Retaining an existing customer is both easier and more profitable than acquiring a new one, with research suggesting that it is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to bring in a new customer. As a result, inspiring loyalty in your customers could be the key to long-term success. Wondering how to increase customer retention? Read our top customer retention strategies to find out how to keep customers engaged with your brand.
1. Ensure seamless onboarding
The work doesn’t stop after your customer signs up for your service, if anything, that’s when the real work begins. Capture their enthusiasm and satisfaction from day one with a robust onboarding program that teaches them everything they need to know about using your product, giving them the chance to receive the maximum return on their investment.
2. Develop educational resources for your customers
Of course, customer education doesn’t end with onboarding. As the product evolves, you need to develop new resources – from how-to guides to training videos – that your customers can take advantage of. Otherwise, their ability to use your service could be hampered, which could potentially lead to you losing the customer.
3. Personalise the customer experience
When you’re developing customer loyalty strategies, don’t underestimate the value of personalised communication. To forge a lasting connection with your customers, it’s important for your brand to come across as authentic. Whether you’re responding to DMs on Twitter or urgent enquiries via email, no-one likes to feel as if they’re speaking to a robot. So, when you’re dealing with customer enquiries, be sure to add a human touch and encourage customers to speak to you directly.
4. Be a proactive communicator
Forming a close relationship with your customers through consistent communication is an effective customer retention and loyalty strategy. Consider making a communication calendar to keep track of customer communication. This can help you find out if certain customers haven’t interacted with your brand for a lengthy period, so you can get back in touch with them.
5. Consider forming a customer advisory board
Loyal customers generate value for your business, not only because they tend to spend considerably more than new customers – in fact, Annexcloud suggests that repeat customers spend 67% more by their third year than they did in the first six months – but because they have a wealth of information about your brand, just waiting to be tapped. By creating a customer advisory board, you can take advantage of this ready-made brain trust to finetune your services and products.
6. Create a customer loyalty program
While your top customers may not seem like they’re at risk of churn, you shouldn’t take loyal customers for granted. Implementing a customer loyalty program could be a great way to increase customer retention and deliver added value to those customers who are most engaged with your brand.
7. Remain active in the community
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a fantastic way to get involved with your customers on a deeper level. From environmentally-friendly investments to simply getting involved with local communities, CSR can help you maintain a positive reputation as a company that cares about more than revenue. That’s the type of company that’s likely to inspire loyalty among today’s millennial consumer base.
8. Seek out customer feedback
If there are issues with your service or product, you don’t want your customers to suffer in silence before quietly cancelling their subscription. No, you want to hear what they have to say, loud and clear. Once a year (at least), ask for feedback from your customers using online customer surveys. This can give you insights into challenges and pain-points you may not be privy to unless you’re proactive about receiving feedback, helping you to increase customer retention.
9. Keep an eye on local payment cycles
Payment failure as a result of local/regional billing cycles is likely to frustrate your customers, particularly when it could have been easily avoided. Think about local payment cycles when establishing your billing process to avoid unnecessary customer churn. Setting up a Direct Debit could be a great idea, as it enables your customer to choose their own payment schedule.
10. Optimise your billing process
Churn can throw a spanner in the works of the best customer loyalty strategies, so if you’re aiming to improve customer retention, optimising your payments process could be highly effective. Offering Direct Debit through GoCardless can help you seamlessly manage bank debit payments, while you can also create your own custom integration with popular billing and accounting software like Xero and Sage.
We can help
Keeping the right customers is valuable, and with GoCardless, you can ensure that payments aren’t a pain-point for your customers. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.