Keeping your existing customers happy should be high on your priority list. Whether you sell services, products, or a combination of the two, the right customer retention strategy can deliver real results for your business. After all, statistically it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to a new customer.
But what exactly is customer retention and how do you deliver real results from it?
What is customer retention?
Quick question: how are your existing customers getting on these days? Do you stay in touch with them, or are their details filed safely away in your contacts database? You devote so much time and energy to developing new leads, those you already have can sometimes be forgotten – which is a costly mistake. It’s up to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to sell to the ones you already have. Between negotiated discounts, free trials and other marketing efforts designed to warm a new audience to your brand, it makes sense that making sales to your existing clientele would cost you less as a company.
You should take steps to retain your customers once you have them, ramping up the opportunities for later sales – and this is what customer retention is all about: keeping your customers. But how do you do this?
Top 4 customer retention strategies
Develop a great onboarding process
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment: you’ve done your research, whittled down your options and finally, you’ve made a purchase – now what?
Too often companies lose valuable customers by not offering the right aftercare service. If what you’re selling could use a bit of training or further explanation, you should make it a priority to deliver just that.
Onboarding helps customers to get the most out of their purchase in the days, weeks and months after they’ve converted. How it’s delivered will depend on your business, but you might want to consider: tutorial videos, webinars, downloadable guides or remote/face-to-face training.
Stay in touch
How well do you know your customers? The B2B world moves quickly. As your LinkedIn page reminds you daily, customers change jobs, get promotions or switch professions entirely. Are you in a position to keep up?
Keep the conversation channels open to develop a good working relationship with your customers. You could reconnect through email or social media channels, like LinkedIn. Personal interactions let them know that they’re still valued by your company, and will help you to be at the forefront of their mind if they have a need for you in the future.
Staying in touch with everyone who’s ever done business with you doesn’t have to take all day. You can easily automate the process via lots of easy-to-use and freely-available tools, like the ones on offer at HubSpot, which allow you to make groups and send bulk emails to these groups, helping you to tailor your message accordingly. Not a fan of email? Direct messages, tags or mentions on LinkedIn or other social media platforms can be a great way to capture the attention of your audience.
Remember, as with any customer interaction, personalisation is key. Include their name and company name at the very least. Remind your contact who you are and how you know each other and tailor your recommendations in the message to something that’s related to their previous purchase. Let them know that you care about their experience, and that their custom was (and is) important.
Speak to your customers how they want to be spoken to
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: multichannel marketing is a must for any business. Whatever industry you’re in, your customers want to talk to you on their terms, and on the platforms that are the most useful to them. This could be face-to-face, email, phone, social media or on your very own website.
Spot the signs and act
When do you know that your customer has a need for your product? The obvious sign is that they haven’t bought from you for a while, but are there other ways you can tell that a valued customer may be about to use one of your competitors?
Recognising the signals will help you to put plans in motion that could help you keep your customers loyal to you. How often you contact them will depend on the product or service you offer, but you should always try to keep yourself in their mind when they’d typically buy from you. So, how do you do this?
Set up notifications when a customer visits your website
Some platforms, such as HubSpot, will send you a notification when one of your customers visits your website again which could prompt you to check-in with them with either a personal interaction, or an automated email. Setting this up is easy - just chat with our team to find out how.
Get clever with your targeting
Ever found yourself thinking about a company you once worked with and BAM! – up pops an advert for them in your Facebook feed? It’s not a coincidence, nor is it magic: it’s hypertargeting. Companies are now able to pinpoint exactly who they’d like to see their ads, where they’d like them to appear (online, at least. offline is a work in progress), and on which device – for instance, mobile or desktop. For you, this presents lots of opportunities to get really granular with your advertising efforts. At the very least you can make sure that a special offer or related product appears on your customers social media page after they’ve visited your website (known as retargeting), or when their subscription for your service is about to be renewed.
How can FINALLY help?
FINALLY is a growth agency that can help you to maximise the potential of your customer retention efforts. We’re a HubSpot partner, so when you work with us, you’ll have access to the full range of cutting-edge marketing tools that can streamline your efforts and help to deliver a better aftercare experience. Get in touch today to find out how we can provide the solid foundations you need to keep customers, throughout good times as well as bad.
To speak to us about developing the best customer retention strategy for your business, get in touch today.