Customer retention is by far the single most important factor that can determine the success of any business. Why? Simply because it makes sense. Satisfy your customers to the point of no return and you’ve bagged them for life. The following statistics speak for themselves:
- A mere 5% increase in customer retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profits.
- Emotionally connected and loyal customers annually spend about $699 with a company as compared to satisfied customers who spend only $275.
- A 2% increase in customer retention can lower costs by 10%.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, the probability of selling to an existing customer can be up to 14 times than that of acquiring new ones.
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Focusing on retention increases the lifetime value of your customers, enabling you to realise more revenue from each account. In fact, it might be the only sure-shot strategy to keep your business afloat today.
“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” – Doug Warner
Best Customer Retention Strategies For Responsive Industry
The key to realising a customer retention strategy that works is spotting symptoms of churn early. Henceforth, it is about doing everything in your power to ensure that they stay. Churn is generally accompanied by a gradual loss in customer engagement.
If constant customer churn has taken your business by storm, here are some strategies that will help you embed a culture of retention in your organisation:
1. Deliver Impeccable Customer Service
Delivering great customer service is vital to every customer retention strategy. Take a moment to step back and look at your business from the point of view of your customers and try to answer the following questions:
- How easy is it for your customers to reach out to you?
- What is the average resolution time of every raised ticket/query?
- How often do you upskill your customer support agents?
- Do your agents possess the critical skills that are required for customer service today?
The answers to such questions will determine how satisfied your customers are with your support activities. Tracking the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in this regard will help you understand if your customers are excited about your prospects or unhappy. Here are some crucial customer support KPIs that you can begin tracking right away:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Directly asking your customers to rate their satisfaction level with your business. CSAT is calculated by taking the average of all resulting responses.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures how likely your customers are to recommend your business in their personal networks. Include rating you on a simple scale of 1-10.
- First Response Time: Measures the average time taken by support agents to respond to new customer queries.
- Employee Engagement: Measures employee engagement through quick internal surveys.
2. Leverage the Right Communication Channels
While customer service is important, the channels you use to deliver it can matter even more. Hyper-competition in the digital world along with dwindling attention spans of users is causing resolution time to matter more than ever before. Here are some of the leading communication channels that you can leverage in this regard:
- Live Chat: Instantly connects customers with support agents with a single click. It also allows customers to multi-task while agents solve their queries. In fact, this is the primary reason why 51% of the customers prefer Live Chat. Moreover, negligible wait time and instant query resolution make it one of the most widely used communication channels. Next-gen live chat tools, such as the one provided by Acquire, even allow customers to continue their previous chat by picking up right where they left off. Other primary features from the company include targeting customers behaviour and goals, the ability to invite multiple team members, and receiving hands-on customer ratings.
- Video and Voice Calls: These channels simplify customer communication by providing a cost-effective way to connect. They are perfect for situations where queries are too complex to be solved over chat sessions. Acting as a more direct means of communication, video and voice support boost agent productivity, lead to faster resolutions, and humanise customer support.
- Chatbots: Where live support agents can handle only 2-4 conversations at a time, chatbots help you scale without any apparent ceiling. They are perfect to take the load off of your customer support teams, especially if you are burning too many resources in backend operations.
For example, a surrogacy agency like Circle Surrogacy makes it possible for their customers to reach them via various channels.
3. Use Co-Browsing for Better Collaboration
Co-browsing from Acquire is a next-gen technology that is taking the world of customer support by storm. It allows customer support agents to be on the same page as their customers by enabling them to remotely take control of their customers’ browsers.
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Here is how it can improve the experience of your digital customers:
- Protects the personal information of customers and gives them complete control over the amount of information they want to share with the agents.
- Customers do not need to download any external application. All they need is their browser.
- Allows customers to share only a single web page, eliminating the need to share the entire screen.
- Customers can continue browsing and can visit other websites during a live co-browsing session.
- Provides next-level customer support in a way that reduces cart abandonment rates and leads to higher ROI.
4. Map Out Consistent and Memorable Customer Experiences
Memorable customer experiences are all about meeting the expectations of customers. This starts with getting to know your customers and charting out their likes and dislikes. For instance, fast responses to queries, simple purchasing processes, and real-time order tracking remain as the leading elements of ideal customer experiences.
While technologies such as live chat and co-browsing are crucial to facilitate quick responses to queries, intuitive website/mobile UX is key to making purchase processes simpler. It is important to look beyond visual appeal and facelifts and focus on improving other performance factors such as site/app navigation, load speed, and usability.
And while you do that, ensure that you extend consistent customer experiences across all channels. This would help the customers get relevant insights into what needs to be done and where. For instance, the Starbucks Rewards App provides customers with a free rewards card that they can use whenever they make a purchase. But what differentiates it from other loyalty programs is that Starbucks allows customers to check and reload their cards via phone, website, in-store, or through the app. Any resulting change to the card or customer profile gets updated in real-time across all channels.
Acquiring new customers should ideally be just a part of your growth strategy. Real and stable growth comes only with repeat customers who ultimately turn into your brand’s advocates. While focusing on retention may not seem like a viable short-term strategy, it is an effective long-term approach that can deliver results like none other.
Which of these retention strategies are you leveraging right now? Share your views in the comments section below.