In this fast-paced age, where consumers are spoiled for choice, we all know that it is not easy to keep a customer loyal to your products or services.
Acquiring a new customer can be five to 25 times more expensive than holding on to an existing one.
Harvard Business Review
Increasing customer retention by just 5% can help you generate 125% more profits. Businesses invest a lot of time, money, and effort in acquiring new customers through marketing, advertisements, social media etc.
Growth strategies are crucial for all kinds of businesses, small and large. Without a growth strategy, your business will not be able to sustain performance over a long period of time. Having a customer retention strategy as part of your growth strategy is equally important. Considering that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing ones, modern businesses need stronger customer retention strategies.
- What Do You Mean By Customer Retention Strategies?
- Calculating Your Current Customer Retention Rate
- Why Does Customer Retention Matter for Your Small Business?
- When to Focus On Customer Retention?
- Ways to Improve Customer Retention
- How to Build a Customer Retention Strategy?
- Examples of Good Customer Retention Strategies
What Do You Mean By Customer Retention Strategies?
Customer retention refers to the activities and tactics that businesses take to reduce the number of customers deflecting from their company. Customer retention strategies are initiatives and processes put in place by businesses to enhance customer retention and build customer loyalty.
It also transforms current customers into repeat buyers so that they do not switch over to a rival company.
These strategies focus on building strong relationships with existing customers. Many companies think that acquiring new customers is a quick and effective way of increasing revenue. However, retaining your existing customers is an even quicker way of increasing revenues.
Selling to an existing customer is easier than attracting new ones. Did you know that you have a 60% to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer? When it comes to new customers, the probability of selling is just about 5% to 20%.
Unfortunately, statistics reveal that only 18% of companies focus on customer retention, while 44% of companies focus on customer acquisition. Ideally, businesses should focus on building stronger relationships with existing customers to boost customer loyalty.
When you have a loyal customer base, they will continue to associate with your brand, even if they are presented with other options in the market. A loyal customer base is the most effective tool for staying afloat during volatile times.
Calculating Your Current Customer Retention Rate
The percentage of customers who have been loyal to your company over a specified period is your customer retention rate. For instance, if at the beginning of the year you had 10 customers but lost 2 by the end, your customer retention rate is 80%.
However, calculating your customer retention rate is not as simple as that. You will also need to factor in new customers you acquired so that you get the right numbers. Say you started with 10 customers, lost 2 but acquired 4 more. Will your customer retention rate be 120%? No, that’s not how it works. Trying to offset customer churn by acquiring new customers is equal to ignoring serious flaws in your business model.
Your customer retention rate gives you a deeper understanding of what keeps your customers with the company. It can also help you uncover opportunities for improving customer service.
For calculating your customer retention rate, first, determine the time period you want to study. Then you need the following pieces of information:
S= The number of existing customers that you had at the start of the time period.
E= The total number of customers you had at the end of the time period.
N= The number of new customers you acquired during the given time period
The formula to calculate customer retention rate is :
Customer retention rate = [(E-N)/S] x 100
Why Does Customer Retention Matter for Your Small Business?
If you are a small business, you may have been prioritizing customer acquisition to increase revenue. However, selling to your existing customers is a lot easier and a quicker way to increase both sales and revenue. That is because your existing customer has also decided that they like your company, which is why they associate with you.
Also, your existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products launched by your business. That means you get more opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers than new ones.
By focusing on customer retention, you will need to focus less on marketing. That is because your existing customers do not need to be convinced again to buy from you. You will spend less on marketing and more on strengthening your relationships with existing customers.
Your existing customers are aware of the quality of service you provide, which is why they decided to associate with you in the first place. The chances that they will buy again from you are quite high, which means that you will not have to put in a lot of effort in getting them to repurchase.
Also, when a customer stays with you for a long time, you understand their needs better and become better at predicting the selling point for them.
Gartner predicts that 80% of your company’s revenue in the future will come from just 20% of your existing customers. Imagine your profits if you are able to retain 100% of your customers.
When to Focus On Customer Retention?
Customer retention should be at the core of all your business strategies, and you should focus on it, regardless of the changes in your organization. It is not something that you do when your customers start leaving you.
Say you start an online brand and acquire four customers on your first day. The next day you earn six more and five more on a subsequent day. However, when you look at your orders, you will see that customers who placed an order never repurchased again.
If you add five customers every day, you should end up with 150 customers at the end of the month. However, if you don’t focus on customer retention, you may only end up with 10 to 20 customers at the end of the month.
Focusing on retaining your existing customers is equally important as attracting new ones. Customer retention not only increases your customer base but also magnifies your acquisition efforts.
Ways to Improve Customer Retention
Improving the overall customer experience is extremely important if you want to improve customer retention. Statistics say that customers are 34% more likely to make a repeat purchase if they like the customer experience.
Another survey shows that 89% of customers would buy from the same company if they had a good experience. Also, 94% of customers would recommend your company if they have a good experience, which means that customer retention can also help you acquire new customers.
These proven tips can help you improve customer retention:
Quick Response Time
3 out of 5 customers believe that good customer service is important for brand loyalty. 71% of customers believe that a quick response from the customer service team can significantly improve their customer experience. Responding quickly to customer queries or complaints is an effective way to improve retention.
Respond to your customers quickly, letting them know that you have received their questions. In your message, try and include an estimated time as well it may take to resolve their query.
When customers feel that you are actively working towards a solution, they will be willing to be more patient. Of course, it is important that you respond within the promised time frame. 83% of customers feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints.
Analyze Your Churn Metrics
Understanding why your customers are leaving you is key to improving your customer retention rate. You should diligently track the number of customers who churn and analyze the reasons for their churn.
Implement a Feedback Loop
How do you improve your business if you don’t even know what your customers feel about it? For retaining customers, you must have a mechanism in place to obtain customer feedback and share it with the entire organization. That is where you need a feedback loop. A feedback loop gives you a way to collect, analyze, and share customer feedback.
You can gather customer feedback in many ways, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and more. Analyze the feedback to look for trends or patterns in customer behaviour.
For instance, if most of the feedback is about the flaws in your product design, you should share this feedback with your product development teams. A feedback loop is an efficient way to address criticism, improve customer experience, and identify areas for improvement.
Trust is the foundation of successful businesses. Without trust, a business dies. Marketers must use data to build trust with customers, according to EY and Forbes Insights. When customers discover that a company is not trustworthy, they switch to their competitors.
Besides, customers are immensely scared of bad experiences. Did you know it takes 12 good customer experiences to make up for just one bad experience? Do you know what’s worse? Customers who have gone through a bad experience with your company will spread the negative news to others, impacting your reputation.
Implement a Customer Retention Program
A customer retention program is an initiative that encourages customer loyalty. It uses a combination of several tactics that encourage customers to stay with your brand for longer.
There are several different types of customer retention programs you can implement, such as an onboarding program, where you teach the customers how to use your product or service. You may also consider implementing a customer loyalty program that rewards customers for being loyal to your brand. A customer loyalty program also helps in improving your sales as customers who shop more get rewarded more.
How to Build a Customer Retention Strategy?
Having customer insights is extremely important. You should have adequate information about their age, demographics, the products they are buying, the products they are not buying, their payment methods, and more. It is essential to understand your customer if you want to build a strategy that helps retain them.
Here’s how you can build a customer retention strategy:
1. Figure out why your customers are leaving you. When you look at your historical churn data, you would be able to create a predictive model, allowing you to detect when a customer is about to churn.
2. Segment your customer base into smaller groups of people with similar attributes. Segmentation helps create more personalization, leading to reduced churn. Personalized content encourages repeat purchases in almost 44% of customers.
3. Monitor and analyze your loyalty programs. Customers that are actively engaged with loyalty programs make 90% more frequent purchases. They are also five times more likely to associate with your brand in the future. If you monitor your loyalty programs, you can get valuable insight on how to strengthen your customer retention strategies.
4. Customer profiling is important to understand various customer segments so that you can market to them better and retain them in the long run.
Examples of Good Customer Retention Strategies
Uber Has an Excellent Customer Feedback Loop
Merely collecting customer feedback is not enough. You will also need to incorporate them into your business processes. Uber’s customer feedback loop benefits the drivers, the customers, and the company overall.
After completing a ride, you can rate the driver on Uber, and this feedback is captured in real-time. This continuous feedback process has helped Uber get rid of problematic driving, improving the overall customer experience.
Nike Has Mastered Social Media Customer Service
Negative reviews could potentially drive away new customers and make your existing ones doubt themselves. Modern businesses have begun to realize the power of social media to offer quick customer service and protect their brand from a bad reputation.
Nike has one of the strongest customer service accounts on Twitter. The brand quickly follows up with customers who have had a negative experience, offering immediate assistance.
Zappos Builds Strong Customer Relationships
Empathy is essential to driving brand loyalty. Zappos led the way in building empathetic customer relationships during the pandemic. They started a hotline where their customers could call their support team to discuss anything and everything under the sun. Many people felt lonely during isolation in the pandemic. Zappos showed that they cared.
Improve Customer Retention with a CRM
Building customer loyalty and improving customer retention takes time. You have to invest time and effort in building strong relationships with your customers and earning their trust. Providing an exceptional customer experience is an effective way to earn customer trust.
By offering your customers an end-to-end customized experience, you can grow your relationship with your customers and earn their trust.
By using a sales CRM, you can offer the best customer service possible, improve customer retention and build customer loyalty. With Kylas, you will be able to provide great service to your customers and turn them into your brand advocates.
Start investing in a great customer experience today with a free trial of Kylas.