Everyone knows that selling to an existing customer is cheaper than to a new customer. After all, the money you would be spending on acquiring new customers is no more applicable because the customer is already with you! Obviously, profits from selling to an existing customer are higher.
However, things have become incredibly competitive today and it has become easier and faster to lose customers than ever before! Customers today expect only the best — and if you don’t give it to them, your competitors will. Besides, this being the digital age and the era of AI, companies need to rethink new ways of approaching customer retention.
If you are really struggling with customer retention and are wondering where to get started, here you go.
7 Effective Customer Retention Strategies For Your Business
1. Seamless Onboarding Experience
Let’s start at the beginning — onboarding. You have completed your sales cycle, have managed to get the customer on board — but what next? A smart business always remembers that the experience the client has post-sales is just as important as the sales itself.
A good onboarding experience helps eliminate the confusions, doubts, questions and so on that, a client can have when s/he is new. If your client or customer does not feel at home using your product or service, s/he may simply stop using it. A study on mobile app users showed that a good onboarding experience can improve retention rates by about 50%!
Think about ‘onboarding’ like a visit to a resort. If you don’t have anyone showing where is what, which people to get in touch with when you need something, or where to go for a massage, a swim and so on, won’t you feel ignored and lost? That’s similar to what your clients would feel when they first start using your services. Yes, they will eventually learn — but how many clients are you losing in the process? That said, sometimes, adding friction to your onboarding funnel can be a good idea; here’s a case study.
If you don’t have one already, implement a seamless onboarding experience to make your customers feel at home and comfortable. This can be a series of emails, but usually, videos are more helpful as many people are visual learners. For example, the team at jigsaw puzzle site im-a-puzzle introduced a quick 30-second onboarding video for the new premium subscribers and found that it improved their retention by 14%.
Additionally, consider using any of the webinar platforms listed here to do a live training session with clients and answer their questions along the way. Doing so is likely to reduce the number of questions you’ll have to answer in the future. You will be glad you did.
2. Proactive Customer Support
With the help of technology and AI, you can really pamper your customers and clients today — and they know it! So, if you aren’t going out of your way to give your customers an exceptional experience, you are definitely going to lose many customers!
In a proactive customer support setup, you reach out to your customers before they can reach out to you whenever there is a problem. Technology — such as co-browsing for example — can be of great help to keep you up on your game.
Similarly, using AI-driven chatbots and efficient helpdesk ticketing systems can help keep your customers’ queries responded to at all times. Customers don’t like waiting — and if there are problems that can quickly be resolved by AI, then why not?
3. Omnichannel Communication
While we talk about having a proactive customer support team, we cannot miss mentioning omnichannel communication. In fact, we believe that you could even adopt both together to create a powerful experience.
Omnichannel communication simply means being at your customers’ reach at all times! Take a look at how Elon Musk responded to a customer on
Customers may no longer have the time and patience to get in touch with you by email or call. Perhaps they just want to have a quick chat on Instagram — so it is your duty to be there and address them, even if you are a CEO!
But it does not end there — to provide a smooth omnichannel communication experience, you should also make sure that conversations stay ongoing and seamless even across different communication platforms.
For example, if a customer switches from chatting over Instagram to chatting over Messenger, you should have a
4. Take Feedback Seriously and Genuinely Address Them
Even if you are addressing your customers well and they feel they are being heard, your efforts would be a complete waste if you are not actually solving their problems.
There are two dimensions to this:
- Using feedback for self-improvement: Feedback can be a powerful tool to help you improve yourself. After all, your business is all about giving your customers what they want, isn’t it? So be open to what your customers are saying, and constantly work on making sure that you are satisfying their needs and wants as well as you can.
- Solving your customers’ problems: Make sure that you put in all your efforts into solving the problems brought up by your customers. Let them know what steps you are taking, what the current developments are and what sort of progress can be expected. Personalize your customer service whenever possible. Never make promises that you cannot keep.
5. Customer Success Matters
Often confused with customer support, customer success has emerged as a powerful tool today to retain customers. Customer Success is one specific form of proactive customer support because you are proactively designing a system that will help the customer be successful in using your products and services.
Three factors go into successfully implementing a customer success approach:
- Defining customer objectives (the end result of using the product/service for the customer)
- Defining business goals (that result from the customer objectives)
- Aligning these two objectives perfectly
In onboarding, you give your customers or clients a set of instructions to start off with. Through customer success, you are going to be with them throughout the customer lifecycle to step in whenever the need arises. No wonder that 70% of growing companies find customer success programs as very important and most likely to prioritize them.
6. Build a Customer Education Program
Another way to help the customers feel comfortable and at home with using your products and services is by providing them with as many support resources as you can to help them with the process. A few of them are:
- Knowledge Base: A Knowledge Base is a carefully detailed resource of as much information as possible. A Knowledge Base is put together by meticulously understanding what kind of customer queries come up and then providing detailed information that can help customers solve their problems themselves.
- Tutorials: Not everyone has the time or patience to read a Knowledge Base. Tutorial support such as on-site tutorials, video tutorials and so on can be of great help here. The same content as in Knowledge Base can be put in a more crisp manner so that it will be easier for customers to consume.
- Customer Academy: A customer Academy is a dedicated portal just to help your customers end-to-end. Think about Customer Success, Knowledge Base, tutorials, etc., all rolled into one! Hubspot Academy is a great example. It has great resources for sales and marketing professionals to learn and implement in their day-to-day job.
7.Customers to Community
Have you ever come across online communities such as D23 or the HP Support Community? HP saw a 41% year-on-year reduction in resolution time because of their community! For many businesses, the active Facebook community may not generate more sales, but is definitely instrumental in enhancing customer satisfaction.
Communities help facilitate engagement with and between customers. If for any reason you are not able to provide Knowledge Bases or Customer Academies, online communities can definitely be a great alternative.
Apart from helping them find solutions, communities also give your customers a strong sense of belongingness as well as act as a rich resource to network with one another. You don’t even have to be too involved in the communities either — you just need to moderate and ensure that the engagements are going as per guidelines, letting the conversations happen organically.
These seven strategies can prove to be game-changers to retain customers. Whether you choose to implement one or more, based on your business needs and how adventurous you feel, you are sure to see positive numbers. Don’t forget that it is the age of social media and AI — so make sure that you incorporate these elements into your customer retention efforts.
Most important of all, don’t lose sight of the goal: high-quality products and services. After all, if the quality of your products and services are not good enough, what would you be able to show off with these strategies? And if you have great quality products and services, to what extent can you really convince the people out there about it without leveraging some clever retention strategies? Finding just the right mix is key — and we hope that our input can be of help.