The truth is that there is an infinite variety of ways to increase the likelihood of retaining customers. We’ve compiled a list of fifty that should be memorized or at least understood by all employees. Yes, customer retention strategies are that important. Bain and Company has found that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
Everyone who comes in contact with customers should become a guru of customer retention strategies. Since most revenue and profit originate with repeat customers, retention is obviously crucial. Here, then, are the Crucial Fifty Customer Retention Strategies:
Customer Retention Strategies: Listening to Customer Feedback
The request for feedback can be structured (a survey), or it can just be an open ended question.
1. Ask for feedback during the buying process.
2. Ask for feedback at the point of sale.
3. Ask for feedback on the phone.
4. Ask for feedback by email.
5. Ask for feedback by online survey.
6. Ask for feedback by text.
7. Ask for feedback by postal mail.
8. Ask for feedback in social media.
Customer Retention Strategies: Collecting Data in Real Time and Responding Immediately
9. Respond with a personal visit in the store.
10. Respond with a phone call.
11. Respond with an email.
12. Respond with a text.
13. Respond with a letter.
14. Respond with a post.
Customer Retention Strategies: Giving Away Something for Free
If you know the lifetime value of a customer, you can likely invest prudently to retain existing customers, knowing that the return on investment will be greater than for new customer acquisition. What can you give away?
15. Give away a free trial of a new product.
16. Give away free customer support for a year.
17. Give away a service upgrade.
18. Give away a useful accessory.
Remember That Service is a Customer Retention Strategy
19. Define what extraordinary customer service is to your customers, and deliver it.
20. Master the “Frugal Wow.”
21. Always under-promise and over-deliver.
22. Contacting inactive customers produces results—demonstrating you care, asking about their needs, inquiring as to why they are not buying, etc.
23. Be knowledgeable about your own products.
24. Be an expert in your product category.
25. Never be rude; resolve problems with class.
26. Resolve issues before the customer expects you to.
27. Treat customers as important human beings at every touch point.
28. Ask customers who stop buying why they stopped, and listen carefully for possible improvements.
29. Always address customers using their names.
30. Be thankful when customers complain, because that helps you learn how to improve.
31. Make sure to use the power of surprise when you provide extraordinary customer service.
32. Make sure your employees work in teams and always know what’s going on with customers.
33. Keep interactions simple.
34. Go above and beyond so impressively that people can’t help but talk about it.
Use Proven Customer Retention Techniques
35. Once you have a customer, never stop selling them their decision to buy from you.
36. Create a fun, compelling, addictive game relevant to your products.
37. If you use a third party to call your customers, make sure they are experts at showing customers you care about them.
38. Ask customers to help you design a particular new product.
39. If you create a loyalty or rewards program, make sure it provides enough value to make it worth the customer’s time.
40. If you create a loyalty or rewards program, make sure it is differentiated—that it makes customers feel they are special because they are loyal to you.
41. Speak with transparency to customers through a blog.
42. Email customers when you publish a new blog post.
43. Consider how your values influence your offering; recognize that customers have likely chosen you because you share their values; look for new ways of living out your values for the benefit of your customers. Stand for something.
44. Constantly seek to anticipate needs of customers and address them.
45. Find new ways to automate processes for the convenience of customers.
46. Compensate employees for achieving key performance indicators as identified for specific client relationships.
47. Remember that communicating through social media on a regular basis in transparent ways builds trust and personal relationships. Share news, reviews, details, humor, pathos.
48. Measure lifetime value, and make decisions based on this information.
49. Segment customers by lifetime value and design appropriate marketing programs for each group.
50. Make sure your customer database systems provide customer information to your employees quickly when they need it to provide personal, outstanding service.
In the spirit of under-promising and over-delivering, here is one more customer retention strategy:
51. Never forget that speed can be important, but it is almost always less important than quality.