Customer Retention Strategies To Help Businesses Increase Loyalty
No one wants to talk about it, but like that goldfish which mysteriously moved onto fresher waters one night when you were eight, it’s an unpleasant reality about life. You can’t stop it. Not completely.
But you can reduce it, and you should. How much revenue could your business keep if your customers stuck around for a month longer? How about a year? A lot, to put it mildly. Dropping your customer churn rate and keeping 5% more of your customers can uplift your profits by as much as 125%1.
Here’s how to do it.
5 Strategies to Boost Customer Retention and Loyalty
The search for the lowest possible churn rate and highest acquisition rate is like the search for the golden gates of El Dorado: everyone wants in, no one is quite sure how to get there, and someone is always trying to sell you their map.
But sometimes, the best route to your goal – retaining your customers longer – is the less trodden one. For that reason, we’ve compiled five proven top-level strategies that take you off the beaten path.
1. Improve Employee Engagement for Better Customer Experiences
This may surprise you, but it’s true: employee engagement is strongly correlated with customer loyalty.
Engaged employees create better customer experiences, produce higher net revenue, and regard their work as more than a paycheck. They have a sense of passion instead of a sense of obligation.
The reward for those improved experiences and passion is quantifiable. Customers who have a great experience with your customer service are 10-30% more loyal2.
Methods for improving employee engagement will vary depending on workplace culture, budget, and scale, but avoid gimmicks. Popcorn parties aren’t actionable (and cut into productivity).
Research from 187 employees3 found that, while time management planning — setting to-do lists and creating schedules — had positive effects on engagement, these effects significantly suffered when hiccups entered the workday, which was about 20% of the time.
Contingency planning, on the other hand, had a stable impact. This type of workflow management is when users created contingencies for their inevitable workday distractions and had a more fluid approach to their day.
In other words, employees who used contingency planning stayed just as engaged when they were navigating around unexpected problems as they were when their day went according to plan.
So, if you want to reinforce employee engagement levels, use this simple paradigm shift and keep things loose when you are managing time.
Because let’s face it: things will go wrong. When that happens, will your employees be prepared to continue providing a stellar experience?
They need to be if you want to keep your customers loyal.
2. Take a Stance on Issues on Social Media
The days where brands could remain faceless and impassive to current events are long-gone, though the idea that brands should stay out of politics remains pervasive.
The data doesn’t back up that approach, however common it might be. 66% of customers4 say they want to see brands taking active stances on social issues on social media.
Worried that you might put off some customers? While that’s understandable, apply a little Master Yoda to your approach. A consumer’s emotional response to brands taking a stance is most commonly curious or maybe impressed, but most importantly, whatever the response, he/she is engaged.
And engaged means loyal. Loyal means less likely to jump ship when the first competitor crosses their path with a better offer. Plus, you wouldn’t be the first to politicize. From rideshare services to consumer products, brands that take a stance on a social issue publicly have seen big financial gains. So, stand for something. It matters to your customers.
3. Enable Omnichannel Support to Reduce Customer Churn
As technologies drive digital transformations, having varied support channels isn’t just a way to set yourself apart from competitors – it’s a necessity. Your customers expect to find you at multiple avenues when they need help or have a question. If you’re not at those avenues, someone else will be.
But, it’s not enough to just have multi-channel support. You need a cohesive, unified system of customer support and service to combat customer churn. You need an omnichannel approach.
In addition to cutting your resolution time down by half, providing seamless service across all of your brand’s touchpoints improves your overall customer experience by supporting leads as they move through the different stages of the funnel.
No matter where they make contact with your brand during their journey, they get the same experience with omnichannel support. As we just said above, customer experience is the linchpin for improving customer retention and loyalty, whether you’re in the SaaS sphere, e-commerce, or selling cupcakes from your kitchen.
It also gives you more opportunities to reach out to customers while their issues are still fresh. This can cut down your customer churn by 11%5.
You could hire multiple managers to screen your customer touchpoints and administrate your omnichannel support, or you could try a helpdesk with built-in omnichannel capabilities for free.
Freshdesk makes it easy to keep your customers organized across touchpoints and ensure your team – no matter where or when they encounter the customer – always has the full picture.
4. Show that You Care by Highlighting Your Biggest Advocates
You care about your customers. That’s a given. They’re the entire reason you’re in business. If all is going well, your customers and company have a symbiotic relationship of supporting and bettering one another.
While it’s obvious to you (and anyone who works directly with you), most of your customers probably can’t squeeze in a face-to-face chat with you to see it. This means a lot of them will be left to form their own interpretations about how much you care.
If that interpretation isn’t favorable, you’ll lose the customer. 68% of customers6 leave a business because they think you couldn’t care less about them.
One way to demonstrate you care is by promoting the people who are supporting you, especially if you’re a SaaS company or work in the B2B sector.
This champions for your champions.
Podia, an e-learning platform, is a great example7 of this.
They provide promotion for their customers while also displaying their testimonials, so they’re nurturing the leads at both ends – acquisition and retention.
You can also take this approach on social media. Did someone include your brand in a milestone, such as a birthday gift or wedding? Tell them congratulations or retweet them.
They’re promoting you, so why not promote them in turn? The bottom line is your advocates are your most loyal customers already. Show them you know that and appreciate it. It’s okay to play favorites when they’re supporting your business. Do it right, and they’ll return the favor when your competition comes to the door.
5. Teach Them Something (That isn’t About You)
Company blogs are a well-known lead generation machine. The same things that make them powerful for lead acquisition are what make them great for customer retention too.
As long as you’re making the content informative and helpful for your customers, the better it is. Educational content immediately increases affinity with your brand, but that’s not all it does. It also increases your authority over time.
One week after reading informative content on your blog, 9% more consumers8 will identify your brand as trustworthy, and 8% more will identify you as a positive force.
Trust, just like in your personal relationships, breeds more loyalty. As for how to achieve this, it’s surprisingly easy. Start with the words “how to.”
The how-to headline is the third most popular type of headline on blogs, with 17% of readers9 preferring it. The key is that the material should be genuinely beneficial. A little salesmanship is okay, but if your writers are producing an article like “how to buy my product”, that’s not going to resonate.
Simply put, you’ll waste marketing spend on producing content people don’t want. In the best case scenario, you’ll do nothing to impact customer retention. In the worst case, you’ll be demonstrating that you care more about your brand than them, which negatively cuts into your retention.
So teach people something that enriches their lives. Make your content as educational and action-oriented as possible. It’s what you’d want a brand to do for you, right?
Retaining customers longer is a challenge every business faces. The more loyal a customer is, the stronger your revenue and lower your expenditures on acquiring new ones to fill the gap.
Improving customer retention isn’t as straight-cut as it might seem, though. You need to go beyond just running promotions and campaigns.
Start by improving your employees’ engagement levels. Then, get political and take a stance on relevant issues in the public eye.
Top it off with an intelligent, unified omnichannel support system that ensures a seamless customer experience between touchpoints.
Don’t forget to sprinkle in some customer care by promoting your biggest advocates too Then, finish it all off by giving them educational content.
Your customers are the most important people in your business. Use these five strategies to make sure they know it.
1 – https://www.referralsaasquatch.com/calculating-churn-rate-12-customer-churn-statistics/
2 – https://blog.smile.io/employee-engagement-leads-customer-loyalty
3 – https://hbr.org/2018/04/research-shows-a-simple-way-to-increase-your-engagement-at-work
4 – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/championing-change-in-the-age-of-social-media/
5 – https://www.unicomcorp.com/blog/customer-experience-statistics-infographic/
6 – https://www.shopify.com/blog/thank-your-customers
7 – https://www.podia.com/examples
8 – http://ww2.conductor.com/rs/149-ZMU-763/images/Power_of_Content_Conductor_Research.pdf
9 – https://getcodeless.com/blogging-statistics/