All too often, the focus when building a marketing strategy lies in acquiring new customers—when, in reality, customer retention is just as important. Not only is it more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, but research has shown that a 5% increase in retention can boost a company’s profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%. Meanwhile, a study by Bain & Company reveals that returning customers spend, on average, 33% more per order than other customers.
It’s clear that customer retention matters—but what are some practical steps your marketing team can take to keep customers coming back?
1. Start a Newsletter
Email newsletters can be a great way to keep your brand top of mind for past customers. Plus, putting together and sending out a newsletter is relatively quick and cost-effective; you can even use an automation service to send out emails at the most opportune time for your audience without having to remember to click “send.”
Get as creative as you want with the content of your newsletter. Think of this as an opportunity to build some brand authority with quality content. To entice return customers, you might even include a small discount code or other special deal within the newsletter itself.
2. Use a Chatbot
These days, consumers are growing to expect on-demand and responsive customer service. Of course, staffing customer service representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week simply isn’t possible for many growing companies. This is where it can be extremely useful to implement a chatbot that can handle customer service inquiries. This can be a great way to deliver round-the-clock customer service that makes your customers feel valued and keeps them coming back. Believe it or not, studies have found that 62% of consumers actually prefer to use a chatbot than to wait for assistance from a human agent.
3. Offer Surveys and Other Feedback Opportunities
You can’t expect to improve your customer experience if you never ask for feedback, so be sure to provide plenty of feedback opportunities to your current and existing customers. This allows you to determine what you’re doing right versus what might need some improvement. Sending out email and even text message surveys is a great way to invite feedback—and many customers will appreciate your brand reaching out and asking for their input.
4. Write a Mission Statement That Sticks
If your company doesn’t already have a mission statement prominently displayed on your website (and embodied in your everyday work, of course), now is the time to make that a priority. After all, your mission statement helps you communicate your company’s core values and goals to your customers. Why does this matter from a customer retention perspective? Because research has shown that 82% of consumers want a brand’s values to align with their own.
5. Capitalize on User-Generated Content
Getting people talking about your brand and creating their own social media content around your brand is a great way to promote your brand while building loyalty with your existing customers. In fact, 90% of consumers find user-generated content useful and are more likely to trust what existing customers have to say about a brand than the brand itself.
There are plenty of ways to encourage user-generated content on social media, including:
- Holding contests and giveaways
- Partnering with influencers
- Creating unique hashtags
6. Focus on Building Trust
Trust is such an important component of customer retention; when a customer feels like they can trust your brand, they feel a greater sense of confidence when making a repeat purchase. Of course, building trust between your brand and your customers takes a lot of time and effort. You can get off on the right foot by prioritizing customer service, asking for (and responding to) feedback, and embracing transparency in all that your company does.
7. Start a Customer Loyalty Program
Want customers to keep coming back? Give them an incentive to with a customer loyalty program! There are many ways to structure these programs to suit your brand’s needs while catering to your target audience. From offering points with each purchase that can be redeemed for free products/services to tier-based programs that reward your most loyal customers, you’ve got options. Plus, research has found that members of these programs generate between 12% and 18% more revenue than customers who aren’t members.
8. Be Responsive on Social Media
Having a strong social media presence is important not just from a customer retention standpoint, but for big-picture brand marketing. Many of today’s consumers build strong connections and loyalty with their favorite brands through social media interactions. To foster these connections, your brand needs to be active on social media. This means not just creating new posts regularly, but interacting with others’ posts, responding to comments and direct messages, and engaging your audience.
9. Go Above and Beyond
If you can find ways to wow and delight your existing customers, you’re likely to create loyal customers for life. And, believe it or not, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to go above and beyond. Including a short, hand-written note in a delivery for a first-time customer can make a huge difference in your brand perception. Likewise, if your customer has shared their birthdate with you, taking the time to send a birthday card or birthday email can help your customers feel special while building loyalty.
10. Leverage Personalization
80% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers a tailored experience. This remains true for your past customers, who will be more likely to make a repeat purchase if their shopping experience is personalized in some way. There are plenty of ways to go about this, such as by personalizing your email subject lines to include customers’ names. If possible, consider going beyond this to offer a custom-tailored shopping experience. Is there a way for your consumers to customize their products or services with your brand? If so, then this may be worth exploring.
The Bottom Line on Retention Marketing Strategies
No matter your industry, your company can benefit from repeat customers that boost your overall brand recognition and authority while being a reliable source of profit. While some of these retention strategies may work better for some businesses than others, you know your audience well enough to determine which of these strategies will be most applicable to your own marketing strategy.
Of course, if you could use a little help with your marketing along the way, the Hawke Media team has you covered. Book your free consultation today to get started and learn more about what our marketing experts can do for your business.