Remember the early startup days when your biggest problem was acquiring customers? As your business grows, your focus needs to shift to how to keep them. This article will cover different customer retention strategies to extend your customer lifetime value and ensure a sustainable business.
No matter what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer will always be more expensive than keeping your existing ones happy. A CallMiner survey conservatively estimated the cost of annual churn to be $168 billion in the US because each consumer switched from one company to another at least two times over 12 months.
The good news is, $35.3 billion or at least a fifth of that churn is avoidable with the right customer retention strategy.
A customer retention strategy is an initiative that enhances the customer experience and encourages consumers to stay with your business. This may be repeat purchases, an ongoing subscription, or continued use of your product.
In this article, I will:
- Explain why customer retention is important for your business.
- Look at the essential drivers of an effective customer retention strategy.
- Share eight customer retention ideas for your business.
- Give examples of strategies for specific company models.
- Suggest a few metrics to pay attention to.
- Share tools to help you build your own customer retention strategy.
Table of Contents
- What is a customer retention strategy?
- Why to shift focus from acquisition to retention
- 7 drivers of an effective customer retention strategy
- 9 customer retention strategies that work in 2022 (+examples)
- 4 important customer retention metrics
- Tips on how to build your retention strategy
- Tools you can use for customer retention
What is a customer retention strategy?
Customer retention is your ability to turn existing customers into repeat buyers or long-time subscribers. It happens when your customers are happy enough to stay with you—and recommend your products to other people—instead of turning to your competitors for a better solution.
A customer retention strategy is any action you take to improve your business’s customer loyalty and retention. This includes nurturing your existing clients with emails, great customer service, rewards, and more.
A great example of a user retention strategy is a referral program. Referral programs reward existing customers for bringing in new business, encouraging them to keep working with you and sending people your way.
Why you should shift focus from acquisition to retention
Everyone wants more customers. The more customers you have, the bigger your business and the better people perceive your company.
But the truth is, nurturing a handful of your existing customers will always be more productive than wooing new ones.
Your existing customers are already buyers. They already trust you. If they’ve been with you for a while, you know that they love your product or service. Which means that they are your best brand ambassadors—because they mean it when they tell their friends and family that they love your stuff.
Companies who don’t nurture their buyers end up with disgruntled customers, which can impact your reputation:
- 76% of customers tell their friends and family about a bad experience and 46% leave bad reviews after a bad experience.
- 94% of consumers avoided certain companies because they read a negative review.
- Almost 70% of customers read one to six reviews before buying.
- It takes about 40 positive reviews to undo the effect of just one negative review.
As the stats have illustrated, one unhappy customer isn’t a one-time loss; that customer will hurt future sales. On the other hand:
- 83% of customers will recommend a brand to others if they trust the brand.
- A 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenue by 25%-95%.
- Retaining and upselling customers can result in negative churn to offset your current churn rates.
Investing in your existing customer base can build growth and momentum for your business.
The drivers of an effective customer retention strategy
An effective customer retention strategy makes your customers want to stay with your brand. The concept is simple, but things get complicated when figuring out what drives your customers’ loyalty.
Customer loyalty can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:
- Value – Receiving something of worth for remaining loyal.
- Consistency – Receiving the same service they signed up for.
- Customer service – Having a helpful and responsive customer service team.
- Appreciation – Feeling valued as a customer.
- Personalization – Being treated as an individual rather than a number.
- Communication – Feeling heard as well as kept in the loop.
- Virality – Being exposed to a brand and its benefits through different channels.
To improve overall customer retention in your business, it’s important to adopt multiple strategies that cover different drivers.
9 Customer retention strategies (with examples)
To see these drivers in action, let’s look at nine customer retention strategies that have helped businesses reduce churn and improve customer loyalty.
1) Improve your onboarding process
Without guidance, learning how to drive a car is difficult. Which pedals do you push to stop and go? How do you turn on your headlights or your high beams? Sure, you can test things out and learn through trial-and-error, but it would be a lot easier (and less dangerous) if someone showed you the ropes.
That’s how your customers feel. Except, your customers won’t sit there and tinker with your website to figure out how to use your product or store. They’ll churn and look for a solution that’s easier to use.
Don’t let your customers churn because your entire onboarding process is a confirmation email and a link to your help section. Slowly build out an onboarding sequence that improves the customer experience as they learn to navigate your product or service.
Here is a sample email onboarding flow for SaaS companies:
- Immediately after purchase: A personalized welcome email that thanks your customer for their purchase and welcomes them to the “family”
- Two days after the purchase: An introduction email that tells your customers about your team and mission and asks them if they need any help
- A week after purchase: A personalized check-in email that asks your customers if they need any support from your team as they navigate your product
- Two weeks after purchase: An value-adding email that highlights a feature that they might have overlooked
A thorough onboarding process ensures customers know what to expect from you, how to use your product or service for their specific needs, and where to go for help. And consistently meeting your customers’ expectations will increase customer retention in the long-run.
To stay consistent, consider investing in tools like HubSpot and Mailchimp to automate and personalize your email sequences.
Drivers: Consistency and Value – setting appropriate expectations and delivering product value through knowledge.
How to create a masterful end-to-end customer onboarding experience
Example: Around’s onboarding email flow
Around is a meeting application that helps its users get over Zoom fatigue. It has creative filters, gifs, and other features that make it a great option for weekly team standups and informal internal calls.
Around’s tone is fun and light—and that shows in their onboarding flow.
As soon as you sign up, they send you a welcome email saying, “Welcome to Around” and “Thanks for coming Around!”
The email tells new subscribers a little about their mission, some recommended next steps, and how you (their customer) can stay in touch with their team.
Two days later, they send a more specific email introducing a special feature that differentiates their meeting tool from other solutions: Floating Mode. The email tells you what the feature is for, how to use it, and why you should use it.
The Around onboarding sequence continues for another few emails. They introduce more features, talk to their customers, and ask for feedback.
They guide their customers through their application and go into specific ways user can take advantage of the tool, all while staying personable and accessible.
2) Create a communication calendar
Nurturing shouldn’t stop after your customers make a purchase. It should keep on going for as long as your customers allow you to stay in touch.
A communication calendar can help you keep communications regular and relevant, because it provides ideas about what you should talk about.
Keep in touch with your customers with regular pieces of content, such as:
- Newsletters – A monthly newsletter that updates them on the product, introduces the team, and makes customers feel like one of the family.
- Webinars – A quarterly webinar that uses guest or internal speakers to teach your customers something of interest.
- Blogs – A bi-weekly blog that delivers news, knowledge, and tips relevant to your customers.
- ebooks – A quarterly downloadable, in-depth piece on a topic of interest to your customers.
Supplement regular content with as-needed resources, such as:
- Whitepapers – A deep dive on a specific topic to educate your customers, usually including original data and research.
- Case studies – Think of these as long-form testimonials where you can showcase your product or service in action and highlight the journey from customer need to achievement.
- Help center documentation – This is especially relevant if your product is a service, software, or tool that you need to show your customers how to use for best results.
- How-to videos – Studies show customers are increasingly engaging with video. The statistics are especially high for Gen-Z and Millennials.
- Checklists and infographics – Graphics that help visual learners digest information and achieve their goals.
Drivers: Value, Personalization, and Communication – delivering knowledge and communicating with customers on a one-to-one level.
Example: Fireflies has UGC prompts in their communication calendar
Schedule regular user-generated content (UGC) prompts within your calendar to check in and ask customers to review your product or tool.
Fireflies occasionally asks their customers (I’m one of them) if they would be willing to share how they use Fireflies. Similar to Around, they use personal language with sentences like, “Could I ask for a small favour?” and “It’s just a few questions, and it would mean a lot.”
By asking for UGC, you not only get reviews that you can use for social proof later on, you also get insights into what makes your customers happy.
3) Create customer feedback loops
A customer feedback loop is a cycle wherein you continuously gather feedback from your customers and improve your product based on that feedback.
This comes down to the classic “you didn’t know because you didn’t ask.” It’s almost impossible to know when a customer is losing interest if you don’t check in.
Feedback loops show you care about your customers’ opinions, while giving you insights on what they like (or don’t) about your products or services. You can then make quick fixes to improve your product and the user experience.
Send your customers feedback prompts and surveys at different stages of their journey.
- Post-purchase – Give enough time for someone to use your product or service, then ask for a review while you’re fresh on their mind.
- One-month check-in – Ask new customers how they’re enjoying the product, share your contact information, and invite them to reach out with any questions.
- After contacting support – Send a follow-up to ensure their question was answered, or any issues were resolved. This shows you care about their experience and want to provide even better service.
- Upon announcing a product or feature – Slip a feedback request into your latest feature announcement. Ask customers what features they most benefit from, what they want next, and look at creating adjacent features to enhance their experience.
- After they churn – Conduct exit surveys to find out why customers leave. If it’s budget, for example, there’s nothing you can do; but if it’s page load times, then you can improve your UX.
Come up with customer retention survey questions that dig deeper into what your customers truly think about your product. Use survey tools like Typeform and Qualitrics to build engaging surveys that get responses.
Staying proactive about feedback serves two purposes: first, potential access to valuable insights; and second, to remind your customers you’re thinking about them.
Drivers: Communication, Customer Service, and Appreciation – overcoming customer problems by seeking and listening to feedback.
Example: Mailchimp’s survey request
Mailchimp is an email automation and marketing platform. They send out survey requests on a regular basis.
In their June 2021 survey, they invited respondents to participate by personalizing their email with I’s and you’s. “I want to learn more about you, your business, and how you use software to help you operate it.” Peppering these words in helps readers connect directly with Brooke from Mailchimp (I filled out the survey).
The also asked about other tools the respondent used, likely so that they could prioritize their integration roadmap.
Upon completion, respondents got the following message:
Using phrases like, “meets the needs of our customers” and “content for customers like you” tells the reader that they are special to Mailchimp.
If you conduct a survey that takes longer than 10 minutes, I suggest enticing customers to give you their time with a discount for their next purchase or an entry for a company contest.
🔥 Pro tip: Don’t take all feedback at face value. The famous car maker Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” You need to draw your own conclusions and inferences based on the underlying motivations of your users and how they interact with your product or service.
4) Build an empathetic customer success team
Your customer success team is crucial to increasing customer retention. Microsoft found that 96% of global customers take customer service into consideration when choosing to stay loyal to a brand. Another 56% of respondents left a brand because of a bad customer service experience.
Training your customer success team to be empathetic isn’t difficult. Just remind them to be human—say sorry when mistakes are made, be patient with your customers, and celebrate wins with customers who loved using your product. Remind your agents that listening goes a long way.
Consider using tools like Intercom to keep your customer success team organized and give them more control over the customer experience. When you’re ready, you can start setting up proactive customer support to pre-empt customer issues and solve problems before they happen.
Example: Monzo Bank’s transparent and caring messages
Monzo Bank, a FinTech disruptor bank in the U.K., didn’t balk at challenges. In fact, they faced a big one in 2019—just 4 years after they were founded.
When Monzo Bank faced a security issue with customers’ pins, they immediately released a statement. Instead of making excuses, they explained the situation and told customers exactly what happened and what to do next.
Monzo Bank quickly released a statement on their security hiccup.
Despite the hiccup, public sentiment around Monzo stayed positive because of the transparency.
In addition to being transparent, they also proactively care about their customers. When a customer shared a photo of his new Monzo beta card on Twitter displaying the long number, Monzo’s customer service team quickly responded that it could pose a security risk.
The Twitter user who responded with a picture their own card quickly took down the photo with the long number after Monzo asked him to.
Monzo’s pre-emptive and transparent customer service team shows customers that they genuinely care and are looking out for them on an individual level.
5) Create a relevant loyalty program
More than half of customers will join a loyalty program with a company they like, and 57% of loyalty program customers will purchase more frequently. But not all loyalty programs are created equal.
Giving out miles is a strategy that airlines use to get frequent fliers—but an old 2013 report found that 40% of people never use their miles. That means that those miles probably aren’t keeping people loyal. And now, with flying behavior having changed over the past two years, airlines have found that they collectively have 27.5 billion dollars worth of unused miles.
While points work for some people, they’re starting to get less and less effective.
When you design your loyalty program, find out what your customers value and create a program around that. Aligning yourself with your customers and creating a program that empowers them can generate more loyalty than points that go unused.
Begin with a simple program that rewards spend—for example, a free coffee after five purchases. Or, give your most loyal customers free items, access to classes related to your brand and so on. A well-thought out customer retention example is Reebok’s #ReebokLove campaign, and nominate-a-frontline-worker program that empowered their loyal communities to send shoes to frontline workers.
If freebies doesn’t make sense with your business model, consider a referral program. For each successful referral, give your new customer 10% off as a welcome offer and your loyal referring customer $10 off on their next purchase.
You can set up your referral program with rewards tools like Smile.io, Yotpo, Loyalty Lion, or Referral Candy.
Drivers: Value, Appreciation, and Virality – showing customers you care about their loyalty by rewarding their purchases and encouraging them to share with friends and family.
Example: Lululemon’s brand ambassadors
Lululemon is an athletic clothing company that used grassroots marketing to grow. Instead of a regular loyalty program, they created a brand ambassador program.
They reached out to existing customers who were also influencers in their local communities and invited them to become Lululemon ambassadors.
Instead of rewarding these ambassadors per purchase or per referral, they gave ambassadors free merchandise and a small budget to organize classes and give back to their communities.
Lululemon supported Kevin Pearce and his non-profit LoveYourBrain.
Lululemon gave ambassadors (their most loyal and influential customers), the ability to improve their communities—all while wearing Lululemon gear.
As a result, Lululemon not only nurtured existing customers, they also also gained new customers who saw influential members of their communities using Lululemon.
6) Show your appreciation
Whether it’s winning the lottery, an unexpected bouquet of flowers, or an email from a company showing a little love and appreciation, surprise brings humans pleasure.
You can use your CRM system to send customers personalized emails on their birthday, joining anniversary, or just because. These emails can contain a custom offer or simply a positive message from your team.
Consider taking advantage of other occasions, too, such as relevant events and company milestones. Since your customers helped get you where you are, make them feel part of the celebration.
Is it your company’s fifth birthday, or have you reached your 1,000th subscriber? Have you used two tons of recycled materials? Or maybe you’ve recently introduced extended parental leave to your employees?
Whatever the milestone, make an effort to include your customers.
Reaching out to say “thank you”–without directly soliciting a sale–is a pleasant surprise to land in anyone’s inbox.
Drivers: Appreciation and Personalization – connecting with customers on a personal level just by being thoughtful.
Example: theSkimm’s anniversary email
theSkimm is a digital media company built for millennial women. For their 5th anniversary, they said “thank you.”
Their email announced the special occasion and went on to say, “As one of our best subscribers we want to take this time to celebrate and thank you. Thank you for waking up with us. You’re a part of our Skimm Story.”
Even though the message was short, it was sweet and memorable while making customers feel like part of the brand.
7) Encourage advocacy with community marketing
Humans have an innate need to belong, which is why groups are so powerful. You only have to peek into Reddit or Facebook to see how people with common interests gather together.
By creating a customer forum on your website, Facebook page, Slack, or relevant social forum, you can use this group psychology to retain your customers.
The benefits to this are multifaceted, including:
- Customers have a place to connect over a shared interest (i.e., your product).
- You have a platform for communicating updates.
- Customers can share ideas and make feature requests.
- You discover how your customers use and benefit from your product.
- Customers can ask questions and get answers from fellow users, helping you resolve problems without lifting a finger.
- You gain insight into what issues people have with your product or service, and can plan ways to resolve them.
Drivers: Value, Communication, and Virality – satisfying your customers’ need to belong and providing them with a place to share and listen.
Example: Monzo Bank’s online forum
Monzo Bank has an online forum where they announce new features and products, undertake surveys to better understand customers’ priorities, and link to feature articles.
The benefits of a community, according to Monzo Bank.
Fellow customers are active on the forum to help peers and point them in the right direction–and the forum is on top of general FinTech news, pulling in customers who are interested in the technology and finance industries.
8) Learn why customers leave
Maybe it’s a little strange to talk about cancellations in an article about customer retention, but there’s a good reason: your canceling customers possess valuable insight on how to reduce churn.
By adding an exit survey into your cancellation workflow, you can ask an unhappy customer why they’re leaving your brand and what you could have done to retain them. You can’t get better feedback than that.
An exit survey gives you more information than a box asking, “Why are you leaving us?” below the final “close my account” confirmation. You need to ask strategic questions to get actionable insights. The link above goes into greater depth, but here’s a quick summary.
Focus on cancellation drivers
Ask what triggered the cancellation, and what they liked and disliked about your product. Sometimes people sugarcoat their reasons, or give an answer why they think it didn’t work out, but there was another underlying issue. These insights can help guide your product roadmap, onboarding process, and more.
Find the right format
Optimize your exit survey for different formats (like mobile, app, and desktop). Ask a mix of open-ended and multiple-choice questions to make it easy for respondents to answer while still gaining new perspectives that can challenge your assumptions.
Apply your discoveries
Your exit survey insights can increase long-term retention and prevent churn for the same reasons. Even if you can’t save an account from closing, this information can improve your overall business model and processes for your customers. For example, if someone churned because they logged in once and then forgot, you can create an email workflow to prompt them to check their account every few days, or build an integration into another tool they use often (for example, Slack).
Exit surveys aren’t all negative. Sometimes your business simply isn’t a good fit for a customer, but they would recommend you to others. In this case, an exit survey can provide valuable insight into who your ideal customer is, and help you refine your marketing strategies.
Drivers: Communication and Appreciation – showing customers, even departing ones, you value their opinions on how you can improve.
Is your customer exit survey giving you the insights you need?
9) Connect with your customers regularly
Speaking to your users regularly helps you sense shifts in the industry to stay ahead of the curve. It also verifies your product or service meets their needs.
By finding creative ways to reach out to customers and get them to book a call with you, you can prevent churn and learn what it’ll take to convert satisfied customers to avid fans.
Drivers: Communication and Personalization – asking customers for their feedback and listening to their views.
Example: Heap’s personal response to feedback
I took a feedback survey with Heap, a user data platform, and opted to answer the additional questions. After I submitted it, Heap sent a prompt to book some time with their team.
4 Important customer retention metrics
Before you dive into creating a customer or user retention strategy, take a moment to reflect on how you’re doing now. It’s important to have a baseline before you implement changes–how else will you know if your new strategies are effective?
Here are a few numbers to monitor to get an idea of your current status.
1) Customer retention rate
Your customer retention rate is a North Star metric. It refers to how many customers from a previous cohort you were able to keep and bring over into a new period.
[(Total customers at the end of the period – New customers acquired during that period) / Total number of customers at the start of the period] x 100
To find your customer retention rate, take the total number of customers you have at the end of a set period. Remove any new customers acquired during that time. This leaves you with the customers who have lasted throughout the period, ignoring new acquisitions.
Then, divide that number by how many customers you had at the start of your initial period. You want to be as close as possible to the number of customers you had at the start of that period, as this would mean there was no churn at all.
Finish off by multiplying by 100, and you have your customer retention rate.
If you’re measuring retention rate annually, your formula would look like this:
(Customers at the end of last year – New customers acquired during last year / Total customers at the start of last year) x 100
So, an example of a 100% retention rate is:
- Total customers at the start of last year = 100
- Total customers at the end of last year = 150
- New customers acquired last year = 50
- 150 current customers – 50 new customers = 100 customers
- 100 remaining customers / 100 original customers = 1
- 1 x 100 = 100%
Congrats, you didn’t lose a single customer!
An example of a 50% retention rate is:
- Total customers at the start of last year = 100
- Total customers at the end of last year = 100
- New customers acquired last year = 50
- 100 current customers – 50 new customers = 50 customers
- 50 remaining customers / 100 original customers = 0.5
- 0.5 x 100 = 50%
You kept one in every two of your original customers from the start of 2020.
2) Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Your customer lifetime value refers to how much revenue your company typically generates from a single customer. There are different ways to calculate this based on your business model, but Smile.io has simplified it to:
Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan
To get your customer value, multiply their purchase frequency by their average order value. In SaaS, this could simply be your pricing tiers.
The average customer lifespan is how long a customer is active with your company. This can mean how long they’re a paying customer in a subscription business, or how long they actively make purchases from your store.
3) Rate of churn
Churn refers to customers who decide to stop using your product or service.
Look at how many customers don’t renew their subscriptions, how that compares to previous months, and how you’re pacing.
A simple formula you can use to figure out customer churn is:
(Number of customers churned over period X / Total number of customers over period X) x 100
In a SaaS company, if your rate of churn goes up, you risk losing more customers than you can bring in, resulting in negative business growth.
Rate of churn in eCommerce can also be measured through shopping cart abandonment. How many people browsed your website, made their choices, reviewed their shopping carts, then left?
Look at where they leave (is it the page where you ask them to create an account?) and if there are any discernible patterns. Maybe they got distracted by their pet, or perhaps your check-out process was confusing, or shipping costs were more than they anticipated.
4) Communications response rate
Say you start an email campaign, but you expected a better uptake. It’s important to look at the average open rates and click rates.
Mailchimp has organized a detailed table by industry that can help you determine what counts as a successful campaign in your business area. If you’re relatively new to this, it may be surprising how low the numbers are–but consider the amount of promotional material that lands in your own inbox.
If you’re not getting the clicks and opens you want, consider your timing and frequency, and test your subject lines, article titles, and snippets. Those details are all meant to grab attention and give clear insight into the content.
Tip: If you have a consumable product, consider timing promotions when you know a customer will be running low. Throw in the occasional bonus to keep them feeling valued and that their money is well spent.
How to build a customer retention strategy
Customer retention isn’t a clear-cut initiative like launching a blog. It requires aligning the key factors of your business to elevate your user experience and delight your customers. No two retention strategies will look exactly alike.
Here are three examples:
1) A complex SaaS analytics company might learn churn is high because their customers are having trouble with setup. In this case, they would need to invest in better onboarding and a more robust help center. They might also launch weekly webinars where team members show new users how to get started and answer questions live.
2) A 4PL infrastructure company that handles everything across the eCommerce supply chain might find customers are churning because of expensive costs that cut into their margins. To resolve this, that company would need to readjust their business model and pricing to see where they can make processes more efficient.
3) A heat mapping tool might discover their customers are leaving because a competitor launched a series of new features. Their retention strategy would involve analyzing the competitor’s features to add, and, importantly, mapping other features to differentiate and elevate them beyond their competition.
You get the idea – there are different playbooks for different industries, companies, customers, and situations. You need to evaluate the drivers that are most relevant to your customers, then link to the strategies that will satisfy those needs.
Whether your business is service- or product-driven, everyone can benefit from customer feedback. Regular check-ins will tell you what you’re doing well and what you need to improve.
68% of customers leave because they believe the company doesn’t care about them. Businesses can safeguard against this by creating a customer retention strategy that targets their customers effectively.
A customer has a wealth of options, but they chose your product. Terrific. Now, how do you keep them coming back?
Entice your loyal customers with extras and make them feel valued. Sometimes it’s the small touches that can make a memorable difference. Make the customer feel like they’ve received a bonus, and you’ll find yourself with an easy win for your company.
Loyalty programs – Include referral rewards for your customer and a friend.
Subscriptions – Simplify your customers’ lives by eliminating the chore of having to remember to order more of your product when they run out.
Special occasion emails – Birthdays, holidays, a change in the seasons, and relevant world events are all opportunities.
Virality – Make it easy to spread on social media, such as sharing a pic to be entered into a prize drawing, or a particularly succinct infographic or how-to.
The key here is to acknowledge that your customers have customers of their own – and you care about them, too. Give them the tools to succeed, and your product or service will become invaluable.
Your business and corporate customers will appreciate the care and extra support, especially if you ensure a smooth integration. Soon, they’ll wonder how they managed without you.
- Onboarding – Help them understand how to incorporate your product into their business quickly and seamlessly.
- Learning resources – Invest in a robust, well-researched, and data-backed blog and whitepaper archive. These resources should provide ideas to help their business grow.
- Training center – Provide on-demand access to further training to improve their own roles, and teach them how to use new products and features from your company.
- Webinar series – Share best practices, how-tos, and tips and tricks from your company. You can even invite other businesses or customers to share lessons with your audience. As a bonus, you get to see what questions your users have, and solicit informal feedback using in-webinar polls.
Webinar strategy 101: Everything you need to run a successful webinar
SaaS customers can only benefit from a tool once they know how to use it and understand its features. Some companies need additional hands-on onboarding, whereas others are easy to jump into and immediately see results. SaaS companies that provide proactive and well-timed support throughout a customer’s journey are more likely to become an integral part of that customer’s business or lifestyle.
Onboarding – Help them hit the ground running with a firm grasp of the basics from the start.
Customer forum – Getting help from other users in the same situation is invaluable. No matter how basic or complex the question, someone on the forum is likely to have faced it before, making this a rich community for both new and long-term customers.
Communication calendar – Let them know of upcoming webinars and articles to plan staff training and point out features they might not have known about.
Feedback surveys – Keep aware of how well-utilized your tools and features are, how satisfied your customers are with your service and product, and any risk factors that could cause churn.
Tools to boost customer retention
You have an abundance of choice when it comes to effective CRM and marketing tools to help your business succeed.
The system you use is entirely personal to your business and preferences, but there are a few key tools you don’t want to miss:
HubSpot — To manage your emails and time your communications according to customer deal stage.
Yotpo — To collect reviews and testimonials you can use in your marketing materials.
Typeform — To run surveys and check-ins to reduce churn and gain insights into how you can improve.
Intercom — To manage your customer support teams and ensure your users feel guided and heard every step of the way.
Smile.io — To launch a loyalty program that rewards your customers.
Delighted by Qualtrics — To get a pulse on your NPS and overall customer satisfaction.
Remember to make your website and platform easy to use. A strong website and social media presence are signs of a robust company, while a poor site can do more damage than not having one at all. Studies show a user forms their first opinion of a website within just 1/20th of a second. That’s a small window of opportunity to either draw a customer in or lose them.
Wrapping up — Invest in customer retention strategies today
Customer retention strategies aren’t a one-time initiative. They require ongoing effort to perfect and then to retain your customers now and in the future.
If you want to keep your customers, you need to work for them. After reading through this article, you should have a good idea of where to start.
Published: October 19, 2020
Updated: June 7, 2021
Updated: April 25, 2022