How to Excel at Customer RetentionIf you’re working to attract new customers rather than retain your existing ones, it will cost you five times more, according to Invesp.

Additionally, you have a 60-70 percent chance of closing a sale with an existing customer, while chances with a new customer are between five and 20 percent.

These numbers demonstrate how important it is for you to work towards retaining the customers you already have.

However, this might be a bit challenging if you are focusing more on acquiring new customers rather than keeping the ones you already have.

In this article, we’ll look at some essential tips explaining how you can excel at customer retention.

Add Value to Your Service Offering

If your service offering is similar to that of your competitors, you’re making it easier for customers to choose them.

You must provide something extra that makes them want to stick with you.

This could be anything from special product features to unique benefits and experiences not offered by your competitors.

In other words, you need to set yourself apart by adding value.

It may not always be possible to come up with products or services offering unique features.

But, you can make up for this by providing benefits they can’t find anywhere else.

You could even set up a program designed to provide special perks to your most loyal customers.

Pizza Hut, for instance, has come up with a rewards program enabling customers to rack up reward points when they order through the company’s app.

What sets them apart from their biggest competitors, like Domino’s, is customers can earn unlimited points and gain rewards for every dollar spent.

Another great example is how Convince and Convert clients can choose from three types of content marketing services programs depending on their unique needs. They have a unique set of programs, that their competitors don’t offer.

Go the Extra Mile

Another way to stand out is by going the extra mile for your customers.

Sure, you’re already offering high-quality products at competitive prices, but so is everyone else.

You must go above and beyond to win the hearts of people who do business with you, so it’s crucial to listen to your customers.

Thoroughly review any customer complaints and feedback you receive.

This helps identify areas where you can make improvements and provide better experiences.

Provide a Better Customer Experience

Here are a few ideas for providing an exceptional customer experience:

  • Implement omnichannel retail so customers can easily research and purchase your product. This involves providing a seamless purchase experience regardless of which channel they use—brand website, app, in-store. Walgreens is a perfect example of a brand going the extra mile. For instance, customers can refill prescriptions by responding to a reminder email, scanning a barcode into the app, and by calling or visiting the store.
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    This exact strategy may not be viable for small businesses and boutiques, but there are other ways to deliver an omnichannel experience. Start with something simple, such as expanding payment channels. For instance, you run a bakery accepting cash and credit cards in store. Offer online ordering and payment options on your site. Or add buttons to your social media enabling customers to easily order. If you run a marketing agency, provide multiple options to connect. Offer live chat support, for example, so potential clients can inquire about your services.
  • Write a short note thanking customers who’ve made their first purchase or recently signed up. Welcome them into your community. Doing this may encourage them to make future purchases or provide them with information about your offerings.
  • Closely monitor your social media brand mentions, and look for opportunities to engage. Tools such as Mention can be useful. There may be customers who complain without tagging you in the post. Approach them and proactively try to solve the issue. Turn their negative opinion to positive. Thank those customers who rave about and recommend your brand to friends. Show you appreciate and value them by sending special swag, freebies, discount coupons, etc.

Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy

A popular use for content marketing is to attract and engage potential customers. But it’s just as effective for customer retention.

You’ll need to create content catering to the needs of consumers at every stage of the sales funnel.

And for existing customers, this means content that helps them understand how to better use your product.

It could involve tips on how to set up the product, how to solve certain issues using the product, or how to make the most of all the features.

Evernote, for instance, has a blog their users can refer to discover ways they can use the app.

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For agencies selling non-physical products, content marketing provides a huge opportunity to establish authority in the field.

For instance, provide readers with highly effective tips and guides showing them how good you are at what you do.

Besides regular blog posts, vary your content offering by creating different types. Create engaging webinars and video content to educate clients on relevant topics.

You could even create extensive guides, white papers, and ebooks which clients would find helpful to their business strategy.

It’s not enough to just create the content; you should also continue updating it to ensure it remains fresh and valuable.

Use a free tool such as Pro Rank Tracker to discover where your pages stand in relevant search results. And use the Historical Report feature to find out how your page performance has changed over time.

A steady drop in page rank could be a sign it’s time to update content.

Build Loyalty Through Influencer Marketing

Consumers aren’t very fond of traditional marketing tactics.

The fact that there are now 615 million devices using Adblock worldwide is enough proof of this statement.

On the other hand, people’s trust in social media influencers is growing.

This is clear from the L2 study, which found 65 percent of the top-performing Instagram posts have product features.

This finding suggests people aren’t hesitant to engage with influencer posts even if they know they’re promoting a product.

Influencers are like everyday consumers, only they have a few thousand (or even millions) more followers.

And influencers are much more relatable and approachable than traditional celebrities.

Because they have passion and expertise in a certain niche, and create content related to the subject, they’re able to build a loyal following.

Followers look to them for recommendations on what to purchase.

When influencers endorse a product, they not only show it off but they also tell a story.

They’ll talk about their love for the product and how it’s helped them.

This adds credibility to sponsored content, so the audience doesn’t feel betrayed.

And influencers tend not to promote products they don’t favor, to avoid ruining their reputation.

Their followers understand the influencer promotes only those products they truly like.

That means a certain level of trust is established even before they buy the product.

As a result, it’s easier to win the trust and loyalty of customers you gain through influencer marketing.

In this Tomoson study, 51 percent say they have been able to acquire better customers through influencer marketing.

However, there is a lot more involved if you wish to excel at customer retention.

Using Influencer Marketing in Customer Retention

Influencer marketing for customer retention involves:

  • Working with highly relevant influencers who have a voice in the right niche and can influence your target audience.
  • Building ongoing campaigns as opposed to running one-off campaigns, so customers want to stay after seeing the authenticity in your campaign.

Influencer marketing works even when you’re not a brand, or you’re not selling a physical product.

You can use testimonials from influential experts and brands you work with to win clients’ trust.

Use tools such as Grin to discover influencers who are relevant to your industry. And narrow down your search based on factors such as location and social platform.

Or use Socialpeeks to discover influencers who already lead conversations around your services while also getting a full-service team to run the campaigns for you.

This could further improve the level of authenticity in your campaign because the audience knows the influencer is already a fan of your brand.

Give Your Customers Recognition

Do you want to make your customers feel extra special? Why not show them off to the rest of the world?

Show them appreciation and recognition by showcasing their reviews, stories, and photos.

Olapic conducted a study in which 49 percent said they would post a picture referencing a brand on social media to show appreciation for the featured product.

This means you’re likely to get plenty of customers talking about your brand on social media.

In addition to liking and commenting on these posts, show your appreciation by sharing on your brand’s social media pages.

This will significantly improve brand sentiment and encourage customer loyalty.

Even if your customers are not the type to talk about you, you can still give them recognition by sharing their stories.

OptinMonster, for instance, regularly creates case studies of companies which benefit from their product. They even share these stories on social media.

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Master the Art of Customer Retention

These are some of the most effective ways to master the art of customer retention.

By having a proper customer retention strategy in place, you’ll grow your business by building a loyal community.

What’s your customer retention strategy? How has your business built a loyal following? Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

Brandon Leibowitz

Brandon Leibowitz is the founder of Get Plus Followers, a social media marketing agency in Los Angeles, California, and, a skateboarding news blog. He is featured on sites such as Social Media Today, Live Chat Blog, Simply Measured, Business2Community and other popular sites.

View all posts by Brandon Leibowitz