In an era when brand durability is being questioned, getting customers to see how your brand differentiates itself is a survival imperative. Understanding the customer's journey can assist you in brand building, while media monitoring can ensure you maintain the reputation you've worked hard to build.
You’ve probably heard that it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one (which is true).
But few companies realize just how much customer retention can impact the bottom line. According to research from Bain & Co, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by 25% to 95%. Not bad, right?
The trouble is, retaining customers is harder than ever in the age of dying brand loyalty. With so much competition in the modern market, consumers can always find a brand that delivers the same products and services—just cheaper and faster.
And data shows that a good deal will often beat out consumer brand loyalty. For instance, 35% of women and 33% of men told Crowdtwist they would consider switching from their preferred brand in exchange for a better price, and 49% of consumers said they would gladly switch brands for a coupon.
So what can you do to retain customers in the face of these obstacles? Let’s explore the mind of the modern consumer, then look at some retention strategies than can help drive brand loyalty.
Consumers have 60% higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago, according to Parature. Consumer expectations are rising—fast.
Gone are the days of three-brand lifestyles. Today, consumers shop based on price, quality, speed, and overall customer experience. Of those qualifiers, research suggests that customer experience is taking the lead. By 2017, 89% of businesses will compete primarily on customer experience.
Here are some additional stats that paint a clear picture of modern consumers expectations:
What can we glean from this data? Well, overall customer experience—both online and offline—is more important than ever. The modern shopper will take any opportunity you give them to spend their money elsewhere.
So what can you do to keep the customers you’ve worked so hard to attain? Below, we’ll look at four key customer retention strategies that drive brand loyalty.
1. Personalised customer experience
Delivering personalised content and experiences is one way to make each and every customer feel special—and it’s a great competitive differentiator too.
According to Virtual Incentives, brands that personalise their customer experience are perceived as smart, unique, and caring by the majority of consumers. Plus, over half of Millennial customers rank personalisation as a high priority. It’s easy to see why more and more brands are focusing on delivering it.
So how do you promote brand loyalty through personalisation?
By designing a more customized experience for your buyers, you can effectively earn their trust and respect over time.
2. Customer loyalty programs
Perks can make loyal customers feel like VIPs. Loyalty programs give them one more reason to shop with you over a competitor. So what can you do to reward your best customers?
Going the extra mile to surprise and delight means showing gratitude for customers. Create a mutual relationship of appreciation between your company and its most reliable customers, and they’ll reward you with brand loyalty.
3. Regular customer surveys
A dynamic customer feedback program helps you better serve your audience. From customer satisfaction to Net Promoter Score, ongoing customer surveys help you spot process and service gaps, follow up with unhappy customers, and cultivate brand advocacy among the happiest.
This rich data generated with customer surveys can inform future decisions and advance the entire organization’s understanding of your target audience.
But it’s not just about traditional customer support satisfaction…
The list goes on. Plus, companies can align customer feedback with their primary customer data using a Salesforce survey integration. With survey results in your CRM, customer feedback comes to life, drawing clear pathways to customer success or customer churn and revealing new opportunities for growth.
The bottom line here: survey, and survey often.
4. Robust customer support
Last but not least, beef up customer support resources to help your customers succeed.
U.S. companies lose as much as $41 billion each year due to poor customer service and support. That’s no small chunk of change. Add to this the fact that 68% of customers have switched companies because of poor customer service, and the value of robust customer support becomes clear.
Omni-channel customer support is tomorrow’s blueprint for customer satisfaction and success. It takes multi-channel support a step further, focusing on customer support from the customer perspective. Rather than fragmented interactions, omni-channel is all about a cohesive customer experience. If you call into support, tomorrow’s email case shouldn’t restart the conversation, but simply continue it.
Self-service is another huge factor. When you empower customers to solve issues themselves, you streamline support processes and develop proactive measures, ultimately saving time and money.
Today’s consumer may be less loyal than yesterday’s, but there are plenty of modern ways to combat churn and drive retention.
The tips above culminate into one main message: customer care matters most. If you show your customers that they’re valued, they’re more likely to stick by you. It’s a simple concept, but it’s easy to lose sight of it when you’re focused on metrics rather than people.
As brands begin prioritizing customer experience above customer acquisition, we may well see a wide resurgence of brand loyalty among consumers.
Understand your customer’s journey to be prepared for the peaks and valleys that affect buying decisions.