Struggling to Keep Hold of Customers? Here's How to Increase Your Retention


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, September 5, 2022

Don’t ignore existing customers in the quest to attract new ones. Implement a retention strategy instead.

Article 4 Minutes
Struggling to Keep Hold of Customers? Here's How to Increase Your Retention

Most businesses put a lot of resources into attracting new customers, but without a retention plan in place, the rewards can be short lived. It’s often said that the cost of bringing in a new customer is five times that of selling to a new one, and if your customer retention isn’t outweighing customer acquisition costs, your company will be in trouble.

Why is a customer retention strategy important?

Without a coherent plan, any customer retention tactics can be sporadic and uncoordinated, leaving established customers feeling ignored. Those who’ve bought from you in the past can be particularly beneficial to a company not just with repeat business, but also by being advocates of your brand by offering up positive reviews to friends and family.

10 customer retention strategies

Here are the top ways to increase customer retention:

1. Focus on company values

Shared values are an important way for people to build relationships, and this is true with the bond between a brand and a client as much as it is between individuals. Make sure you and your employees are clear on your core company values and how they should be represented in everything you do. That means you should be demonstrating shared values with your customers at every interaction from the quality of your products to your standards of customer service.

2. Over-deliver on your expectations

With so much choice in most marketplaces, companies can no longer do the bare minimum and expect to beat their competitors. They’re likely to expect a proactive, personalized omnichannel experience as the norm, so make sure you deliver it and more. Make promises you can keep and if there’s a failure to do so, acknowledge it, compensate those affected and continue to build trust in your brand.

Learn more: 7 Customer Retention KPIs All Marketers Need to be Tracking

3. Offer pricing incentives for frequent shoppers

Offers can be a good way to draw new customers in, but can sometimes overlook the clients you already have. You don’t want existing customers to feel undervalued or penalized for their loyalty, so offer discounts on subsequent purchases when you deliver receipts, free shipping and returns, or the chance to save money by signing up to a subscription.

4. Use data for cross-selling and upselling

Customers don’t need to have completed a purchase before you start marketing to them. Just as in a physical store it makes sense to put related products together, this kind of upselling also works online. Use your sales data to determine which two items are usually bought together or naturally complement each other and implement a system to have them highlighted to the client before they complete their transaction.

5. Incentivize customer accounts

Customer accounts can make repeat purchases easier with pre-filled shipping information and access to previous orders. They can seem like a big commitment to new customers, however, so it’s up to you as a marketer to incentivize creating an account after the first purchase. Once they’ve signed up to an account with a brand, they’re more likely to purchase from it in the future.

6. Implement a customer loyalty program

Improve customer retention with a loyalty program that offers value for both you and your clients. Rewards can be based on a number of principles from collecting points to completing certain actions, but the return should be seen as valuable and something desired by your most loyal customers. Find this out through your data or by asking for feedback from those who’ve purchased from you already.

7. Utilize content marketing techniques

Reminding your customers you exist is an effective way to get them to buy from you again. Do this through engaging means that add value as opposed to ramping up the annoyance factor. Regular newsletters and personalized updates are forms of content marketing that can boost customer retention and prompt shoppers into making a purchase that wasn’t at the front of their mind.

8. Solicit feedback

A relationship shouldn’t be a one-way street, so show your customers how much you value them by asking for their opinion. Conducting surveys and then acting on the results demonstrates a desire to put the user at the heart of your offerings. It not only puts you in a better position to market to them, but it also allows them to feel heard.

9. Don’t overlook the unboxing experience

Too many purchases are solely transactional, with businesses overlooking the potential to prolong anticipation and joy by designing a memorable unboxing experience. Sophisticated or unusual packaging that delights is more likely to retain an existing customer than plain white or brown cardboard boxes that are delivered through the mail every day.

10. Be adaptable

One of the easiest ways to lose customers is to not move with the times. Techniques that have previously worked in the past may not have the power to retain customers in the same way as they used to. Watch what competitors are doing, find out what’s important to your clients and make changes when necessary, otherwise you’ll be accused of being out of touch.

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