Customers are the most critical factor in determining the success or failure of a business. E-commerce is no exception. There are umpteen examples of failed businesses despite the best products and inventory because they lacked viable strategies to retain customers.
So, the simple success formula is “care your customer” because retaining an existing customer is doubly important. Winning new ones will require 5 times more effort and cost than retaining an existing customer.
The success rate is also high when selling to an old customer at 70 percent compared to 20 percent for a new customer. Evidence suggests that when customer retention exceeds more than 5 percent, profit expands 95 percent.
So, it is evident that losing customers not only hurts the revenue but also causes loss of resources in converting them. Here we will discuss customer retention strategies that could help in retaining existing customers to boost sales.
Create a Customer Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is a good tool for retaining sustained loyalty. It is a way of thanking customers for choosing the business over other competitors.
An example is there in Tom’s customer loyalty program where the brand extends support to causes such as maternity health, animal welfare, eye care, and clean water access for every purchase made.
Personalize Customer Service
Good customer service will be reciprocated as it optimizes the customer’s experience. Customers are already exposed to Amazon customer service and Verizon customer service as examples of successful companies.
Personalized customer service can include tailor-made solutions to address customer-specific problems including their needs, aspirations, and pain points.
Maintaining constant communication through digital channels like social media and email is also part of personalized customer service. Offering customers more platforms to seek solutions such as company website, live chat, toll-free customer care numbers, and support agents can make the experiences more personalized. Going forward, artificial intelligence will play a larger role in many CRM programs.
Onboarding programs are quite useful in winning over new customers who may stay for the long term. It involves introducing customers to products or services of a business. That exposes customers to a brand’s products with support and guidance than letting the customer learn his own. The working principle is creating happy customers who will become the best advertisers.
Harvard Business Review hails it by noting that “an increased focus on onboarding offers a significant positive impact over the life of the contract for revenue, client renewals, and client referrals.”
Onboarding programs include phone calls to customers, home visits by technicians, email exchanges, and feedback programs for improving a product.
Create a Communication Calendar
Setting up a communication calendar helps in creating contact with customers at regular intervals similar to the editorial calendar in media publications.
Frequent communication with customers increases engagement levels. Statistics show businesses that communicate with customers have been able to grow profit more than 300 percent.
Communication calendar tools online can send letters, cards, appreciation messages, and special offers periodically.
Deliver value via content
Content marketing is another great way to keep customers engaged with a brand beyond closing a deal. Today’s customers have many choices and businesses without strategies to retain their attention will lose customers.
“Education” of customers through content can be in many forms such as how-tos and tutorials, theoretical pieces on specific subjects, brand-centric articles covering the product and its features.
The target audience can be updated via blogs, email campaigns, and newsletters. The example of UK chocolate distributor Cocoa Runners has been inspiring for its content marketing through emails that share insights, offers, and chocolate suggestions to customers.