How do you build long-term customer relationships? Check out these seven great strategies and tools to start maximising customer retention.
Using Customer Relationship Management Platforms
Let’s start with the must-have – your trusty customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This is basically the engine room of your customer retention strategy, or mission control, if you like. Everything goes through here.
Within your CRM, you’ll gain a bird’s eye view of the buyer journey, so you can optimise this journey in a meaningful way. You’ll be able to track all of your interactions, honing and adjusting where necessary to ensure each one provides the right outcomes for you and your audience. Customer retention is built on great customer relationships, and you’ll develop those customer relationships through your CRM.
Incentivising your customers to stay with you can go a long way, especially when customers view these incentives as worthwhile. With this in mind, offer a loyalty program for your best customers, but make sure there is real value in what you are providing.
Think about what your customers want. For example, discounts on repeat purchases might convince big spenders to stick around, while exclusive content and additional support may be more suitable for B2B or software-as-a-service audiences.
Gamifying the Experience
You probably loved playing games and completing challenges as a kid, but what about now? In fact, most of us never lose the desire to compete, to play, and to achieve – it’s an innate human trait that you can use to your advantage as a marketer.
This works as a handy extension to the loyalty and rewards programs discussed above. Setting challenges and tasks keeps your customers engaged and can encourage long-term relationships. Publishing league tables and user scores can also increase the sense of competition – which in turn pushes those engagement levels higher and higher.
Connecting on a Personal Level
As a general rule, it’s always better to be personal. If you chat with someone at a party, you’d prefer them to use your name rather than something like “Greetings, generic party guest.” It’s the same with customer retention – try to personalise your communications so your customers know that they are valued and cared for. Use the customer’s name in your communications, as well as your own name or your agent’s name, to increase feelings of familiarity and friendliness.
Of course, it’s almost impossible to personalise things completely, but you can certainly get close. Make audience segmentation and buyer profiles an ongoing project. As you gather more data on your audience and customers, feed this into your segments and profiles to make each one as specific and comprehensive as possible. Then, you can provide customers with personalised content to encourage them to stay with you.
Automating Key Tasks
Keeping hold of your customers is a big job, and there’s a lot of work involved. It makes sense to let automation handle some of this workload, giving your teams more time to focus on other aspects of running your business – like creating content and crafting innovative marketing and promotional materials.
So, what can you automate? Inputting data and building your buyer profiles can be handled via automation, as can customer behaviour tracking and managing email marketing lists. You can even automate some aspects of your messaging. For instance, you can set up automated emails that encourage customers who may be vulnerable to churn.
Supporting Customers with Software
Your customers need to be supported. If they do not find this support, they may head elsewhere – searching for a company that can offer a good level of customer care. Software is your friend here. Deploying help desk solutions provides customers with a useful hub where they can get the guidance they need, as well as a central location for your teams to manage that guidance.
We’ve touched on automation above, but this can help here too. Chatbots are great for handling simple customer queries quickly, at any time of the day or night. You can back this up with live chat tools that connect to your human personnel, as well as customer service email addresses and phone numbers.
Giving Customers a Voice
There is a great deal of human psychology involved in customer retention. All humans like to feel we are being listened to, and your customers are no different. Giving these customers the chance to offer feedback helps to instil positive feelings in your customer base.
You need to act on this feedback too. Answer negative responses and turn these bad reviews into opportunities for growth and development. Build on positive feedback, and show your customers that their opinion really matters.
Retain Your Customers and Grow Your Business
Bringing in new customers is important, but customer retention is equally valuable. Learn more about keeping hold of your customers in the long term – reach out to our team, schedule a consultation, and get your Free Marketing Plan.