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Building an amazing customer retention strategy

May 14, 2021

Retaining customers is far better than acquiring new ones. Selling to an existing customer is 6-7 times cheaper than selling to a new one and the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% as opposed to 5-20% success with new customers. Despite this, many salespeople still focus on acquisition rather than retention. It’s high time to consider the customer retention strategy as king! Today, we’re looking at why you need a customer retention strategy and what it takes to build an awesome one!


Why do I need a customer retention strategy?

As we mentioned before, retaining customers is far cheaper than acquiring new ones, but that's not the only reason you want to keep customers coming back. Here are a few reasons why you should be focusing on retention:

  • Return customers spend more. The more purchases the customer makes, the more likely they are to spend more money with you the next time. In fact, by a shoppers 5th purchase, they are spending 40% more than their first. By the time they get to their tenth purchase, they spend 80% more!
  • Word of mouth. Your happy customers might just recommend you to family and friends and maybe even give you some positive reviews online. Unhappy customers are much louder than happy ones though, so you need to make sure you are retaining customers (and not receiving negative feedback from lost customers!)
  • More data. Data is one of the most valuable commodities for businesses. Repeat customers give you more data than new customers do and you can use that data to gain real insights and then inform future strategies and development. 


How to build a customer retention strategy

Now we know why we need a customer retention strategy, so how do we build one that works? At the base, you need to consider your business goals and what’s important to your customers. Perhaps your goal is focused around building customer loyalty or relationships, therefore your strategies should be focused on these goals. Now with that in mind, let's take a look at some examples of customer retention strategies you can implement.


Gifts and loyalty programs

Loyalty programs or random gifts are a great way to start your customer retention strategy and is why most stores have some form of loyalty program. Mecca, for example, have a really great strategy with their Beauty Loop boxes. Members receive these boxes 4 times a year filled with samples, as well as a birthday gift. They have different levels of rewards depending on how much you spend as a customer with them. This is a great way to get customers to come back and also to spend more in the future as they want to earn more rewards and move up a level to get more next time. While this strategy may not be appropriate for your business, a similar method can be applied simply to loyalty cards or entries into a raffle or something to that same effect. It’s a simple way to get customers excited about your brand, keep them coming back (and maybe even make them brand loyal!)


Educate your customers

Well, this does depend on your type of business. If you sell apparel, you probably don’t need to focus too much on this area, but if you’re selling software, you might need to focus on this. Provide your customers with the information they will need, rather than leaving them with questions (and maybe purchase regret). Take Webflow University for example, they know that it is very difficult to understand all the elements to design an amazing website, so they give you short videos to teach you everything you will need! It’s a really effective way of providing customers with everything they need and it helps free up customer service for other issues as well. Again, this is quite an advanced strategy for a complicated service. Perhaps you will only need a FAQ section on your website or a short onboarding guide, but think about the complexity of your offering and whether there is room for customer confusion. 


Customer service

This one might seem like an obvious one, but you really need to be delivering excellent service every time. This is particularly true with businesses that have multiple sites. If one site performs poorly, it affects the entire brand. Don’t just assume you have good customer service either. 80% of companies believe they deliver a “super [customer] experience” and a mere 8% of customers agree with that. There is a significant gap between those numbers which shows a great opportunity. We know how important customers view customer service, as they are likely to spend more with brands that offer superior service, so offer that superior service! Building an effective strategy based around exceptional customer service will take some more time and effort, but will definitely be worth the work. 


Be active in the community 

Consumers are becoming more and more socially conscious and sustainability focused with each year that passes. Consumers want to know that brands they are purchasing from and interacting with are active in their community. What we mean by this is, supporting charities or sports clubs, taking part in community improvement projects or the companies you partner with. Your community initiative doesn’t have to be large or extensive, but a little will go a long way with your consumers!


Personalisation 

The power of personalisation cannot be undervalued. We’re already gaining a lot of information from our consumers, now we learn how to use it for them. You’ll need to find out how they like to be contacted and what is most important to them (and hey, maybe add a personalisation token in there too!). Communicating to customers in a way that doesn’t work for them is not going to help your customer retention. In fact, it may hinder it. So make sure to be human yourself and treat your customers as though you know them personally.


The truth is, there are a lot of strategies that you can implement to retain customers, but you need to find the one that fits with your brand, your customers and your business goals. Make sure you spend some time figuring out what works, because you want to be retaining your customers!

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