Tips for Enhancing Customer Retention
We all know that the costs of obtaining new customers can be high. While we want to continue the activities that land new and fresh business, let’s explore what we can do with our website to enhance customer retention.
The best place to start our exploration is with our current good customers. Let’s ask a couple of key questions.
- Which activities are our good customers participating in, on our site?
- What is the length of time between their purchases?
There is a definite need for good data to ensure that we are tracking our customer’s buying habits properly. If your site is an eCommerce site, see if your cart most likely has built in tracking or have a tracking module installed.
One thing that we know is, the best time to contact a customer to increase repeat buying behavior, is quickly after the sale. We also know that first-time customers that have issues and come to customer support for a resolution, can become repeat customers, IF their experience with customer service is good.
Online Activities for Increased Customer Retention
Special promotions are great for engaged customers. For eCommerce sites it’s a good idea to regularly have email promotions for all customers. You can segment your promotions based on several factors such as demographics, how much time has passed since last purchase, quantity, value, etc.
For illustration purposes, let’s say good customers purchase every 3 weeks. If a new customer has not made a repeat purchase in 3 weeks time, we should have a automatic email, or newsletter template set up, with a special promotion, automatically triggered for this occasion. This is an example of using current customer data (behavior) to assist in achieving better retention rates with new customers.
If your site is an eCommerce site, set up a members area that your good, repeat customers can sign up and create a wish list that they can send to their friends and family members. This also has the added benefit of having your customers advertise your site for you. This is a win-win.
Reviews add a lot of value to your customers. It allows them to more fully understand the full capabilities of products, as well as the pros and cons of purchasing. Some companies think that reviews will get out of control and are fearful of someone posting a bad review. Bad reviews are part of the package of customer dialogues. Bad reviews will happen. It is equally important for you to address the situation. This is an excellent opportunity to explain your point of view, and correct the situation, in full view of all other customers. This will have the dual effect of showing all parties involved that your company takes care of their customers, as well letting them know that you are not suppressing reviews and only allowing ‘good’ reviews. This shows transparency and credibility. People will increasingly trust and respect your company, thereby increasing retention. It’s all good.
Use your blogs to promote product promotions, conferences that your company will be attending, presentations you’re giving and any company PR. Encourage your customers to comment and offer feedback. Give them tips on how to use your company’s products or services. Offer industry news. All this offers your current customer reasons to come back. Remember (Valuable) ‘Content is King’.
Marketing is a conversation between us (the company) and the customers. This dialogue is highly valuable, but we really need to listen to our customers. Their feedback is invaluable. They will tell you by their actions on your site what they want and need. If you really listen, they will tell you exactly what you can do on your site to improve customer/client retention.
What are you doing on your site to help increase customer retention?