Businesses know that retaining customers pays dividends. A one-time customer is nice, but a repeat customer provides an even greater return on investment. Most companies offer services and goods with repeat business in mind. However, many companies lack a strategy for retaining customers.
Customers won't necessarily return to a business just because it has designed an outstanding product. To retain customers, it is necessary to put incentives in place to encourage repeat business. One way businesses can better understand the value of repeat business is to think about it in terms of customer lifetime.
Customer lifetime is the net profit a company generates from a customer during their relationship with the business. Retaining a significant number of customers translates into increased revenues for your business. The most successful companies not only attract new customers but also retain existing customers.
This article will explore 20 customer retention examples that will allow you to maximize every opportunity to keep customers returning to your business.
1. Customer Loyalty Program
Reward return customers with a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs are an inexpensive yet highly effective way to retain customers.
An easy way to implement a customer loyalty program is with a points-based system. When a customer purchases a product from your company, they are rewarded with points. Once they have accumulated a certain number of points, they can cash the points in for a reward, such as a discount or a free item.
Another option is a tier-based awards system. With a tier-based system, you reward initial loyalty with small rewards. Rewards increase as customers make more purchases and move up the ladder.
2. Customer Retention Emails
Electronic communication drives e-commerce. With so many alternatives for such communication, email may seem obsolete. However, customer retention emails remain a tried- and- tested strategy for retaining customers.
A good example of a customer retention email is a birthday email. Most people love to receive gifts on their birthdays. Sending customers a voucher for their birthday is a powerful customer retention tool. Other customer retention email options include:
- Special occasion emails
- Thank you emails
- Anniversary emails
- Feedback emails
- Reminder emails
- Follow-up emails
Rewarding repeat customers with coupons is similar to the customer retention options above. For example, if you run an e-commerce site that ships goods, you could offer customers a coupon good for free shipping on their next order. Or your business could offer discount codes to repeat costumes worth a certain percentage off their next purchase.
4. Improve Customer Support
Effectively communicating with your customers is critical to customer retention. Providing your customers with impeccable support will go a long way in helping you retain them. A live chat option on your website is an excellent way for customers to get help with questions quickly.
If your business effectively resolves a problem or complaint, you are very likely to earn a loyal customer. Lousy customer service is a surefire way to scare off new and returning customers. Investing in effective customer support will go a long way towards ensuring you retain valuable customers.
5. Invest in a Social Media Strategy
Social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with your customers. Encourage your customers to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular sites. Make sure your social media accounts are active, and make a point to interact with your customers on these sites.
Building a relationship with your online followers is an ongoing process. Exciting content is critical to the process. You can use social media to share new products, post special offers, and enhance your brand's culture.
When your customers engage with you on social media, be sure to listen to what they are saying about your products. Address any concerns promptly, just as you would via email, the telephone, or your website.
6. Email Newsletters
Using newsletters to update customers on what is happening with your business is a great way to build trust and maintain contact with repeat customers. An educational newsletter will keep your customers tuned in to what is going on at your business even when they aren't actively making purchases.
Newsletters offer an excellent opportunity to teach your customers about your products, including how to use them.
7. Text Messages
There are several ways your business can take advantage of texting to improve customer retention. As we mentioned earlier, excellent customer service is essential to any business. Handling customer inquiries or concerns via text is a great way to connect with your customers.
Another option is to create a text message marketing campaign. You can create text messages that encourage customers to visit your website. Or you can send discount codes via texts.
8. Customer Referral Program
Customer referral programs are a great way to retain old customers while also attracting new customers. When an existing customer refers a new customer, the existing customer automatically receives a reward. Then the new customer is rewarded when they make their first purchase.
These programs also increase trust in your business. A person is likely to trust a company recommended by a friend.
9. Personalized Shopping Experience
Your website collects essential information about every customer purchase. Use this information to your advantage by tailoring each customer's shopping experience. You can recommend items that each customer may enjoy based on their shopping history.
Extend this personalized experience to some of the categories we've already covered, such as retention emails and text messages. By sending customers products they're likely to be interested in, you will increase the likelihood they will return to your site as repeat customers.
10. Give Customers the Option to Create an Account
When customers make a purchase on a website, they are often allowed to do so either as a guest or a registered customer. Be sure your website offers customers the option to create an account. Repeat customers save time on purchases when they have a registered account. They don't need to re-enter their credit card information or address.
Customers also gain access to their purchase history through registered accounts, making it easy for them to make repeat purchases. Plus, your business can send emails, rewards, and reminders to registered accounts, allowing you to keep an open line of communication with your customers.
11. Push Notifications
Give visitors to your website the option to enable push notifications. Website push notifications are similar to push notifications on cell phones. With push notifications, you will be able to keep your customers informed of new developments with your business, sales, and special offers.
Enabling push notifications is a low effort task for visitors to your website. All they have to do is select "allow" from the pop-up window. Once they opt in, you will be able to connect with them whenever they are online, whether they are visiting your website or not.
12. VIP Memberships
Give customers the option to pay for a VIP membership either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. This membership would give them special access and exclusive benefits that regular customers do not have. VIP programs encourage customer loyalty and retention because members have paid for special benefits and want to maximize their benefits from the program.
You can give members perks such as free shipping, early access to sales, and members-only offers. All these benefits will help keep your customers engaged.
Giveaway can take many forms. You could hold weekly contests for items on your website or send your customers free samples. To maximize your company's exposure, be sure to include your company's name and logo on any sample items you send to customers.
Another option is to send gifts to loyal customers as a way to thank them for their continued business. Free gifts are a good way to generate loyalty to customers who are new to your brand. You could also send gifts when customers meet a certain milestone on your website, such as spending a minimum amount of money.
Surveys are a great way to engage your customers throughout the purchasing process. Surveys will tell you whether your customers are satisfied or dissatisfied with the products and services they are receiving from your business. Based on the survey results, you can tweak your business to encourage repeat customers.
You can also use surveys to test new ideas for products or loyalty programs. Ask your customers if they would use a particular service if it were made available through your website. When it's time to launch a new product, your customers will be excited because they played a role in the process.
Keep customers coming back to your website through gamification. Gaming is addictive, so adding it to your website to reward customers will keep them coming back for more. Gamification involves taking the usual website components and turning them into a game to make them more fun.
Customers could earn points for completing tasks and badges as they level-up. Or they could spin a wheel in an attempt to win a coupon or discount code. Gamification is a great way to keep customers engaged.
Locking in customers with subscriptions ensures they will keep coming back for more. A company can do this in various ways. For example, if you sell products on a website, you could offer customers the option of having them shipped automatically weekly, monthly, or some other defined timeframe. This works well with items such as beauty products or food.
Offering this option will also save your customers time. They won't have to go to your website to reorder items. They also won't have to worry about forgetting to order something they need.
17. Advertise New Product Releases
Adding new products to your brand is a great way to keep customers interested and returning to your business. Promoting new product releases will keep your customers engaged with your brand and will help build brand loyalty.
You can notify customers of new product releases via social media, through a new arrivals section on your website, or through emails, texts, and pop-up notifications. You can also encourage your customers to sign up for updates on new releases.
18. Build an Online Community
Everyone wants to feel like they belong to a community. Encouraging your customers to connect through your brand is a great way to retain loyal customers. Look closely at what your brand represents and how you could build a community around it. If it's a lifestyle brand, your customers could bond over how they integrate your products into their everyday lives.
Your online community could include webinars, ebooks, and discussion forums. How your online community takes shape will depend on your business's products. Online communities engage your customers while also providing customer support and a network for your customers to connect.
19. Educate Your Customers
Creating value-added content to educate and engage your customers is another way to build brand loyalty while increasing customer retention. Sharing content with your customers allows them to connect with your company's values and while also enhancing your branding.
A blog to showcase information related to your product is a great place to start. Encourage customers to register to receive updates on new blog posts. Including tutorials and videos will help customers make the most of your products.
20. Corporate Responsibility
Highlight your company's corporate responsibility efforts. Customers identify with companies and brands that support issues they consider important. Supporting causes in your community will help your company make an emotional connection with its customers. You can give back to your community through a charity or by making changes to your business that positively affect the community.
Many consumers are concerned about the environment. If your company is taking steps to protect the environment, then share it on your website, social media, and newsletters.
Retaining customers for the long term is essential to a company's success. Unfortunately, many businesses overlook this crucial step and instead spend most of their resources trying to attract new customers. By implementing some or all of these customer retention strategies,you can set yourself apart from the competition while jumpstarting your journey to retaining loyal customers.
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