Focusing on customer retention is one of the most cost-effective and ROI-positive ways to strengthen your business’s customer base. In fact, it costs anywhere from five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one (depending on your industry and other variables). Not to mention, increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25 to 95%.
That said, improving retention is no easy task. So we pulled together our five recommended strategies for your team to consider in our guide: 5 Customer Retention Strategies that Work. Download it for the deep dive or keep reading for the first two retention strategies we recommend.
2 Levers for Improving Customer Retention
1. Offer Accessible, Multi-Channel Support
On-demand resources free customers to find the help they need, when they need it. On-demand resources could include:
- Help center
- FAQ pages
- Mobile app
- Voice response system
Still, it’s important to also offer support channels beyond self-serve, on-demand ones. In fact, 71% of Americans would prefer to interact with a human than a chatbot or other automated process. Have a customer success and/or relationship manager assigned to each of your accounts for dedicated, hands-on support when needed.
Providing a balance of on-demand, self-serve channels and targeted, one-on-one support will go a long way towards making your customers feel supported.
2. Create Opportunities for Customer Feedback
In a related vein, having a dedicated customer manager offers customers the opportunity to share feedback and voice their opinions. This has two primary benefits:
- You can learn about opportunities for improvement right from existing customers
- You can hear from churned customers why they left and tackle those reasons
As HubSpot’s Sophia Bernazzani explains, “It’s hard to improve your business if you don’t know how your customers feel about it. You need a process for obtaining customer feedback and sharing that information with the rest of your organization. This is where a customer feedback loop provides a system for collecting, analyzing, and distributing customer reviews and surveys.”
Getting insights directly from customers shines a light on where your company is winning, and where there is room for improvement. And remember: You can open up multiple communication channels directly with your customers, such as emailed surveys, post-purchase feedback forms, or verbal conversations. As Bernazzani continues:
“Once gathered, you should analyze your survey results by looking for trends in customer behavior and areas to enhance user experience. Then, share this information with teams that will benefit from it most. For example, product reviews should be distributed to engineers and development teams so they can address flaws in your product’s design. By using this system to collect and share customer reviews, your business can efficiently address criticism and improve customer experience.”
It’s also important to understand why churned customers leave. Online marketing expert Neil Patel explains, “If you know the reasons that lead to dips in your customer retention rate, you can take steps to tackle those reasons… One strategy you can adopt is to obtain customer feedback from those who have decided to no longer be customers. As soon as a customer decides to terminate their account, you can send them a personal email to ask them why they decided to end the relationship.”
Patel acknowledges that not everyone will provide feedback, but those individuals that do “will provide a performance indicator and some valuable insight into what you need to be doing better to improve your retention rate and improve your customer loyalty program.”