As the name suggests, retention marketing is using marketing techniques to help retain your current customers.
The principal follows that it’s far better to have 10 brand fanatics rather than 100 passive, indifferent customers. Your 100 disengaged clients might make a one-off purchase, but your brand loyalists will buy from you forever – yes that’s right forever!
What’s more they’ll recommend you to their friends and family, to their clients and forever sing your praises about how you’ve helped them.
Sounds great right?
Why else should you consider using retention marketing techniques?
10 reasons to choose Retention Marketing strategies
For me, focusing on retention marketing techniques with clients, makes perfect sense, here are just a few of the benefits:
Brand Loyalty – Once you’ve achieved brand loyalty, you could have the same clients for 10 years or more.
Upselling – Your loyal customers are more likely to buy from you again when you launch a new product or service.
Higher returns – Brand loyalists are more likely to seek out the brands they trust, making frequent purchases multiple times a year.
Word of mouth marketing – loyal customers will market your business for you by recommending your products to friends, family and other businesses.
Cost effective marketing – If you are marketing to your existing clients, you will have all their contact information and know that they are already invested in you and your business.
Rule of Least Effort - Acquiring new customers takes lots of time, energy, effort and money. Therefore, retaining clients saves you a lot of time, money, energy and effort.
Build a strong reputation – Happy clients say nice things about you and help you to build a formidable reputation for you and your business.
Differentiation - Being the best at what you do is a great way to differentiate your business, and to set you apart from your competitors.
Adds value to your business – If you’re looking to sell your business, you want to build a strong client base who love you, you can achieve this with retention marketing.
Attracts good people – By showing that you care about your clients and the service you provide, also shows that you are a good company to work for, this will make recruiting principled people a lot easier.
So, once you have a few good clients, nurturing them and making sure you do everything you can to build strong business relationships with them is key.
But how do you do this and which techniques are best for my business?
The strategies fall into 3 main categories
If you’re the kind of person who genuinely cares and likes to help your clients and always have their best interests at heart, you may find that you’ll already be doing a lot of these things naturally anyway. But it never hurts to be reminded and you never know there might be a few that you could polish up on.
1. Rewarding loyalty and referrals
Loyalty cards, discount codes, membership schemes – are all classic retention marketing strategies. Think about the brands you have loyalty cards for and the ones you use religiously, what is it about these brands that you really love?
2. Providing excellence
The best way to keep your customers is to do a great job and make them want to come back for more. While this sounds simple, executing this consistently over time can be difficult. If you manage to do it, it really can help set you apart.
3. Community building
This is also known as building a ‘campfire’ for your product or service. Going the extra mile and doing something that’s a little out of the ordinary, helps set you apart and gets people talking, “You’ll never guess what company X did for me the other day?”. If you create valuable content that helps your community learn a new skill or about a new topic, all of this will make your customers keep coming back for more.
10 Strategies to keep your customer coming back for more!
1. Make your first-time customer experience brilliant!
A well-designed post-purchase experience is essential to improving customer retention.
Ensuring your customer is equipped with all the information to hit the ground running is essential to creating an amazing first impression. Really getting into your customer’s shoes and thinking of all the possible things that could go wrong/what they might need is essential. Getting this initial experience just right, can make the difference between a smooth, seamless and enjoyable process to one where people are cursing and wondering why they ever bothered to buy anything from you in the first place.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Simple sign up process
- Transparent Billing and Payment Methods
- Simple welcome email – with easy getting started instructions…
- Product walkthroughs – From user manuals to product walkthrough videos.
2. Excellent Customer Support
If you’re a company that sells Saas (Software as a Service) it’s likely that you offer a trial period. It’s essential that during that trial period your support and how to’s are excellent, so people know they’ll be supported before they buy.
For e-commerce businesses it might be by making the purchasing process as effortless as possible. For a service company it might be by having an FAQ’s page that answers common questions customers ask.
3. Adding value
Going the extra mile, instantly builds your customer confidence. It shows you’ve taken the time to think about them and their needs, ultimately it shows that you care about them. What creative ways can your business enhance what you already do?
Start by examining your customer journey from start to finish. Next ask yourself, what are they seeing, feeling and thinking at each stage, this will help you think of ways to enhance their customer experience.
For example, there are hundreds of serviced offices for small businesses to use these days, so how can they set themselves apart? There are lots of ways they could add value; providing showering facilities, running regular networking events, educational workshops, exercise or wellbeing classes, having a book share area, monthly coffee and cake mornings, charity bake sales, the list is endless.
4. Be clear on your brand values and stick to them
What does your company stand for? Your clients are increasingly savvy. People decide who they want to buy from not just by who submits the cheapest quote, now more than ever a company’s ethics and values are really important factors.
Making your values open and transparent and reflected in everything you do is essential in garnering your customer’s favour. So make sure you spruce up your core value proposition and key messages.
5. Keep in touch with your customers
If you haven’t already putting together a communication plan is essential. Regular communication is a great for building trust and rapport with your clients. From company news, sharing industry tips and insights. Letting them know about new services, new people joining the team.
If you have an ecommerce business, seasonal updates, new product launches, multi-buy offers, discounts etc are all opportunities for additional purchases.
Sharing latest trends, tips on how to use your product or how to enhance your service all qualify as valuable content too.
6. Check in with your customers about their needs and wants
Simply asking your client how they are, how they are getting on achieves two things. Firstly, it shows that you care and are interested in them, secondly it makes them think, hmmm do I need anything from you at the moment?
It does matter how you contact your customer though, because they will undoubtedly have a preference – so ask them what suits them best and what time is best for them. Regular calls, weekly catch ups, monthly meetings, quarterly reviews – whatever works best for your client is fine. You can’t beat meeting face to face every once in a while, as well.
7. Educate and empower customers through expert content
Learning is a great way to add value for your clients. Sharing valuable YouTube video’s, Whitepapers and How to guides is a win-win exercise for you and your clients.
They’ll learn more about your specialist subject for themselves, and they’ll also understand more about what’s involved from your perspective.
For example, photographers often share tips on how to take better photos. This helps us understand the skills and equipment involved in taking amazing photographs. You’ll still hire them for professional, commercial photoshoots, but now you’ll also appreciate the time and the skill it takes to perfect a shot and the investment in all the kit that’s involved too.
8. Let me entertain you!
Think about the amount of content your customer receives every day. How will you make your content different, stand out, be memorable or even better shareable? Sometimes sharing something funny or lighthearted is just the break needed in an never ending flow of mediocre content.
9. Encourage loyal customers to become brand ambassadors
If you do mange to reach the holy grail of customer service and have a few evangelical clients who can’t wait to sing your praises – that’s amazing.
Make sure to engage with them on your social media posts, ask if they’re willing to give you a testimonial or a case study. You can even ask if they know anyone else who you think might benefit from your services.
10. Reward customer loyalty or increased spend
Many of the big-name supermarkets, online stores and coffee shops offer loyalty apps and incentives to encourage you to keep coming back and spending more with them. Here are just a few examples… Amazon Prime Day Deal – Slashing prices for a limited period. M&S has the Sparks app - Here you can spend regular offers that are sent to your app. Costa Club – Buy 8 drinks and get 1 free
Where do I start?
You need to decide who are your happiest customers, the ones you really want to keep.
Who your customers are and where they come from.
Which the most profitable ones are and why they’re buying from you. It’s important to understand the difference between necessity, habit and loyalty.
What is the data about the genuinely loyal customers telling you?
What are you doing as a business to command that loyalty?
How can you do more of it, and attract customers that will feel the same way?
Could retention marketing be the best marketing strategy for your business?
I’m offering a complimentary 30 minutes call to discuss how you can start using retention marketing to hold onto your best customers.
Please drop me a message and let me know when would be best for you.