10 Tips to Improve Customer Retention

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This post was written by Otis Ramsey.

The customer retention rate is how well a business can keep its paying customers loyal over a period of time. CRR is a very important thing for businesses to pay attention to when they want to increase their bottom line.

A study from Harvard Business School revealed that even a 5 percent increase in CRR can increase profits at least 25 percent.

Here are ten ways to help improve your customer retention rate.

1. Show Your Values.

Customers are more likely to support businesses that share the same values as they do. So, make your company stand for something and have it be known for that.

TOMS Shoes is known for giving a pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair bought. Making that part of their brand has helped them grow and thrive in the competitive apparel industry.

Adopt a cause near and dear to your company’s heart and incorporate it into your brand. People will see you as a force for good instead of a soulless business and they will feel better about buying your products.

2. Educate Your Customers.

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Write articles or make video tutorials educating people in your niche.

If you are in the apparel industry, you can talk about how your customers could dress to best show off their body. If you sell cookware, you can share recipes or cooking tutorials.

Not only do these help your customer, but it drives traffic to your website and gives you a good chance to show off your products. It also builds trust with your customers, which turns into loyalty.

Consider making a resource page that customers will visit over and over.

3. Give Thank You Notes.

Gestures of appreciation go a long way towards helping you build a relationship with your customers.

A simple thank-you note or thank-you email can leave a good impression of you in the customer’s mind, especially if they are not expecting it. The note does not have to be fancy or long, but it should be heartfelt and well presented.

4. Provide Fast Customer Service.

Many companies think their customer service must always provide exemplary results to be considered good customer service. But that is not the case.

Most customers would prefer problems resolved quickly and with very little effort on their part, even if the results are not as fantastic as they could have been with more time.

Instead of working on quality, work on speed for customer service.

5. Choose the Right Platform for Customer Service.

What works for one company does not always work for another.

Some companies can resolve everything through email support. Web hosting companies must have live chat for when their websites go down or there are problems with their websites.

Some companies store payment information, like Amazon or Uber, where purchases can be made with one click and without manually entering card numbers. Then it is vital you have a phone customer service with real people on the line.

If one of your customers thinks their account was hacked and their payment information is at risk and they cannot talk to a real person immediately, they will feel ignored and terrified at the possibility of identity theft. Even if you eventually resolve the matter and no money was taken out of their account, they will never trust you again. After that they’ll make it a point to use one of your competitors in the future. And will tell everyone they know about their unpleasant experience.

6. Have an Incentive or Loyalty Program.

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This one is a no-brainer. Providing to people a direct incentive to choose you over another business automatically increases customer retention rate.

It does not have to be a free coffee after ten purchased cups of coffee, though. Target has a good loyalty program with their RED Card, which is synced to the customer’s checking account. They get five percent off their purchase by using their RED Card instead of their debit card.

Harris Teeter offers significant survey rewards that improves their customer retention.

7. Get Customers Started on the Loyalty Program.

If you have a loyalty program that includes a rewards program, then automatically enroll people into them to make it as effortless as possible.

If you have a rewards card, activate it as soon as the person gets it so they can use it immediately. If everything is done online, automatically put people into the rewards program as soon as they create an account on your website.

8. Label the Customers.

Everyone loves feeling important and rising through the ranks.

Have different levels of customers like bronze, silver, and gold customers and have different benefits for each. This could be discounts, exclusive offers, and freebies. Display the customer’s rank prominently on their online account and show what they need to do to move up to the next rank.

9. Make Purchasing Easy.

The more steps there are in the purchasing process, the more opportunities for the customer to decide they did not want the product after all.

That is why Amazon’s One-Click Buy method works so well. Make everything go as easily and painlessly as possible.

10. Do Not Spam.

Ever been in a department store where you spend twenty minutes checking out because the cashier is required to pitch you five different offers before you walk out the door? When that happens, do you ever buy there again? Probably not because it is basically the in-person version of spam mail.

Spam, in person or online, makes customers feel harassed and exploited and they will run from you if you do it.

Now that you know more about customer retention rate, how can you provide them with a better experience?

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