Today’s world thrives off competition. There’s competition for colleges. Competition for jobs and even the old school competition between brands. With the gradual shift of a largely offline market to the online world, the brand competition rests solely on best of the best 21 customer retention strategies as every brand can be trialed by customers. A customer can go and just choose a different brand because it was new.
In such precarious situations, your business is bound to survive off of loyalty of customers. Bringing in new customers is absolutely necessary but you can’t just take your current customers for granted. After all, your next paycheck is at their leisure.
A customer that is already using your brand is your easiest resource. They know your brand is good, what matters now is your after-sale service.The main reason behind that is if customers keep coming back to you, you’ve done most of the work. Your job is to constantly remind your customer that you exist and you are ready to help if there’s any trouble.
Here are some of the textbook tips to keep your customers interested in your brand and even increase your chances of them recommending it to their friends.
21 Best Customer Retention Strategies for Online Business
- Create More Content
The show must go on.
Your brand and all its social platforms should be constantly active. Some sort of activity is necessary to keep your customers engaged with your products. The contests, sales, and discounts are all a part of that.
There should always be something going on. A strict schedule should be followed by what is going to happen with your brand and all your customers should be made aware as to what’s gonna happen well in advance. This can be done effectively and easily with the help of social media.
Streamline your schedule and get your customer retention up!
- Just Say ‘Thanks’
Responding to your customer is business 101. After every purchase or every action of your customer, acknowledge their existence by saying thanks.
Nowadays it is so easy to connect with all your customers or followers. All you have to do is give a social mention. You get ahead of all those brands that don’t respond and the ones that earn the tag of bad customer care. Going out of your way to make the customers feel acknowledged is a good business ethics.
The beautiful word that the English people created “Thanks” can save millions for you.
- Ask Your Customers More Questions
When you’ll know the problems, you can surely solve ‘em.
When you ask your customer questions you get a better insight into their daily struggles and problems. This gives you an upper hand in providing for their unique needs.
Earlier it would have been quite a tedious task to connect with your customers but now with few lines of an email, you could be all set for responses from all your followers.
The advantages of this are twofold. You show to your customer you care and you get some food for thought about how to upgrade your product.
- Provide More Swift Customer Service
The old of replying as soon as you can or within 24 hours are gone. Companies and brands providing global services can’t afford to lose that much time. It is absolutely necessary that a customer’s problems are aired soon and aid is provided.
The various methods to do this is by making a page for frequently asked questions where you can solve all common problems. Then another way is to create “How to” pages to show solutions or arrange for a live help executive as call centers. Swift customer service is of the essence for brands that want to deliver express service.
- Autoresponders & Cart Abandonment Messages
Tired of proverbial million dollars lying in the carts that are abandonment or of losing customers mid-purchase?
It’s easy to resolve that. Every time there is an abandoned cart, send a response to the customer. A small little email or a pop-up message on their screens is enough.It is one of the most clever customer retention strategies out there. Autoresponders work efficiently for this purpose. It doesn’t have to be desperate or long. It could be something light and funny that just nudges your customers about their filled carts and still filled pockets.
- Conduct a Customer Survey
Instead of poking your customers again and again with questions, what you can do is conduct a monthly or yearly survey. Customer feedback never hurt anybody, right?
Never misjudge the power of information. The more information you’ll have, better off you’ll be. A small little questionnaire about likes and dislikes would be just picture perfect. Nobody likes them big old questions, they are a pain. Instead of long questions and answer type survey, you can also opt for star rating system. That is much more simple and takes less of the customer’s time.
- Shout Out Your Customers with UGC
Now, this is an effective measure. It helps you build trust with your customer community. Your users stay engaged with the site.
User-generated content is one point that seems genuinely authentic. When you display that content on your website or webpage, the writer feels appreciated and the people that see it feel related to the feelings the writer is trying to portray. Healthy reviews and even bad ones show where you are lacking and where you are good. When your future customers see that they feel you are honest about your business ethics and rules.
- Listen to Your Lost Customers
You can’t please everyone. No matter the amount of good service you give, you can’t make everyone happy. Some negative feedback is bound to come your way.
You can ignore one or two negative feedback as unique problems to that specific customers but what if this negative feedback becomes common to a dozen of them? It is very important that you focus on such feedback because this will tell you what not to do in the future.
It is very easy to act on such complaints. You just have to listen to the customer, focus on their problem and then later make appropriate changes to your product.
- Focus on Educational Content
Your product should become a necessity for the customer. That is what reels the customer back in again and again.
For this, firstly, your product should be easy in its application. Secondly, even if it’s not, you need to teach your customers to use it. Resource out videos, blogs and informational content telling them all about it. Even if less focus is given on the technicality of the product if the application is clear your job is done.
It really portraits you as a helping hand and more and more people learn about your product.
- Discount for the Old and Past Customers
A discount can work wonders!
We all know customers may sleep through most of our marketing information messages but a message about a heavy discount or a buy one get one offer hardly ever goes unnoticed.
Reel in all the past customers with exclusive deals and cash back. It shows off your generosity, makes you popular and gives you a warranty to advertise your product in media. Three birds with one stone!
An intelligent customer retention strategy is to give them cash back or fill their e-wallets, so they definitely buy stuff pricier than that.
- Don’t Forget About Freebies
Free stuff is always good stuff, well to reel in customers it is.
A customer retention strategy is to hand out free stuff at frequent intervals to all customers. This gives them a chance to come to your working site and browse. They will come for the free stuff but stay because of the greatness of your product. Get the most out of the free stuff you give away.
Here again, the importance of educational content is visible. Conduct free webinars, case study etc. Let them know what you are about and what you are gonna do in the future.
- Take Advantage of Reviews and Testimonials
Everyone loves to be heard. When you show the customer their review and feedback mattered they feel appreciated.
Combine reviews given to you by your customers and display them. Put on average and good reviews. The extreme views about your product either good or bad can seem phony and unreal. This puts customers off and may cost you big purchases.
Reviews and public testimonials help you with old and new customers both. You engage old customers by asking them to give feedback and new customers by showing them that review!
- Crack Jokes With Your Customers
Some humor can go a long way in making customers comfortable while doing business with you.
A light joke on the screen when the connection is slow and your screen is loading, a sarcastic comment when the cart is empty or cheesy comment when they like something on your website. Even a good funny farewell message when they are leaving the website can make customers happy. This will make them return to your site, again and again, to find such cute funny little notes everywhere.
Laughing is the best medicine and this strategy will surely heal all your churn.
- Roll Out a Referral Program
A recommendation from a friend will always work better than my word or yours!
A referral program works like this. You ask your old customers to buy something and if they want a cashback or an additional free goodie, they need to send an invite to some of their friends.
This way you get some of your advertising workloads off your shoulders and your buyers do it.
This keeps your old customers spending and new customers keep reeling in.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that it should be a fair trade. If you ask for too many referrals for not that good a goodie you’ll end up losing the old customers, not to mention the chance of getting new ones.
- Run a Giveaway
Roll out them contests!
Who doesn’t like some good old-fashioned competition for special edition goodies? Organize contests on your web portals. It allows increasing traffic in high sale season. Every consumer awaits special contests and discounts at the time of festivals or holidays.
This gives you a perfect chance to constantly engage with your customers. You can increase efforts on all fronts during these times. Roll out editorials, showcase the winners. Let them know that winning this contest is a big deal and make it. This customer retention strategy works wonders for beginners and newbie brands.
- Competitor Call-Outs
Now nitpicking your competitor’s flaws is not what we are talking about here. Picking fights seem unprofessional, not to mention it can drive your focus away from your customers and refocus it on your competition completely.
Calling out your competition is generally telling the public how you are different and ahead of other products available in the market. It shows you are superior without jeopardizing your image by portraying you as pretentious and condescending.
It’s all about taking that extra edge over everyone else to provide only one choice to your customers and that is you.
- Show Your Heart
A business that appears too calculating and narrowing it to strictly business makes customers uneasy. Showing your humane side is necessary.
What goes around comes around. If you do a good deed and you let the world know about it, you’ll get a lot of things in addition to praise. Supporting a good cause or starting your own campaign, sponsoring charities or charity functions shows that you are doing business not only for profit but also for touching people’s lives. It helps you get more close to your customer’s feelings and emotions.
Aren’t we all in for that?
- Tell Your Customers What to Do
After feeding continuously day in and day out, your customers may get bored. So bored that they start ignoring all your marketing messages as spams. It is important to control the number of invoices you send to your customers. But leaving that aside, for now, you need to realize that customers need an extra nudge. Keep them going by “do next” steps to guide them through your website or product steps.
Tell your customers what to do after certain action sequences. They’ll like the responsiveness of your business and appreciate the help.
- Remarket to Quiet Customers
You always need to make your customers realize you are around. This step is especially for those customers who have bounced over to other brands or were one time customers.
It is a good business strategy to make one time customers turn them, loyal customers. Remarket them. Send special invoices to such customers. Make them realize you still care about them. Ask them for reviews and tell them about those new deals and offers. Give them a little discount or any other incentive that you might deem necessary. After all, a customer once is a customer always.
- Learn More About Your Current Customers
Trends and news these days change like eastern winds. They are changing on Twitter and they are changing on Facebook. You need to pick up data about your customers from these sources. You can turn all these social media traffic in your stride.
Considering you have a decent database of your current customers, you should be able to find out where your customers are spending most of their time. What pages and sites they follow. Convert this data into cookies and use them to create innovative invoices and future deals.
- Keep it Positive
Nobody likes a dull business outlet. A successful business is always bright, up and running. It always keeps an intriguing and positive attitude towards customers concerns. It hears patiently what the customer is trying to tell. The business then takes every criticism in a positive way.
Another factor to this is, a business should never seem desperate for attention or bored with its customers’ complaints.
Customer retention can only take you as far as getting the customer to you. If you don’t handle them properly, then all that hard work is of no use. It is primarily all for the profit, but always remember the cardinal rule of business. The customer always comes first.
Making Of a Customer Retention Strategy
First of all, make sure you have one. Then designate special people to it. Make sure it’s a tangible process going on in your business. It is one of your responsibilities as well as your best chance to have a great business quarter if you retain old customers will constantly gaining new ones.