How to improve customer retention rates - 10 strategies that actually work
February 17th, 2022
Have you found yourself in that frustrating situation where you see users visiting your site and creating an account but not converting into customers?
We've all been there and know the effort it takes to earn the trust of a customer. So, we must try our best to make sure they stay engaged once they joined the company's community.
To help with that, we created a list of proven customer retention strategies to improve your customer retention metrics.
What is customer retention?
What is customer retention?
Customer retention refers to a series of practices aimed at retaining customers over time and converting them into long-term loyal buyers.
Retaining and pleasing existing customers is the most cost-effective method to expand your business. Even minor gains in retention can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Why is customer retention so important?
Apart from the fact that it is more expensive to recruit new customers than it is to keep current customers, client retention is essential for a variety of reasons.
Returning customers are 50% more likely to buy from you than new customers, and they spend approximately 33% more. So, it's not only cheaper to keep your consumers, but it's also more profitable in the long term. Moreover, according to Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
Even a simple 5% increase in retention rates may be able to increase profits by 25 to 95 percent.
Retaining consumers can also help you save money on marketing. Sure, satisfied clients return, but they also tell their family and friends about you. Word-of-mouth advertising drives up to five times more sales than sponsored promotion.
10 strategies to improve customer retention
How do you build a client retention plan that keeps your existing customers engaged and satisfied?
Let’s look at 10 customer retention strategies that actually work to increase your retention rate.
Note: Calculate your customer retention rate with the following equation:
(Number of customers at the end of a period) - (Number of customers acquired during that period)
(Number of customers at the beginning of the period) x 100
1. Onboarding new customers
The customer onboarding process has a significant impact on customer retention. If consumers have a bad onboarding experience, they will assume the whole product is just as bad and won’t stick around.
By dedicating some time and effort to creating a solid onboarding experience, you can ensure that your customers aren't confused or disappointed when getting started with your product.
Bytes Route is a digital adoption tool that can help you optimize the onboarding process through in-app interactive product tours that guide users through various software features or specifically ordered steps.
Here's how you can make a simple tour with Bytes Route:
Find out more about how to make your customer onboarding process more efficient in our article.
2. Train your clients by using educational resources
Customer training does not end with onboarding. As the product grows, you must create additional resources for your customers to use, such as:
- how-to guides,
- training videos,
- comprehensive documentation
And most importantly, you should make sure that all these assets are always up-to-date so that your consumers can access them at any time. Having these will increase your chances of retaining customers.
3. Use product announcements
A smart technique to interact with your users is in-app product announcements.
These are a great way to keep your clients up to date on what’s new and show them exactly where to find a new or updated feature. It is important to make your users aware of the changes so they don’t feel lost or confused. Remember this is one of the quickest ways to lose customers.
4. Validate new features with customers
Allow users to have a preview and provide feedback on new features options before developing them. This strategy increases the chances of your customers sticking with you since they will feel as if they have a role in what is being built. Furthermore, creating something you already know people are willing to use will bring value to the product.
5. Thank your customers
One of the best methods to ensure that your current customers stay with you is to make them feel appreciated and respected. Let them know how much you appreciate their business!
You can do this in many ways, and it could be as simple as sending a thank you message in an email to show them how much you appreciate them. Nobody wants to feel like a number to a company, so by going the additional mile to show that you care about them as individuals, they will respect you and your team even more and will likely continue to be a client.
An example of that is this email from CanIRank. We loved it! It’s nice that they took the time to thank us for using their product and ask if we need any help.
6. Speak to your customers
You don’t want your clients to stay silent before discreetly canceling their subscription if your service or product has flaws. Don't miss out on what they have to say.
One of the best ways to get customer feedback on your product and your users' experience is to ask your clients what you did right and more crucially, what you did wrong. This can be done by sending online customer satisfaction surveys at least once a year.
By asking the right questions and making the survey available in a convenient place for your consumers, you can be confident that the input you receive will be accurate and useful for making future business decisions. Users will also appreciate that you care about their experience, which will hopefully motivate them to keep using your product.
7. Send emails
Email is a simple, cost-effective, and creative tool that can help you optimize your customer retention strategy.
How to use emails to increase customer retention rates?
- It’s a great way to keep in touch with clients - send them information about new webinars or articles, as well as release notes and other materials.
- Send reminders - it’s always nice to be invited to an event, inform them that a renewal is due or that a special offer is about to expire.
- Send special promotions to customers - existing clients are more likely to make additional purchases if you offer them special deals or discounts.
- Send messages on special occasions - it’s a small gesture but it shows that you care about holidays and their birthdays giving it a more personalized vibe.
- Bring back inactive users with triggering emails - send them tips, tricks and news. Maybe they didn’t understand at first what they can get from your product or missed important information, but this doesn’t mean you lost them.
8. Offer exceptional customer support service
Customer service is essential to the success of a business. It's "adios" if they don't get the proper help.
As long as there is no human element in the business, customers will simply respond with "eh" when they use a company's product or service. Moreover, make sure you honor your priority support promises.
Also, if you want to keep customers happy and engaged, it's essential that you provide customer service via the channels that are most convenient for both your company and your clients. Having a live chat tool, a FAQ, and a mechanism for users to directly request certain features will ensure that your user has options and solutions to any issue or problem they may have.
According to Gladly research, 54% of clients make decisions based on customer service, with 19% considering it the most important deciding factor and 92% will switch to another company after 3 (or fewer) bad experiences.
9. Be active on social media
Don't let your customers forget you. Incorporate social media into the customer journey if you intend to use it to retain customers, which you should.
Include social media buttons in your footer, on your checkout and contact pages and in emails.
Thank your consumers for their positive thoughts on social media and then spread the word about their experience with the rest of your followers - this is a fantastic way to keep them coming back.
Customers will be more likely to stick with your brand if you regularly post about new products, discounts, and other promotions on social media. This is an excellent method to get people talking about your products.
10. Optimized billing process
After doing research, Salesforce statistics show that 74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult.
If you're trying to improve customer retention, optimizing your payment process could be highly beneficial. Churn can strike a wrench into the works of even the finest customer loyalty program.
Make it easy for your clients to proceed with the payment process and get invoices. Also, the style of your bills is just as important as the content of your invoices when it comes to creating a professional image for your organization.
While it's obvious that companies should prioritize customer retention, the majority of them fail to do so. Naturally, a company's client retention strategy will be determined by its size, industry, and goals.
I hope you found these recommendations useful and that this article inspires you to make some significant changes to your customer retention strategy.