Explore 14 brand examples in our Ultimate List of Customer Loyalty Programs. Discover strategies to boost retention and increase customer engagement
19 Best Customer Retention Strategies
Devise effective customer retention strategies to improve customer experiences that make customers feel valued and ultimately drive retention. In this article, we will explore 19 strategies to power customer retention.
Marketers' biggest question: “How do I get customers to keep coming back?”
What can we do to build an impactful relationship with customers? Although acquisition helps to create a foundation with customers, retention strategies help build customer relationships and maximize revenue. Repeat customers are the backbone of a brand.
Hence, it is crucial to devise effective customer retention strategies to improve customer experiences that make customers feel valued and ultimately drive retention. In this article, we will explore 19 strategies to power customer retention.
What are Customer Retention Strategies?
Customer retention strategies are the different set of methods brands use to increase the number of repeat purchases. These strategies are designed to increase customer loyalty and keep customers coming back for more. It allows brands to provide and extract value from their existing customer base.
1. Personalized customer experience
Gathering data on your customers' preferences and behavior can help you create personalized experiences that are tailored to their needs. For example, if a customer frequently purchases a certain product, you can recommend similar products or send them personalized promotions for that product.
By personalizing the customer journey, you can create a seamless experience for customers as they interact with your brand. This could involve personalized product recommendations, personalized emails, or personalized support. Personalized experiences show customers that you are invested in providing a fast and seamless shopping experience.
2. Collect customer feedback
Customer feedback is an integral part of any business. Customers expect you to know their needs. But without asking, one can only assume. There are several ways you can collect customer feedback:
✅You can use a service like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create and send online surveys to your customers.
✅When a customer makes a purchase or interacts with your business, you can send them an email or make a phone call to follow up and ask for their feedback.
✅You can ask customers to leave reviews or comments on your social media pages or send them a private message to ask for their opinion on their latest purchase.
✅If you have a physical location, you can collect feedback from customers in person by asking them to fill out a feedback form or by speaking with them directly.
✅NPS surveys are a common way to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. They ask customers to rate how likely they are to recommend your business to others on a scale of 0 to 10.
3. Revive dormant customers
Dormant customers are inactive customers that no longer interact with your sales or marketing efforts. Although many brands tend to abandon dormant customers, it can be wiser to revive them using the following strategies.
First things first, reach out to them. You can send dormant customers an email or a direct mail piece to remind them of your business and the products or services you offer. Another great way to incentivize customers to come back to your store is to offer incentives. This could be in the form of discounts, coupons, or freebies.
It is important to note that if your marketing efforts aren't resonating with dormant customers, you may need to update your marketing strategy. You can try using different channels or messaging to reach out to them and see if that helps to revive their interest in your business.
4. Convenience while shopping
A report found that 97% of respondents have backed out of a purchase because it was inconvenient for them. In addition, with the rising popularity of fast delivery services like Amazon Prime, Flipkart, customers are willing to pay more for convenience. There are several ways that you can offer convenience to your customers as a part of the retention strategy.
You can offer multiple payment options and allow customers to pay with their preferred method. You can also streamline your checkout process to make it quick and easy for customers to complete their purchases. In addition, you can consider offering free shipping for orders above a certain amount to encourage customers to purchase more and make the process more convenient for them. If you have an online store, ensure that it is easy to navigate and that the checkout process is seamless.
By offering convenience to your customers, you can make their shopping experience more enjoyable and encourage them to continue shopping with you.
5. Offer incentives and offers
A report found that 75% of customers value brands that offer incentives and loyalty programs. Offering incentives and special offers to customers can be an effective way to retain and encourage them to continue shopping with your business. Some ideas for incentives and offers include
✅Offer discounts on select products or on the entire purchase to encourage customers to make a purchase.
✅Provide customers with coupons that they can use to save money on their next purchase.
✅Offer a free gift with every purchase of select products to show appreciation to your customers and encourage them to continue shopping with you.
✅Offer free shipping for orders above a certain amount to make it more convenient for customers to make a purchase.
✅Create a sense of urgency by offering special deals for a limited time only.
Incentives and special offers are a great way to make their shopping experience more enjoyable and encourage them to continue shopping with you.
6. Referral programs
Referral programs are a form of word-of-mouth marketing that incentivizes and encourages customers to advocate on behalf of your brand. A report found that the lifetime value of a new referral customer is 16% higher than the average customer.
It can be a powerful way to incentivize customers to come back and continue shopping with your business. You can provide customers with an easy way to refer friends, such as through a referral link or a referral code. You can also offer a reward to customers who successfully get their friends to register, such as a discount or a free product. It is essential to make sure that the reward for successful referrals is valuable for both the referrer and the referred friend.
7. Show appreciation to customers
When brands show appreciation, customers feel more valued. Hence, many brands leverage consumer psychology and actively show appreciation for their business, their support, and their loyalty. A simple "thank you" can go a long way in showing appreciation to your customers. In addition, you can also offer discounts or special deals to your loyal customers as a way of showing appreciation. Sharing positive reviews and testimonials from your customers on your website or social media channels can show that you value their opinion and are grateful for their business.
8. Apologize when there’s a mistake
Taking responsibility for mistakes is an essential part to retain customers. A genuine and empathetic apology can go a long way in making amends. It's important to apologize to customers when there is a mistake, as it shows that you are taking accountability for the issue and are committed to finding a resolution. Here are a few steps for apologizing to customers:
✅The first step in apologizing is to acknowledge that a mistake was made. This shows that you are aware of the issue and are taking it seriously.
✅Next it's important to take responsibility for the mistake and not try to shift blame. This shows that you are committed to finding a solution.
✅Next, it can be helpful to explain what caused the mistake to your customers. This can help to give them a better understanding of the situation and may make them more willing to forgive the mistake.
✅Finally after apologizing, it's important to offer a solution to the issue. This could be a refund, replacement, or some other form of compensation.
Pro tip - Make sure to follow up with your customers to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction. This can help to rebuild trust and show that you are committed to providing excellent customer service.
9. Educate customers about your product
Enhancing the customer’s knowledge about your products can help them drive better value and scale growth. You can create product pages on your website to provide detailed information about your products. It is important to use high-quality images and include product descriptions, specifications, and any other relevant information.
In addition, a product catalog is a great way to allow customers to browse detailed information about all of your products in one place. To offer additional value you can also offer demos or trials to help customers see it in action and get a feel for how it works. This can be especially effective for products that are difficult to explain or understand through written or visual descriptions alone. You can also create educational content, such as blog posts, tutorials, or webinars, to teach customers about your product and how to use it. This can help to establish your company as an industry expert and build trust with customers.
10. Loyalty programs
If your business doesn't already have a loyalty program, you may want to consider implementing one. Loyalty programs are designed to reward customers for their repeat business and encourage them to continue shopping with your brand. However, you need to ensure the rewards offered should be relevant to your target audience. Consider offering a mix of tangible and intangible rewards, such as discounts, free products or services, and exclusive experiences.
In addition, make it easy for customers to sign up for and participate in your loyalty program. This could include offering online enrollment, multiple ways to earn points or rewards, and clear communication about the program's terms and conditions.
Keep your customers informed about their progress in the loyalty program and any new rewards or opportunities that become available. This can help to keep them engaged and motivated to continue participating.
A great way to amp up your loyalty program is to use customer data to personalize and offer tailored rewards and experiences. This can help to make the program more meaningful and relevant to each customer.
11. Use subscriptions to keep customers coming back
A great way to get customers to keep coming back is to give them a reason. Subscription models are designed typically to commit to services on a monthly or annual basis. You can consider offering different subscription options, such as monthly, quarterly, or annual, to meet the needs and preferences of different customers. You must also make it easy for customers to customize their subscriptions and adjust their preferences as needed. This can help to make the subscription more appealing and increase retention.
Loyal customers can receive exclusive benefits or perks, such as discounts, early access to new products or services, or special events.
Note that it's important to keep the content or product fresh and interesting. This could include introducing new products or services or updating existing ones.
12. Segment and personalize
Segmenting and personalizing your marketing efforts can be an effective way to increase engagement and conversion rates. The first step in segmenting and personalizing your marketing efforts is to define your target audience. This could include characteristics such as demographics, location, interests, and behavior.
Once the target audience is determined, it is essential to collect data to create unique customer profiles through a variety of sources, such as website analytics, social media, and customer surveys. This data can help better understand your target audience and create personalized marketing efforts. These unique customer profiles are segmented into smaller groups with similar characteristics that can help create more targeted marketing campaigns.
Based on this, you can create personalized marketing content that speaks to the specific needs and interests of each segment. This could include personalized email campaigns, targeted ads, or personalized landing pages.
Note that it is wise to test and refine your marketing efforts to ensure that they are effective in reaching and engaging your target audience. This could include A/B testing different approaches and analyzing the results.
13. Build a community
With the rise of social media apps, consumers have ease of access to reviews, opinions, and testimonials to make an informed purchase decision. Building a community around your business can be a powerful way to increase retention and loyalty. The key to building a strong community is to provide value to your customers. Some of them include educational content, helpful resources, or engaging experiences that help them get more out of your products or services.
Some of the other ways you can also encourage communication and interaction are as follows:
This provides other opportunities for customers to connect with one another. When customers feel like they are part of something special, they tend to be more invested.
14. Customer communication plan
A customer communication plan is a strategy devised to help businesses communicate with their customers. It can include tactics such as email marketing, social media, customer support, and in-person interactions. Here are some steps you can take to create a customer communication plan:
✅Identify your target audience:
- Who are you trying to communicate with?
- What are their interests, age, or location?
- What is their browsing/purchase behavior?
✅Determine your communication goals:
- What do you hope to achieve through your communication with customers?
- Do you want to build customer loyalty?
- Do you want to improve customer satisfaction?
- Do you want to reduce churn?
✅Choose your communication channels: It's wise to be where your customers are. Find out:
- How will you reach your customers?
- Do they prefer email, phone, social media, WhatsApp in-person interactions, or a combination of these?
✅Develop a messaging strategy:
- What will you say to your customers?
- What are their needs?
- What are their pain points?
- How will you address them in your messaging?
✅Create a schedule: It is important to create a schedule to avoid spamming your customers. Determine:
- How often will you communicate with customers?
- Will you have regular check-ins or touchpoints, or will you only reach out when there is important information to share?
✅Implement and track: A effective strategy is built with trials and errors. Put your plan into action, and track the results to see what is and isn't working. Then take necessary measures to address these concerns
15. Customer reviews and testimonials
Customer reviews and testimonials are powerful tools that can help build trust, improve your products or services, and encourage customers to continue doing business with your company. It is essential to respond to customer reviews, whether positive or negative, to show customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent customer service. Analyze customer reviews, and use the insights gained to improve your products or services.
16. Marketing events for loyal customers
Marketing events can be a great way to reward and engage loyal customers. You can host a customer appreciation event to show your gratitude for your loyal customers. This could be a special sale, a party, or some other type of event. You can also invite loyal customers to exclusive product launch events to give them a first look at new products or services. You can host workshops or webinars for loyal customers to teach them more about your products or services, or to help them improve their skills. Host exclusive events or experiences for loyal customers, such as special dinners, concerts, or other unique experiences.
17. Respond to customers instantly
Responding to customers instantly can help to improve their experience and build trust. It is essential to make sure that customers are able to reach out to you on multiple channels, such as email, phone, chat, and social media. This will allow customers more options to get in touch and increase the chances of a quick resolution. Set clear expectations for response times on each channel and make sure to meet or exceed them. This will help build trust and keep customers informed about when they can expect to receive a response.
You can also consider using automated responses to acknowledge customer inquiries and let them know that their message has been received. This can help to reduce response times and improve the overall customer experience. You can also leverage conversational AI tools to drive meaningful conversations to build trust and relationships.
18. Offer omnichannel customer experience
An omnichannel customer experience refers to providing a seamless and consistent experience across all channels that a customer might use to interact with your business. This could include channels such as your website, social media, email, phone, and in-person interactions. It is essential to ensure that all systems are integrated and able to share data across channels. This will enable brands to provide a more personalized and consistent experience for customers. Access to multiple channels allows customers to communicate with your business and make it easier for them to get in touch.
Ensure that the customer experience is seamless as customers move between channels. For example, if a customer starts a conversation on social media and then switches to email, make sure that the conversation can be easily picked up where it left off.
19. Proactive customer communication
Proactive customer communication refers to reaching out to customers proactively, rather than waiting for them to initiate contact. Create unique customer profiles to identify opportunities for proactive communication by gathering customer data, such as their past purchases, interests, and interactions with your business.
It may be wise to offer value in your proactive communication efforts, such as information about new products or services, special deals, or helpful resources. Lastly, monitor the effectiveness of your proactive communication and adjust your approach as needed. This could include testing different types of communication, analyzing customer feedback, and making adjustments based on what works best.
In conclusion, customer retention is an important goal for any business, as it can lead to increased profitability and long-term success. By implementing an effective customer retention strategy and regularly reviewing and adjusting your approach, you can improve retention and build long-term relationships with your customers. Looking for an effective tool to improve retention? Book your demo with Vizury today