or search, so don’t make them. Have these support systems in place first so that you can be helping customers from the get-go.
Gamification is no longer just for mobile apps and video games. By adding a sense of completion to each task, customers will find them more enjoyable. Not only that, but they will be encouraged to complete actions they might not have before, simple for the fun of it.
Consider using gamification especially if your product is used by younger audiences. All demographics respond well to the enjoyable experience gamification offers, but your younger audiences are more adept in this area and have come to expect it.
For an even further added benefit, combine gamification with your loyalty program or promotions. Like we said at the beginning, each of these tools works well in conjunction with each other. Think of them as compounding the potency of your customer retention strategy.
While you may not have the right platform for gamification or a loyalty program, the basic idea behind each of these tools can be used for your success. The important thing in this day and age is to keep the customer first.
Companies like Amazon have changed the way we think about marketing. Customer retention strategy and marketing are now a necessity to staying competitive in 2017. Whether or not you use the tools in this article doesn’t matter, just make sure that you are keeping the customers first.
If you are looking for further insights into how exactly to do all of this, be sure to subscribe to our blog and newsletter. Together, we can figure out what it means to provide truly remarkable services to our customers.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera