Customer retention refers to any kind of process that promotes customer loyalty. Here are some of the elements you can include in a customer retention programme.
Email newsletters and personalised offers
When a customer shares their email address with you and opts in to marketing messages, it’s a strong sign that they already feel positive towards your brand and your cue to build relationships. You can build on this and keep them on board over a longer period of time by being a regular presence in their inbox. As email is a free channel, it’s a relatively low-cost way to improve customer retention.
That doesn’t just mean sending out blanket marketing messages though. For best results, use your CRM data to personalise emails to loyal customers and celebrate their relationship with the brand. Try a birthday discount code, or a message that lets them know they’ve been shopping with you for a year (or more) and thanks them for their business.
As well as looking after the happy customers you have, extend your reach to the ones who have wandered off, or are about to. Reactivation for customers within the EU may have gotten trickier since GDPR regulations came in – you can no longer simply use a mailing list – but you can still reach retained customers who are showing signs of being about to lapse.
To discover which of your existing customers is at risk of churn, it’s helpful to have data showing how previous customers behaved in the same situation. Less frequent purchases of products and services, lower levels of engagement or lukewarm feedback can all point towards a customer looking for the exit. Another good argument for tracking your customer journeys.
Rewards for your best customers
Not all customers are created equal. Big spenders, repeat purchasers and those who bring in new customers with referrals and reviews all deserve some recognition and a special effort when it comes to increasing customer retention. You can give it to them through a rewards programme which ties extra benefits to loyalty behaviours.
For some companies, this is linked to spending – they might earn 1 loyalty point per € spent, for example. For others, a multi-faceted strategy works better. The customer may receive a reward for leaving a review, recommending a friend or following one of your social media accounts. Which option you choose might depend on the number of customers you have or your other business goals.
Feedback and follow-up
Customers respond positively to companies who care what they think. That means not only being able and willing to collect their feedback over the long term, but following through and acting on it.
Collecting feedback can feed into your present and future customer retention programmes and improve your customer experience. As well as giving you valuable business intelligence, collecting feedback from customers allows you to see which ones you should follow up with, whether it’s to address a complaint, explain a process or simply to say thank you.