Every entrepreneur knows how important customers are in business. They’re one of your most valuable assets, therefore you need to take good care of them.
Businesses spend five times on customer acquisition than customer retention. Furthermore, your chances of selling to existing customers are higher than to new ones. These statistics emphasize why your CRM strategies should focus more on customer retention.
Your customer retention strategies should make your customers feel that they matter. To do this, you need a customer relationship management system to store valuable information about your customers. This data will help you pick the best customer retention strategies to implement. Here are some of the techniques you can make use of.
- Give High-Quality Customer Service
It’s not a surprise that keeping your customers happy increases customer retention. That’s why providing good customer service should be one of your customer retention strategies. According to HubSpot, 93% of customers stay loyal to a company with great customer service.
To improve your customer service, you can:
Combine Automation and Human Element
Automation streamlines customer service processes. While this is true, combining it with a human element gives you the best of both worlds. A human agent can pick up where automation fails.
To give you an idea, chatbots help solve customer problems in a matter of seconds. Did you know that the expected response time of 88% of customers is within an hour? It’s a lot to think about, considering 62% of companies ignore customer queries sent through email.
But in some cases, customers don’t want to talk to chatbots. Humans also need to connect with real support, especially when it comes to solving problems. Since they only operate with an if-then framework, some problems can be too complicated for them to answer.
That’s why it’s good to have a CSR agent alongside automation. They are capable of making your customers feel that they are heard. This, in return, makes them feel more valued by the company, increasing brand loyalty.
To achieve this, you need the best CSR agent and the right automation tools. Finding a CSR agent with the right competencies can be difficult. In this case, you should opt for AI recruiting software to attract the best candidate for the job
One of the best things that this software can offer you is a detailed and clear job description. An accurate job description helps you generate more qualified candidates. This makes the recruitment process less tedious and your recruiters more productive.
On the other hand, there are plenty of CS tools and software that you can choose from. You just have to find the right ones that fit your company’s needs.
- Provide Excellent Customer Onboarding Experience
The goal of onboarding varies greatly based on your company’s services. But, the main purpose of this process is to communicate expectations to new customers. Aside from this, it is also a great opportunity to teach them about your products and services.
They say that first impressions last. If you make a good impression on your customers, they will surely stay. With a good onboarding experience, they will feel that your brand is the best choice in the market.
Here are some great ways to give your customers an excellent onboarding experience.
Give Them Realistic Expectations
If you have a new customer, the first thing you should do is to reassure them that they are a priority. At the same time, you should not make any promises that you can’t keep. During onboarding, you can communicate these expectations through service level agreements (SLA).
SLAs describe in detail the level of service you promise to give to your customers. It should include the terms and conditions of your relationship with them.
Customers benefit from SLAs since they know what to expect from your service. It also makes them feel more at ease because you promise to meet these expectations. So, right from the start, you’re already giving your customers a reason to stay.
Aside from your customers, SLAs are also beneficial to your company. Your CRM system can keep track of SLAs and your team’s performance. Through this, you can determine the best strategies in employee management.
Explain How to Use Your Product
Businesses profit so much from customer education, but some are reluctant to do so. They believe that the more people know about your product, the less likely they will stay.
A study by Elsya and Indriyani (2020), highlights how customers’ knowledge of your product increases repurchase intention.
When your customers know what your product is about, they can evaluate its value. Keeping them in the dark, on the other hand, hurts the business more. How? Because customers will look for information about the product you offer. And in the process, there is a chance that they will find companies that sell the same product.
That’s why it’s important to include product education in your customer retention strategy.
Provide Guides and Tutorials for New Customers
Alternatively, you can make the onboarding experience more interesting by using tutorials. It can be in the form of blog posts or YouTube videos. Did you know that 30% of YouTube searches are about “how-to” tutorial videos?
But YouTube isn’t the only platform to upload these videos. You can also include video tutorials on your websites for your customers to watch. In addition to videos, blog posts are also helpful for giving out guides to your new customers.
Knowledge base helps customers solve their own problems. Although you have good customer service, most customers prefer self-service features. In addition to this, it also provides you the opportunity to engage with your customers.
- Gather Customer Feedback
We know how much hard work you’ve put into your business to please your customers. But, at the end of the day, you can’t help but wonder if those efforts will yield desired outcomes.
The best way of knowing for sure is to ask them. Find out what they really think of your service. Their feedback on their experiences with your product and services is valuable information. You can utilize this to better tailor your business and meet their demands.
There are different ways of gathering customer feedback. Some of this include:
Giving Out Customer Surveys
Customer surveys are important for determining where your customers are having problems with your service. And sometimes, they will offer suggestions on how you can improve. It’s a great way of gaining insights into where your service falls short.
It is advisable that you ask for their opinions and suggestions at least once a year. This way, they will have already used your product long enough to know what they don’t like about it. By giving out surveys regularly, your customers will feel that they are valued. This will, in turn, boost loyalty and retention.
Creating a Customer Advisory Board
Aside from surveys, gathering a group of customers for product reviews also helps. This is what a customer advisory board (CAB) is for. They consist of selected customers representing your brand’s customer demographics.
For example, teenage girls and single moms are some of the people who buy your product. In this case, your CAB should have one from each of these demographics.
CABs are means of getting information on how your customers view your product. You can meet with them regularly to talk about their experiences with your product.
Not only that, but you can get insights on products or services you wish to add to the business. It’s one of the best ways of looking at your service from the customer’s perspective.
Implementing Exit Surveys
Important customer feedback does not only come from your existing customers. Customers who stopped doing business with you are also a good source of feedback.
You can’t satisfy everyone with your service. But what you can do is to find fault and improve it for those willing to stay. There are different factors as to why your customers leave your brand. And it’s your role to know what they are.
Exit surveys give you data on how well your product satisfies your customers’ needs. If you have such data, you’ll be able to avoid future cancellations from existing customers. It's always a good customer retention strategy to prepare for the future.
- Inform Your Customers About Changes in Your Products and Services
Communicating new product developments makes your customers feel like they are part of the team. Plus, this strategy can attract your customers to try out your new products.
Sending out email newsletters regularly keeps your customers informed about new advancements. Always assume that your customers will want to know about any changes in the company. From changing leadership to upgrading your product, you should inform your customers.
By doing so, you’ll be keeping your customers excited for new developments. This increases customer engagement, as well as builds brand loyalty.
- Pay Attention to Patterns of Customer Behavior
Customers don’t immediately leave your brand. They always give out signals before their departure. What you need to do is to look for these signs.
Thankfully, CRM software can help you determine the factors of consumer behavior. This can include purchase patterns, previous customer service inquiries, and product usage. When you have this data at hand, analyze them to know what to do to keep your customers from leaving.
Provide Special Offers for Inactive Customers
Having enough knowledge about your customers offers you a chance of adapting your approach to each of them. CRM software can also give you information about your customer’s purchasing history. You can use this data to figure out what type of offer will appeal to your customers.
Everyone loves discounts! So when inactive customers see you’re giving them some, they will see your business positively. And when this happens, they will more likely continue availing of your service.
- Make Use of CRM to Provide the Best Customer Experience
Customers have the free will to discontinue doing business with you and switch to other brands. They will if you fail to keep them satisfied. With the use of CRM analytics, you have the power to provide your customers a VIP experience.
Below are some of the ways that you can use CRM to improve customers’ overall experience.
Personalization is getting more popular among companies these days. Why? Because it helps customers feel like they are partners and not just numbers in sales. This paves the way to building stronger relationships with them.
With the help of a CRM system, you can easily customize interactions between CSRs and your customers. This system stores a huge amount of customer data. Because of this, you can review previous engagements to know how you can give them a more personalized experience.
Offer Incentives to Your Loyal Customers
Aside from purchase history, CRM software also provides data about your most profitable customer. Now, all customers are valuable. But you should regard these most profitable customers as your most valuable customers. And like anything else, you don’t want to lose them.
If you want to keep them, you should make them feel appreciated for being loyal to you. You can give your repeat customers some discounts on the products they buy regularly.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a discount all the time. You can also consider giving them birthday greetings on their birthdays. In addition to this, writing a letter of appreciation to them will be the cherry on top.
Every company should stand out from the rest in the market. With that being said, you can put a little twist on how you give your incentives to your customers.
In this case, why not use gamification in your strategy? It’s a fun way of rewarding your loyal customers, as well as keeping them engaged with your brand. Integrating some game mechanics in your business can help motivate your customers into doing more business with you.
You can do this by rewarding them with redeemable points whenever they make a transaction. Or you can offer them discounts for every friend they refer. These strategies also help you engage more with your customers, which increases customer satisfaction.
Instead of generating new customers, your goal should focus on existing customers. You should plan for your customer retention strategies and based them on customer data. Fortunately, the customer relationship management system does the job of storing such data.
Customer retention is important to generate more ROI. There are many ways that you can increase your customers’ loyalty. But, the best customer retention strategy is to make them feel valued.