“Retention problems sneak up on you. You need to be actively monitoring retention cohorts even when retention is going up and to the right” – Dan Wolchonok, former Director of Growth & Analytics at Hubspot

Customer Retention is the activities and processes a business uses to increase the repeat customers and retain them for a longer period.  It measures how many customers a business could retain from the total customer base for a specific time duration.

Brands expect 200% higher chances of market share, who spent more on retention marketing.

According to a survey, the maximum growth is driven by customer retention followed by acquisition and other parameters.

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Customer retention is not one single activity, but a closely knitted parameter in all your marketing efforts. For example, understanding churn in different stages of the conversion funnel is important to understand the existing loopholes in your customer retention strategies.  

In simple words, once a business starts addressing the issues that increase churns, it will ultimately increase retention. Retention not only speaks of positive customer experiences but also multiplies your acquisitions. According to Harvard Business Review, 23% of customers who had a positive brand experience, told more than 10 people about it. 

In fact, profits jump to 95% if there is an increase in customer retention by 5%, according to Bain & company.

The impact of retention rate as a metric varies based on the industry.

For example, according to research in the ed-tech space, every fourth founder believes retention is the primary objective to increase revenue.

Similarly, for news platforms, the retention rates can directly impact the time spent on the website and the overall traffic.

Here’s how retention helps businesses: 

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How do businesses improve their retention metrics?

Build a better customer experience

Build your customer experience that provides solutions to your users, and not adds up to more hassles. The first and foremost step is to make the onboarding process as simple as possible. 

Include live chat options on your website and keep your response time as low as possible. According to Freshchat, keeping your first response time under a minute is an idle time. Whereas, the customer’s expectations range between 6 to 15 seconds. 

According to Martech Advisor, 48% of customers return to a website that is equipped with live chat. You can use drift for live chat and improve your customer experience, and ultimately improve the retention marketing metrics.

Build your homepage that takes your users in the right direction. Providing the right product information to engaging product guides are just one of the many parameters that need to be focussed on while building a positive customer experience. 

Ask for feedback from your customers. Customers feel valued when their feedback is considered in making future decisions and contributing to the brand’s growth. And, acknowledging your customers will improve their customer experience. 

Take customer relationships one step further

Your current customer base is the reason why your business exists. Not engaging with your existing customers can impact your business’s overall growth and increase customer attrition over time.

On average, a business loses 20-80% of customers every year due to negative customer relationships. 

Improve communication with your customers and personalize it. Today, brands are using push notifications, emails, and social media to engage and build relationships. This isn’t something new to us. But how brands are organizing their communication timely is a matter of importance. 

One such instance is OffCampusJobs4u. This job portal has increased its retention by sending regular push notifications updates to its lakhs of users on a daily basis.

Make your user communication quick that reaches directly to your user’s devices. You can use free tools like Truepush for sending push notifications.

Create and improve customer loyalty programs and reward your loyal customers. Send them rewards using push notifications. You can include personalized discounts to make them feel special. 

Source: Invensis

A survey by Deloitte reveals that only 3% of customers advocate a brand based on values and principles, whereas 44% of customers recommend based on emotional criteria like happiness, compassion, etc. 

Personalize your email marketing campaigns and provide information that your users are looking forward to. Reach out to your customers who are floating in the ToFu phase. 

For example, Dropbox reaches out to the customers who have only signed-up, and not proceeded further with the integration.

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For retention mails, make a clear CTA and reach out to the current signed-up clients who haven’t taken the next integration step within three days.

Add follow up stages to your automated email campaigns. This way, you can focus on distributing equal retention efforts through different marketing activities.

You can use tools like Sender for email marketing. It provides a free plan for Up to 2500 subscribers and up to 15, 000 emails/month.

When it comes to social media marketing, building an effective communication strategy is crucial. These are some stats based on the use of social media around the world.

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You can use social media management tools like HootSuite, Buffer, SEMrush, etc.

There are many metrics you can track for strong social media engagement:

  • Traffic
  • Audience/follower growth
  • Engagement rates
  • Reach/impressions
  • Comments
  • Tags/Untags
  • Conversions

Build a community of your users to engage with them on platforms like Telegram, Facebook group, WhatsApp group, and more. The more you mark your presence around your customers, the more likely it is to retain them. But, make sure you are not being obtrusive. 

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In one more example, Starbucks has a popular and praised customer rewards program. Their program helps customers earn free food and drinks, place and obtain their orders, and receive personalized offers.

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Your best customers don’t just use your products or services once. But, becomes your repeat customers and advocates your brand.

Apart from these strategies, you can focus on understanding your past customers.

Send them a mail when they leave, as the customers know what works for them and what doesn’t, after using your products and services.

Analyze what made them leave your business. This data will help you in further rectifying and refining the brand goals and give you one more chance to engage your lost customers through better and updated offerings.  

Conclusion

Customer retention doesn’t improve overnight. In this article, we understood how a business can improve its customer retention strategies continuously over a period of time.

There are countless parameters that can be considered when retention is the target. However, you can categorize these into two important aspects that are improving your customer experience and building better customer relationships.

Instead of putting all your efforts into acquisition, diverge it more into retaining the existing customers. 

Execute and improve customer loyalty programs and make your customers feel valued and encouraged through feedback and opinion sharing. 

First, know your customers. Determine what they need and want and where their pain points lie. Find ways to surprise, delight, and motivate them. Your existing customers offer you a good chance to extend your profits, as they’re more likely to purchase from you if you offer them experience that matters. 

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