Effective customer retention strategies are vital for sustained business growth. In this collaborative article, we’ve gathered insights from four prominent industry experts who generously share their top three customer retention strategies that they rely on for success. By delving into their expertise, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how you can enhance and optimise your own customer retention strategies. By implementing these tried-and-true methods, you can foster stronger relationships with your customers, bolster your brand, and ultimately achieve long-term success in the competitive business landscape. Find these expert insights below.
Marketing Director at eve Networks
1. Make customer retention a business objective
Everyone in your business has the power to affect customer retention, right down to how they pick up the phone. Create an environment where everyone is aiming for exceptional.
Sharing trends can help to provide context, be open and add retention to the agenda.
Report on your retention levels and make this data visible throughout your organisation. Make people sit up and pay attention and help them understand how they can help to influence positive change.
2. Work out why your customers are leaving
This is harder than it sounds, as often once the customers have gone, they’ve gone. But try to gather whatever data you can and avoid the feedback process becoming anecdotal. Gather facts and clearly report on the data you have.
There are lots of reasons that your customers might leave, for example, poor service, competition, pricing, and acquisitions. Define these and begin to report on them. This helps you to identify the areas that you have the power to change.
Consider holding exit interviews, just like when a member of staff leaves, Make it easy and worthwhile for leavers to give you their time.
3. Be real about the role you play for your customers
Consider introducing a customer health score. There are a few ways to measure that, look for the factors that matter for your business – for example:
- how often does a customer engage with your team?
- How critical is your product to their business?
- How many products do they take from you today?
- How happy are they?
4. Breathe fresh life into your customer relationships
Most businesses have a lot of customer data but they don’t know what to do with it. Stop wondering, and do something, even if it’s simple. Segment your base, it can be as basic as new, existing and dormant. Share meaningful content that plays into where they are right now.
If you’re a step beyond that, you can use data to identify other ways to help. This goes beyond product gap analysis and highlighting sales opportunities – you can use data to predict technical support needs, so you can be a step ahead, proving value early on in the game.
5. Build genuine connections
Email Marketing is the ‘go to’ for most, but it has limitations. Blend in other channels like social media marketing.
Face-to-face is hugely effective right now. But don’t leave it all down to the Account Manager – introduce your Marketers, send your Support team out for a site visit, and get closer.
Maximizer Agency, Personal Branding Strategist
Customers are increasingly making choices based on a company’s values rather than just its products or services. Brands that can align their mission with the needs and values of their clients will invariably come out on top. But how do you convert a satisfied client into an enthusiastic fan? Here are the top three customer retention strategies from a personal branding and employee advocacy perspective:
1. Personal Branding: The Authentic Voice
- In an age where consumers are overwhelmed with choices, the unique DNA of a personal brand can be the deciding factor. It’s not just about what your company offers but how and why it offers it. Customers resonate with stories, and the narrative that emerges – encompassing its values, journey, and mission – can be deeply compelling.
- Both the founders, top-level management, and employees, especially those in client-facing roles, should be encouraged to develop and communicate their personal brands. This adds layers of authenticity, diversity of voices, relatability, and trust to client interactions.
2. Employee Advocacy: Become the Brand’s Best Advocate
- When employees genuinely believe in the company’s mission and values and have aligned them with their values, passions, and aspirations, they become its best advocates. Their testimonials, knowledge about the product/service, thought leadership, shared experiences, and genuine enthusiasm can significantly influence customer perception and stand out.
- Leveraging social media, employees can share their positive experiences, provide behind-the-scenes insights, and celebrate company milestones. These authentic snippets can form deeper bonds with clients, turning them into fans over time. People buy people.
3. Value Alignment: Shared Goals, Shared Success
- The modern customer has changed. They wish to engage with companies that share their values. By aligning your brand values with those of your target audience, you create a sense of belonging and humanize the brand.
- Employee-led initiatives that showcase these values in action, whether it’s community service or sustainability drives, can significantly enhance customer loyalty. When clients see that your company doesn’t just talk but walks the walk, their trust deepens, converting them into long-term fans.
Customer retention in today’s business landscape is less about promotional tactics and more about genuine relationship-building. By harnessing the power of personal branding and employee advocacy, companies can ensure they are not just serving clients but building lasting relationships with fans.
Be more Client-Centric. In any business partnership, communication and feedback is critically important. You are partners, working toward the same goal. The quality of the information you uncover is likely to be high, so gather as much as you can in as many relevant areas as possible. If you can do that, you will be well-positioned to sell more, deliver more, and retain them far longer.
Traditional customer satisfaction surveys often focus on pre-selected criteria and deliver little in terms of meaningful information. Far more preferable is integrating client satisfaction into the overall relationship by having the customer establish meaningful measurement criteria. What could be more meaningful than having the client share what is most important to them?
Being aware of their success criteria and charting a path based on achievement against those customised goals, provides the most reliable benchmarks for success. Consider the strategic importance of a robust discussion of the various satisfaction factors. Which does the client consider most important, and why? The process of gaining the client’s insight on this critical question offers an invaluable opportunity to ask clarifying questions relating to each of the factors chosen. Identifying pain as part of a Client-Centric Satisfaction process can provide a wealth of new information, and the more information uncovered, the greater the likelihood of successful delivery and retention.
As your business relationship grows you earn the right to serve different areas of the client, the specific criteria will change as new client contacts share what is most important to them in their world. Even for the same client contact, the success criteria may evolve, over time. Working side-by-side with the client, you must establish what those criteria are.
Get a clear picture of a client’s motivations, needs and pains, and positions you to deliver successfully. Only then will you earn the right to sell more and retain them as a client.
Mindset and business coach at Millionaire Life Strategy
Selling to existing customers is far more easy than to new customers, so customer retention is key. Here is my top 3 customer retention strategies:
- Make their customer journey personal as well as your communication. Don’t use a “one size fits all” approach, but make the whole journey personal, so that they feel valued, special and worthy. Customers will remember how you made them feel and they will start recommending you based on a positive experience.
- Reward them for being a loyal customer. Give something back, like a customer discount, a cumulative saving/points system for each purchase that they can redeem later, exclusive access to new content/products, referral program when they bring in new customers, anything that make them wanting to stay with you and promote your products/services.
- Become predictable. When you are predictable, you become part of your customer’s comfort zone and they like that. So make sure you keep delivering consistent quality, keep improving your processes and products, and be transparent.