Implementing powerful customer retention strategies is key to success for any modern business. Given that it costs considerably more to acquire new customers than market to existing ones, and that increasing customer retention rates can help you increase your profits, it's easy to see why. The message for working professionals is clear. Investing in winning customer retention marketing campaigns and making a point to leverage the power of customer retention services should be a priority for any organization hoping to build and maintain competitive advantage going forward. Below, you'll find five new and novel ways to help you boost customer retention rates, increase shopper loyalty and keep buyers coming back for more.
Customer Retention Strategy #1: Provide customers with a little something extra.
Back in the 19th century, tradespeople and shopkeepers in New Orleans used to give a free bonus—a lagniappe (pronounced: lanny-yap), as they called it—to favorite customers as a token of appreciation. Given that everyone loves surprise gifts, and the amount of goodwill that they can engender, ask yourself: What unexpected extras could you provide existing clients as customer retention strategies that would surprise and delight them in extra measure (and help build similar brand loyalty) today as well?
Happily, in the high-tech era, there are a variety of cost-affordable options you can offer in addition to physical goods, or traditional discounts and rebates. For example: Providing customers with free upgrades on service or software packages; complimentary digital copies of your company's latest book or research report; no-cost access to exclusive online events and seminars featuring special brand-name guests; or digital credits that they can redeem for virtual goods of every kind. Keeping in mind that shoppers are used to only getting what they pay for. Offering an added bonus without prompting is often a great way to help enhance your relationship and drive repeat purchases.
Customer Retention Strategy #2: Attract shoppers with personalized offers.
The more you get to know your customer, the more effective at crafting individualized messaging and offers that are designed to catch their interest that you'll be. Luckily, myriad high-tech analytics tools now let you track shoppers' online behavior, and each action that they take when interacting with your brand, so that you can provide more informed responses every step of the way.
Among today's most effective forms of customer retention marketing, contextualized promotions—which provide personalized discounts, specials and offers at the moment customers are most receptive to them—can be a powerful asset in your promotional toolbox. They can take the form of contextual prompts (which recognize recent purchases or call-ins by the customer); chat bots (artificially intelligent personalities that can converse like humans) combined with customer relationship management (CRM) tools that recognize why shoppers may be reaching out; or location-based offers (which pop up when someone nears your business or a competing outlet). There are many ways to put customer retention services to work in your favor.
Customer Retention Strategy #3: Incentivize social engagement and sharing.
Many businesses survive and thrive based on the goodwill and enthusiasm of their fans, who often look to social networks, video sharing sites and similar multimedia aggregators for insights and inspiration when making buying decisions. So if you want to improve customer retention marketing efforts, and boost online engagement rates, why not turn around and put the spotlight on your community? Incentivizing user-generated content—e.g. video clips and selfies—featuring your products, services or solutions can be a powerful way to help drive awareness, increase brand reach and drive social media engagement.
If you're looking to enhance customer retention rates, consider implementing a loyalty program that can help truly make a difference by supporting a host of good causes on a global scale.
Naturally, you can reward active customers for doing so with freebies, points redeemable for prizes, and/or other special perks. By encouraging community members to spread the word, and helping readers/viewers keep your products, services or solutions top of mind, you can create a compelling and authentic way to build awareness.
Customer Retention Strategy #4: Offer flexible perks that cater to shoppers' interests.
Many businesses reward loyalty members with points for performing a variety of different activities—e.g. purchasing products, liking their social network channels, downloading official apps, etc. But more often than not, these points are redeemable for one thing and one thing only: Whatever goods you're currently stocking. However, the best customer retention strategies instead speak to shoppers' interests, and offer a wider variety of rewards tailored to buyers' lifestyles.
For example, if you're an outdoor apparel retailer, you might offer shoppers all manner of adventurous travel experiences and vacations, or if you're a food service provider, you might offer them access to a number of cooking classes or invites to unique dinner events. The key is to create curated rewards that better speak to your target audience, rather than offering generic, one-size-fits-all solutions—i.e. 10% discount offers. No matter whether you're running an architecture firm or craft beer distributor, there are many ways to create loyalty and reward programs designed with your specific target consumer in mind.
Customer Retention Strategy #5: Pay it forward and spread goodwill.
Today's customer is more socially conscious than ever. Moreover, they much prefer to do business with organizations that are in the business of doing good as well. So if you're looking to enhance customer retention rates, consider implementing a loyalty program that can help truly make a difference by supporting a host of good causes on a global scale. For example, rather than give customers cash back on purchases, you might instead funnel a portion of every purchase to fund worthy causes, or give shoppers the option to donate funds to their pick of several charities.
Finding better ways to appeal to customers' values and design loyalty programs that help them actively achieve their goal of creating positive change in the world isn't just a positive thing to do. It's also just one of many simple, innovative customer retention strategies that you can start implementing today that can help you boost audience goodwill, even as you boost your company's fortunes as well.
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