7 surefire ways to turn your low customer retention around

by Ana Lopez

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes have a common but critical goal: cultivating customer loyalty. While you may excel at attracting new customers, gaining their trust, and (more importantly) repeat business, it’s critical if you want to maintain a thriving business.

Recurring business is generally more sustainable and cost-effective than constantly trying to reach new markets, making your customer retention rate impossible to ignore.

Fortunately, adjusting your approach and implementing a few simple processes can go a long way in turning around low customer retention rates. As a marketing expert and business leader, I have years of experience maximizing customer loyalty, and I’ve learned that these seven best practices can help keep paying customers returning and supporting your business repeatedly.

Related: 7 ways to boost customer retention and prepare for inflation

1. Create accessible customer service

When you think of existing customers, “customer service” is probably one of the first things that comes to mind. If customers aren’t returning to your business, take a close look at the accessibility of your customer service information. It should appear everywhere: on every page of your website, on all your social media, and in every email you send. Essentially, if a customer needs to reach you, they need to know how to do it.

Plus, investing in modern technology, such as automated chatbots, can help streamline and simplify customer service, so your customers get help and support when they need it, without breaking your budget. These innovations can help solve common questions and intervene when a customer is in the process of exiting a transaction.

Customers are more likely to return to your brand if they know help is readily available when they need it most. After all, nothing is more annoying than being on hold for an hour at customer service!

Related: Are you sitting on a customer retention gold mine?

2. Ask for feedback

Don’t just offer customers a place to reach you when they need to. Take steps to actively or even proactively reach your customers! People love to give feedback, and new customers will develop greater brand loyalty if they feel you really value their opinion.

From brand surveys to individual phone calls or emails, take the time to find out how your customers feel about your product or service. You might even consider following up with customers and giving them credit if you use their feedback to change something about your business. Not only will they appreciate being heard, but other customers will likely notice that you are listening to your audience.

Related: This is what really builds customer loyalty in the B2B industry

3. Reward customers regularly

A great way to develop customer retention is to exceed expectations. From discount codes to random free shipping, free product promotions and more, there are many ways to surprise and delight existing customers. Consider creating a program that randomly rewards a small number of customers on a regular basis.

Don’t feel the need to promote these rewards too much. In our opinion, customers are likely to share their feedback on social media and public review sites, praising your business and promoting your brand for you.

Related: 3 ways to use authenticity to build customer loyalty

4. Invest in your social media

Social media cannot be ignored as a key customer retention driver. Like it or not, your social media presence is the first place many customers look for information about your brand, whether it’s a simple question or to learn about your services and philosophy. Therefore, a lack of active social media can often lead to a decrease in customer engagement and ultimately customer retention.

By investing in your social footprint, you can set the record straight and build a brand conversation that will keep your business at the top of the list. Plus, you can use your social accounts to showcase existing loyal customers in a variety of ways, from sharing photos of their purchases to interacting with customers in the comment section.

Related: Customer loyalty is your holy grail for success. Here’s how to cultivate it.

5. Be honest and transparent

From your products to internal business processes, your brand should always be honest and transparent. Web-savvy customers are likely to look elsewhere if they feel they’re being ripped off, making fairness a core principle you can’t afford to overlook or ignore.

For example, if problems arise with an order or process, informing customers about the problem can be an effective way to avoid future problems. Try to avoid dishonest marketing campaigns or tricking customers into ordering or returning to your business because once they discover the deception, they will definitely not return for more.

6. Provide opportunities for the community

There are so many ways to cultivate communities around your brand. From Facebook groups to special newsletters to real-life meetups, you can bring loyal customers together in specific spaces dedicated to number one fans. Creating a community atmosphere allows customers to feel special and wanted.

You can also occasionally reward these groups with customized promo codes or freebies. In a way, this method provides your company with a focus group that can help with early testing of products and even gain critical insight into customer needs, a potentially important boost to your customer retention efforts.

Related: Are You Doing These 3 Things to Foster the Brand Community?

7. Keep your tech running smoothly and securely

Cybersecurity is a major concern for the modern customer, so make sure your website and online checkout are secure and customer data is constantly protected. Customers should feel comfortable giving you their information or they will definitely not want to return to your business.

Also, don’t overdo it with email marketing or text messages. Prioritizing the privacy and subtlety of your online interactions shows customers that they can trust your company time and time again.

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