To increase your customer retention for your business, it pays to be creative. Here are three customer retention tactics that you might not have thought of that have a big impact on your customers.
Read more: The Customer Retention Playbook
1. Boost your social proof
Social proof is one of the most powerful customer retention tools you have. People want to feel validated in their decision to remain loyal to your company. In the connected world of social media, where a single complaint about your company can spread to thousands of people through a few mere clicks, this has become all the more important.
There are a few ways you can use social proof:
- User reviews
This is the most cost-effective strategy. Encourage your customer to leave reviews on relevant sites to show off your expertise and improve your SEO at the same time. Modern businesses should also look to employee review sites such as Glassdoor to double-down on their social proof.
- Brand ambassadors
Brand ambassadors don't have to be A-list celebrities or expert authorities in your industry—they can simply be prominent stakeholders with a reasonable amount of social influence. Companies have used Twitter personalities, YouTube streamers, local figures and even fictional characters as brand ambassadors to great effect. Building up this kind of relationship can take time, so try reaching out now to begin the conversation.
- Expert sources
In nearly any industry, using statistics and quotes from experts can enhance your credibility. When you're creating your marketing content, build up a repository of useful first-party sources that you can draw from. Better yet, you could even develop your own research and cement yourself as an authority source.
2. Reach out to your risky customers
What you define as a risky customer will depend on your industry, your product and your current strategy. You might think of them as those who are currently or are at risk of becoming ‘detractors’—people who are reducing their purchase levels, opting out of emails, paying late or cancelling their monthly refill orders, to give a few examples. They may be promoters who are sliding towards neutrality. They might even be people who were once regular purchasers, but have now dropped off the radar entirely. Depending on where you want to grow your customer base, those you consider “risky” will vary from your competitors.
What you define as a risky customer will depend on your industry, your product and your current strategy.
However, there is one thing all risky customers have in common: you have the opportunity to turn them back into regular customers again, and it's quite simple to do. Contact the detractors and deal with their complaints. Invite your sliding customers to a survey, requesting their thoughts on your services. Offer a discount to a regular customer that you haven't seen in awhile. Letting your risky customers know you still value their business can be enough to increase your retention rate—and you can set it up right now.
3. Unexpected bonuses
Free gear, special discounts or exclusive access are effective ways to improve your retention, especially when they are unexpected. This makes the gesture more powerful, leaves a stronger impression, and is more likely to be remembered in a positive way.
Free gear, special discounts or exclusive access are effective ways to improve your retention, especially when they are unexpected.
If one of your customers hasn’t bought anything in awhile, or hasn’t interacted with you at all for a year, do something nice for your customers. You may want to do this with your VIP or higher value customers only, as these people will end up buying more than your average customer would over their lifecycle.
For this reason alone, customer segmentation is one of the best things you can do for your business strategy—and you can use it right now.
If you want to learn more about customer retention strategies, check out our free eBook below: