Customer Retention Tips And Strategies

Every day we work with a number of different retailers across a range of sectors. Whilst each have their own individual challenges, one thing that rings true for all is the importance of customer retention.

It’s a no brainer really. With it costing five times more to attract a new customer than to keep one, investing in a customer retention strategy is key to staying ahead of your competitors.1 What’s more, research shows that happy, repeat customers are more likely to refer a business to family and friends — helping drive future sales from new sources.2

With that in mind, we’ve together our foolproof tips to help you retain your customers this year.

Customer service
In today’s digital age, customer service goes beyond the interaction your sales assistants have in a bricks and mortar store. It spans your social media channels, chatbots, external communications strategy and your website.

Whichever part of the business your staff work in, ensure that they are all customer service trained, understand your business inside out and promote your brand’s values. With more and more customers cutting out the shop floor and buying online, the chances are that they’ll only get in touch if they’re frustrated or confused. This is the perfect chance to go above and beyond, showing your customers that you care. If you respond clearly, concisely and in good time, you should be able to turn that customer around.

Likewise, in-store, ensure that your staff are knowledgeable, can respond quickly and, importantly, can read their customers and identify when they won’t respond to a hard-sell.

Whilst it can be daunting to see how much data is collected when someone moves around a website, using it to your brand’s advantage can boost repeat business and reap serious rewards. The more personalised you can make someone’s experience, the less time they have to think about what they want, where they want it from and why they want it.

On e-commerce platforms and email marketing, the more you know about your user, the more you can tailor specific products to them. For example, one user has been looking at a new pair of headphones regularly over the past two weeks but still hasn’t bought them yet. Using that data, you could send a personalised email to your customer with a selection of similar headphones and a discount code, addressing their individual preferences and giving them a positive brand experience.

Loyalty Programmes
When you think about loyalty programmes it’s easy to think of ‘buy nine coffees, get your tenth free’, but there are so many more ways to capitalise on this regardless of your sector. What’s harder, is getting today’s digital shoppers to engage with these initiatives, but by using your customer data, you could be on to a winner.

Loyalty marketing is more than a single initiative, it needs to bed within your sales strategy and be relevant for your customers. Internal analytics can help you identify which customers will respond to different things and what their interests are.

Since O2 has started to use internal data to understand which customers are interested in different things, they have seen a tenfold uplift in conversion, so take note of how to reward the right behaviour.3

So, whether you’re an electronics retailer, a travel agent or a training provider, make sure you give your customer retention strategy the time it deserves. As the digital world evolves, don’t be afraid of the technology, but embrace the data it gives you to enable informed strategic decisions that reflect your customer’s personal habits.

We love helping businesses of all shapes and sizes retain their customers through clever, integrated finance solutions. So, if your customer retention strategy needs a refresh, get in touch with one of our team today.

(1) MyCustomer, March 2017
(2) Harvard Business School
(3) Marketing Week, 2016