No business can increase revenue and sustain growth by focusing only on lead generation and lead conversion. In addition to boosting lead generation and conversion, your business must focus extensively on improving customer loyalty and retention. But you should not forget that customer loyalty and customer retention differ from each other in several aspects.
Customer retention refers to getting repeat business by making customers buy your products or services over a specific period. On the other hand, customer loyalty refers to persuading customers to buy only your products/services by forming an emotional relationship with them. Hence, customer loyalty and retention drive your business’s short-term and long-term growth by increasing repeat business.
Unlike customer acquisition, customer retention does not require your business to spend more. Existing customers often spend more than new customers. Also, they often create cross-selling and up-selling opportunities by trying new products/services provided by your business. That is why; your business can increase revenue and sustain growth by increasing customer retention rate consistently. However, it is always important for your business to align customer loyalty and retention by adopting some practical best practices.
7 Practical Best Practices to Improve Customer Loyalty and Retention Consistently
1) Boost and Prioritize Customer Experience
The overall quality and experience of your product/service will directly impact your business’s strategies for improving customer loyalty and retention. Before exploring ways to retain customers, you must focus on impressing customers by delivering a superior customer experience. In addition to making your product or service stand out from the crowd, the customer experience will help you to gain repeat business.
You must remember that customer experience is influenced by a slew of factors – accessibility, usability, features, performance, and security. However, the factors affecting customer experience vary across physical and digital products. Before launching a product, you must get its user experience assessed under various real-world conditions. You can even identify the factors affecting a product’s user experience accurately by involving real users in the product testing process.
2) Promote Customer Loyalty through Customer Service
According to HubSpot Research,
“93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.”
Your business cannot impress and retain customers without offering excellent customer service at the right time. Customers these days avail of post-sales service or technical support through multiple communication channels – emails, voice calls, live chat, email, social media, and self-service portals.
While implementing a customer service improvement plan, you must focus on delivering excellent customer service through every channel. It is always important to allow customers to get assistance or solve problems on their own using various self-service options. At the same time, you need to ensure that every customer can interact with a customer service executive without any delay or hassle.
3) Create Customer Loyalty Programs
According to Wikipedia,
“A loyalty program is a marketing strategy designed to encourage customers to continue to shop at or use the services of a business associated with the program.”
Loyalty programs motivate customers to continue buying your products or availing of your services to get a variety of commercial incentives – discounts, offers, and coupons.
Your business can boost customer loyalty and retention by creating value-based, spent-based, or tiered loyalty programs. But you must do some initial research to assess the effectiveness of each type of loyalty program in fostering long-term customer loyalty. It is also advisable to attract and retain customers by allowing them to choose from multiple loyalty programs.
4) Run Targeted Digital Marketing Campaigns
According to the customer retention statistics posted on SEMRush.com, email marketing is considered to be 56% effective in retaining customers, while social media marketing is 37% effective in improving customer retention. At the same time, content marketing is 32% effective in boosting customer retention.
Your business can easily improve customer retention rates by running targeted email, content, and social media marketing campaigns. But you need to ensure that each of these digital marketing campaigns must focus on delivering targeted and personalized information to your existing customers. Also, your campaigns must focus on connecting with customers emotionally by reminding them of positive experiences and memorable events.
5) Leverage eLearning for Customer Loyalty
Often customers need additional information or specific assistance to use your products efficiently and seamlessly. You can easily make it easier for customers to get the most out of your product by launching customer training programs. In addition to boosting customer experience, the training programs will help your business to increase customer retention rates.
You can easily deepen a customer’s knowledge and interest by making him access a cloud-based elearning solution like a learning management system (LMS) or digital library. Also, the cloud-based software solutions help your business to leverage elearning for customer loyalty without escalating upfront and ongoing infrastructural costs.
6) Conduct NPS Surveys Regularly
Your business cannot promote customer loyalty without understanding customer preferences and sentiments accurately. That is why; you must make customer feedback collection an ongoing process. You can easily gather customer feedback and measure customer experience easily by conducting net promoter score (NPS) surveys regularly.
Unlike conventional customer surveys, an NPS survey requires a customer to answer a single survey question. You can measure customer satisfaction simply by asking the customer to rate the likelihood of recommending your product/service/brand to others. The NPS will help you to measure customer satisfaction as well as gather the actionable information required to increase customer retention.
7) Work on Customer Feedback Proactively
According to Freshlime.com,
“77% of consumers say they favor brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.”
But your business cannot promote customer loyalty or increase customer retention rate only by requesting or accepting customer feedback. You can impress and retain customers only by working on customer feedback early and proactively.
There are always chances that customers may not like one of your products or services due to specific issues or reasons. You must make required changes and address the issues proactively to prevent the customer from abandoning your business. Also, your team must not forget to convey to the customer about the changes made or actions taken based on his feedback.
You can easily accelerate and sustain by improving customer loyalty and retention consistently. But you must remember that a variety of internal and external factors impact customer loyalty and retention. In addition to adopting customer loyalty and retention best practices, your strategy must focus on measuring and improving customer experience and customer satisfaction on a regular basis.