Retention strategies you can use to keep customers coming back
MANY businesses assume that their relationship with a customer ends after closing a sale. But in fact, this is only the start of your journey together.
Customer retention is just as important as generating leads and sales, especially for those SaaS businesses who sell subscription-based services and products. Building relationships with your customers and increasing their loyalty towards your brand is the only way you will encourage them to buy your products over and over again.
This article will outline a few quick and easy ways your business can increase customer retention and build long-lasting relationships.
Use a CRM software
In order to build a strong customer community, it is important to maintain a strong relationship with customers after the initial sale. Having a good knowledge of your customers is one way you can build connections, and will enable you to develop marketing strategies that target their specific needs, and therefore increase sales.
But where do you accumulate, store, and manage customer information? Enter the customer relationship management (CRM) system. By recording customer information such as preferences and dislikes, their spending patterns, location, age and gender, CRM software allows you to build a detailed portfolio of their tastes, needs, and buying habits.
From this, you can target customers with more personalized marketing messages, offers, and solutions to keep them interested in your brand. And, providing the timing is right, this could lead to more sales to the customer.
Also, by keeping track of the issues that your customers experience when using your product, you are provided with the chance to improve your product to keep other customers from leaving as well.
Offer excellent customer support
Customer support is perhaps the most crucial part of any business but is an aspect that many fail to get right.
If your customer is experiencing a problem, it should be easy for them to navigate the way to find a solution. This can be easy as sending a Tweet or a direct message on Facebook. Or perhaps using live-chat support on your website.
With advancements in AI technology, many businesses are incorporating chatbots into their websites and social media platforms to provide automated, 24/7 help and recommendations to customers.
With developments in digital, customers are increasing their expectations in regards to help and support from companies. Waiting 24 hours for an email response, or being left hanging on hold will lead your customers to leave.
And today, it is easier than ever for customers to voice their frustrations with a product or a service via social media. Thus, as a brand it is important to always be active and alert on social media, reaching out to any dissatisfied customers quickly.
Reward your most loyal customers
Generous gestures to your customers can really go far in building trust and loyalty. Research by Nielsen found that 84 percent of consumers are more likely to choose companies that offer such a program.
This need not be a costly process. A common customer loyalty rewards program used by many companies is based on point systems. Punch cards, for example, allow customers to earn a free product or service after they have made a certain amount of purchases.
Reward programs can also activate word-of-mouth marketing. According to the 2016 Bond Loyalty Report, 73 percent of members are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs.
Another effective system is a rewards program where customers are encouraged to “invite a friend” in exchange for a product, service, or discount. This not only keeps your customer happy but also brings in new potential buyers.
An example of a company that has used this strategy is Dropbox.
Users who referred the platform to a friend were rewarded with 500mb of free cloud storage space. Within the first 18 months of this referral program, Dropbox received 2.8 million referral invites. An impressive 32 percent of all Dropbox user registrations come through the referral program.
If all else fails, ask for feedback
Unfortunately, you just can’t keep everyone from ‘dumping’ your brand. Sometimes, despite what you offer to try to keep the customers, they will leave no matter what.
In these cases, the most important thing to remember is to understand from them where you went wrong. Sending feedback forms to users who decide to cancel a subscription will give you valuable information on how to improve.
Polls and surveys are other effective ways of understanding the needs and frustrations of your customers before they leave. They allow you to recognize customer churn before it’s too late and take action to prevent it.