5 Customer retention Strategies You Should Be Using
As we have spoken about in What is customer retention and why it’s so important?
Customer retention is the cornerstone of the modern brand empire. To be fair, if you look back across the centuries it has always been extremely important. If you were living 2,000 ago in Roman Britain keeping a regular customer buying your brand of bread and butter, was literally your 'bread and butter'! The following 5 strategies are something that every business should be implementing.
1) Your customer contact details are precious
If you have the key information there's no reason you can't start bringing in those sales. In a noisy online market capturing customer details – such as email address - is one of the most difficult things to do. This is a two factor issue; firstly the customer may just be browsing their news feed and not actually looking to purchase a product, making it less likely they will hand over their details. Secondly online security is paramount and if the customer doesn't recognise your brand, and their time to browse is limited, they may not be willing to risk giving you their details. So, if you do manage to capture contact details and preferences ensure that you use them wisely and create a marketing campaign they can't ignore.
2) Unboxing is the new Dopamine hit
In 2022 unboxing videos still dominate the landscape of TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, but why? It's because the anticipation of what's packaged inside activates your excitement and causes small amounts of adrenaline and dopamine to start pumping through your body. As a viewer you are intrigued, but as a customer you are elated. Part of the post sales process is creating that bond and added value. Don't rely on follow-up emails alone, make your parcel, contents and experience luxurious. Include extra discount vouchers in physical format with great graphics, include a 'thank you' card which compliments the product and can be used as wall art... there are so many ways in which you can inspire your customer to shop with you again.
3) Remarket to encourage retention – but, be tactful!
It can be tempting to hound your new customer with inviting emails and pop-ups relating to more products they may wish to purchase, however, this can be counterproductive... and expensive! It is a well-known fact that retaining a customer is more profitable than attempting to bring in a new one. This might lead you to want to throw everything you have in your arsenal at your current customers to get them to stay loyal. Before utilizing that strategy you should exhaust all of your 'free' options first.
eCommerce insider Mandi Moshay suggests that "...we recommend using only up to ~10% of your paid budget on remarketing. For example, for new product and collection launches for existing customers, email the people on your list to promote the launch 24-48 hours before your brand launches a paid campaign."
Paid marketing options should only be launched to existing customers if they have not made a purchase in a long while and their interest has appeared to lapse. The rule of thumb is usually around 60+ days without taking action on their account.
4) Incentivise UGC and promote your great reviews
User Generated Content (or UGC) is a fantastic way to engage your existing customers. Don't be too hasty to ask for their initial review though, or this could have the opposite effect. For example, if a customer has purchased a new kettle, receiving a message asking for a review or "how do you like your new appliance?" within the fist week is redundant. They haven't had time to use it, and they may see your brand as just trying to get a great review in quickly before the product potentially fails.
Other ways you can enhance your brand image with your customer is asking them to participate in competitions and prize draws. Generating unique content through incentives such as tagging photos on social media, or seasonal campaigns will also demonstrate to other potential consumers that you are not a 'one hit wonder'.
5) Create a customer advocacy plan that stands out
We mentioned this in the first blog relating to customer retention; introductory offers should not be the end of the story. Traditional points-based discount plans, and transactional incentives can only be used in so many ways before they become lost-leaders and end up draining money instead of making it. If you implement a refer-a-friend strategy or even allow regular shoppers to become brand ambassadors on Instagram etc, then this will recruit new customers. Trust is automatically built when you receive an endorsement from a friend or family member, strengthening the brand's bond with users even further.