There’s a specific excitement felt by businesses seasoned or new when it comes to the acquisition of new customers. Oftentimes this “new customer smell” is so alluring that business owners forget that not only is it cheaper on average to market to a loyal customer, it also results in greater ROI with Bellycard’s customer loyalty survey reporting, “almost 30% of SMBs estimated that 71-90% of their customers visited more than once last year.”
With the rising costs of marketing for acquisition, start-up business owners should begin prioritizing the following fail-safe customer retention strategies to secure customer loyalty — the real key to business growth in 2021 and beyond.
Customer Loyalty Programs
One of the most tried and true ways of achieving customer retention is through the use of customer loyalty programs. Having a loyalty program honors your customers that have stuck around by providing special discounts, exclusive offers, or even gifts.
Loyalty programs are a form of positive reinforcement that rewards your customers the more they shop from or engage with your brand. They’re also a small reminder that you care enough about them that you’d like to repay them for their continued support.
Referrals or “Evangelism”
If you’re looking for a clever way to get your loyal customers involved in the marketing process, referral programs are an excellent way to knock out your two customer retention and new customer acquisition birds with one stone.
The strategy involves offering an incentive for both your customer and the friend they invite to shop from you, typically with an exclusive discount. Take the MeUndies model, for example. An increasingly popular underwear brand, much of its growth has relied on its referral program offering returning customers $20 off their next purchase, and 20% for their friend.
Customer Feedback Loop
According to SuperOffice, there seems to be a gap between the 80% of companies who believe they’re delivering exceptional customer service as opposed to the 8% of customers who would agree.
An important behind-the-scenes tactic for improving customer retention rates is to actively listen to your customer feedback. Surveys are the most concrete way of opening this line of communication with your pool of customers. With surveys, you can obtain a wealth of information including data on customer behavior, or get transparent suggestions as to what shoppers are seeking in their customer experience.
Pair this with targeted emails reassuring your customers that you’re taking their constructive criticism to heart. This will help you build a solid foundation of trust.
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Keep it Convenient
It’s a no-brainer to mention that keeping your customer experience as convenient as possible will keep customer loyalty at a high. This plays into obtaining that sacred data from your feedback loop.
If you can streamline your checkout processes to make the final purchase as smooth as possible, customers are going to keep coming back if only for the simplicity of the transaction. Yes, it matters that much! Many companies have turned to the mobile sphere for this, offering easy checkout right in the palm of their hands.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, finding a way for your customers to get in and out in a flash is the way to go.
A symptom of the email marketing craze is that customers tend to see business emails as spam as opposed to anything that offers value. However, personalizing those outreaches offers an opportunity to insert audience-appropriate personality, as well as content that coincides with their preferences and purchase history.
Econsultancy research data points to an overall higher impact ROI with these specially personalized emails, as a matter of fact.
Emails aren’t the only way to achieve this though, another effective method of personalized outreach can mean communicating with your customer base on social media channels they frequent.
Loyal customers are a sure-fire way to experience growth within your business, and keep the cash flowing so your business can stay afloat without worry. These customer retention strategies are just another fancy way of saying that you need to build trust and relationships with your customer base to truly be successful. After all, a rockstar is nothing without his fans, and that analogy rings true for businesses everywhere.
If you want to get an edge on the most state-of-the-art CRM software, or additional customer loyalty marketing strategies to make customer retention your top priority starting now, visit us over at Jenfi to see if you qualify for the funding you need!