As a business owner, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. After all, they’re the ones who not only generate revenue but also push you to innovate your products and services. 

When it comes to marketing, many businesses focus solely on the acquisition of new customers. This makes sense because, after all, successfully doing so is the main way to promote growth. Unfortunately, this focus can come at the expense of maintaining current customers and growing them into frequent, lifetime customers.

In many cases, encouraging current customers to stay loyal to your brand can actually be more profitable than simply increasing conversion rates with new customers. That’s because your current customer base has a 50% greater likelihood of trying one of your company’s new products. Furthermore, they’ll spend at a higher rate than new customers – up to 31% more. 

Despite the fact that these numbers indicate overall greater revenue from current customers than new customers, businesses still have a tendency to focus their marketing dollars on customer acquisition rather than customer retention. If you’re ready to make a change in your company’s marketing approach and start making customer retention a priority, the good news is there are several simple ways to give your current customers the attention and care they need to stay loyal to your brand.

Option 1: Take Advantage of the Flexibility of Email Marketing

To encourage repeat purchases, start where your customers are spending much of their time already – in their inbox. While this method may seem old-fashioned to those who believe social media marketing is the only way to reach people these days, the truth is Americans still spend hours each day in their email inbox. 

In fact, a recent study by Adobe showed respondents spent up to 5 hours a day checking email. Furthermore, consumers seem to prefer developing relationships with brands through email. According to Adobe’s survey, 50% of respondents stated a preference for receiving offers from brands via email over all other channels. 

This may be because email marketing is so flexible. Consumers know they can opt out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link, or change their preferences to only receive certain types of emails. With this kind of trust already in place, taking advantage of this preference is an easy way to:

  • Send promotions to your current customers
  • Keep them engaged with your brand’s community
  • Ensure they’re always up to date with your product and service offerings

Option 2: Promote Loyalty Through a Customer Loyalty Program

Another tried-and-true method for retaining loyal customers is to implement an incentive-based customer loyalty program. When one-off customers realize they can enjoy rewards by choosing your brand in the future, they’ll have a reason to return. Many companies choose to focus their loyalty programs on providing discounts for frequent purchases, while others use them to promote special offers or package deals. 

When it comes to crafting your customer loyalty program, one thing to keep in mind is registering must be a seamless experience for the consumer. If a first-time customer is interested in signing up for the program but finds the process to be clunky or invasive, they won’t hesitate to opt out. While this won’t translate into an immediate loss of revenue, it could spell a loss of potential profit that should be avoided at all costs.

Option 3: Utilize Reviews as a Marketing and Data Acquisition Tool

If you want to promote repeat purchases, the key is to provide exactly what your customers are looking for. One of the best ways to gain insights into these specifications is by leveraging customer reviews and ratings. 

Although you may not think of reviews and ratings as a marketing tool, they are in fact one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. Reviews are not limited to helping improve your reputation and online presence. They can also reinforce brand loyalty and give you detailed insights into what aspects of your products and services you should be highlighting in your marketing communications.

There are plenty of analysis tools and easy-to-use software platforms available that do the work of identifying trends and commonly used keywords in reviews. These technologies can help you more easily keep up with what customers are saying about your products, including flaws that need to be remedied and particular features customers appreciate. 

You can then use this data to resolve issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed or adjust your services to better meet consumer needs. In doing so, you’ll be taking a huge step to keep your customers around for the long haul without draining your resources in the process.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to turn your one-time customers into lifetime customers! With these tips, you can easily and inexpensively promote a trust-filled relationship with customers that translates into brand loyalty over time.

Feedback from customers is often priceless. It can help you avoid making the same costly mistakes over and over again. It can also offer insight into profitable opportunities you may be overlooking. 

However, all too often companies fail to collect high-quality feedback they can actually use to implement change that positively influences the customer journey. In this day in age, when customers are more empowered than ever, having an effective customer feedback strategy in place is key.

If you’re looking for ways to walk the fine line of figuring out what your customers really want without feeling you’re constantly spamming them with survey requests, we can help. Check out our tips below to boost your customer feedback strategy with ease.

 

Tip 1: Set Up Live Chat Support 

The faster you can answer customers’ questions, the happier they will be. That’s why live chat has become a popular support tool for many companies. 

Chat isn’t only effective for giving great customer service. It can also be helpful for discreetly collecting customer feedback in real time and at a low cost. With a live chat function, you’ll quickly be able to assess and remedy issues before they become a major problem while also gaining insight into customers’ most common complaints.

 

Tip 2: Get Your Timing Right

Feedback at any time is great, but feedback immediately following a purchase is best. That way, the experience is still fresh on the customer’s mind, and they’re more likely to be willing to offer their opinion just after they’ve completed the purchase journey. The key here is to communicate to the customer that you’ll only take a minute of their time. Otherwise, they might feel the itch to move on with their day.

 

Tip 3: Offer Incentives

Let customers know you value their feedback by giving them something of value in return. One way to do this is to create a popup that appears right after a transaction to offer a discount on the next purchase in exchange for filling out a quick survey. 

Another option is to advertise to your social media followers that they can enter a raffle for a gift card or free product by completing a survey. Whatever incentive you choose to offer, the feedback you receive will be well worth the expense.

 

Tip 4: Keep It Simple

Do yourself and your customers a favor by making it easy for them to provide feedback. Surveys as a whole and the individual questions should be short and sweet.

With this approach, you only have the chance to ask a few questions, so you need to make sure they’re the right ones. Keep in mind that the quality of the answers you receive will reflect the quality of the questions you ask. For example, you’ll get a lot more information out of questions that allow for open-ended answers than simple yes-or-no responses. 

 

Tip 5: Use the Net Promoter Score

When it comes to keeping things simple, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the ultimate solution. With one simple question – “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?” – you gain valuable feedback that instantly shows what your customers think of their experience. 

Responses are scored from 0, not at all likely, to 10, very likely. Your NPS is then calculated as the average of all the responses. All businesses should consider taking advantage of this simple and effective measurement tool.

By implementing these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a customer feedback strategy that ensures you’re taking the right steps to meet your customers’ needs and can provide an experience they’ll rave about.

 

Even with 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s readily apparent disruption levels in the retail industry will remain high for quite some time. Formerly reliable approaches to business simply won’t work in this new and rapidly changing environment. 

One of the most important things to realize is customers have gained a significant level of power, especially over the past year. Providing them with the best experience possible should be your top priority from here on out.

By saying consumers have power, we mean they have an incredible influence over the purchase choices of others. Thanks to social media and the reliability of word-of-mouth marketing, one happy buyer can result in increased demand for your product or service. Of course, the contrary is also true. The bottom line is customer retention and loyalty are the keys to business success.

Understand the Current Business Landscape with These Statistics & Key Takeaways

To offer a clearer picture of the current relationship between businesses and consumers, we’ve examined some of the latest studies on customer experience and retention so you can stay up to date on the best practices. Take a look at some of the most important takeaways for 2021 below.

1. The importance of customer service has leveled the playing field. According to Gartner, 81% of businesses compete primarily on customer experience.

2. Most companies understand the importance of going digital. In fact, Gartner reports that 67% of business leaders believe their business will no longer be competitive without embracing digital transformation. If you’re not part of this group, you may find you’re quickly left behind.

3.Understanding your Net Promotor Score (NPS) is key. A study by Bain & Company suggests differences in Net Promoter Score explain between 10% and 70% of the differences in revenue growth between direct competitors.

4. Consumers value a great experience, perhaps more than they value a bargain. According to PwC, customers are willing to pay up to a 16% price premium for a great customer experience.

5. As a business, you can’t count on being given a second chance. With 32% of customers willing to walk away from a brand they love because of just one bad experience, there’s little room for error. (Source: PwC)

6. In a study by Salesforce, 80% of customers say the experience businesses provide is just as important as its products and services. Therefore, businesses should view the experience they offer as part of their product.

7. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of customers state tailoring future interactions based on past engagement is key to winning their business. As a result, it’s clear personalization is an essential part of a great experience. (Source: Salesforce)

8. Bad experiences often have greater ramifications than positive ones. Since customers tell an average of 9 people about positive experiences, but an average of 16 people about negative experiences, businesses need to go the extra mile to prevent negative outcomes. (Source: Deloitte)

9. Business Wire offers a slightly different statistic, claiming satisfied US customers will share their positive experience with 11 different people. As this is no small number, word-of-mouth marketing may be more important now than ever.

10. Loyalty and points-based programs are having a major heyday, with 72% of US adults belonging to at least one loyalty program. (Source: Oracle)

11. Americans aren’t just willing to sign up for loyalty programs. They actively enjoy taking part in them. eMarketer suggests 58.7% of internet users believe earning rewards and loyalty points is one of the most valued aspects of the shopping experience.

12. The vast majority of consumers are open to trading a certain level of privacy for greater personalization. Bond reports that 87% of Americans are willing to have various details of their activity tracked in exchange for more personalized rewards and brand experiences.

13. Consumers have high expectations for brands that go well beyond the value of a simple product or service. A full 75% of consumers expect brands to make more of a contribution to their well-being and quality of life. (Source: Havas)

14. Customer service can make or break customer retention rates. A total of 69% of US consumers say customer service is very important when it comes to their loyalty to a brand. (Source: Microsoft)

15. Repeat purchases are also significantly affected by customer service experiences, with 93% of consumers more likely to make repeat purchases at companies with excellent customer service. (Source: HubSpot)

16. Although customer service is of the utmost importance, it seems not all businesses have gotten the memo. HubSpot reports that more than half of consumers, 54% to be precise, say they’ve had at least one bad customer service experience in the last month.

17. Businesses are still trying to figure out how to leverage technology to provide the kind of personalized experience their customers desire. A whopping 69% of US marketers believe technology has made it harder for them to offer customers personalized experiences. (Source: Acquia) Therefore, it’s clear that getting the formula just right could put you miles ahead of your competitors.

18. Loyalty is not a trivial concept, but rather a lasting relationship that can have a huge impact on both your brand’s reputation and the bottom line of your business. InMoment reports that 77% of consumers say they stayed loyal to specific brands for 10 years or more.

19. While the above statistic shows loyalty can be long-lasting, it is never a guarantee to be taken for granted. HubSpot offers evidence that 50% of US consumers have left a brand they were loyal to for a competitor that better met their needs.

20. One repeat purchase does not make a loyal customer, especially in the eyes of the consumer. Yotpo claims 37% of consumers feel they need at least five purchases to consider themselves loyal to a brand.

21. Freebies may mean more to your customers than you think and can actually play a role in building relationships. AP News reports 61% of consumers think surprise gifts and offers are the most important way a brand can interact with them.

22. Your customers want to know you value their opinions. According to Microsoft, 77% of consumers say they favor brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.

23. You don’t have to box yourself into traditional methods of customer service. Why not take advantage of new platforms? After all, 65% of customers aged 18-34 feel social media platforms are an effective channel for customer service. (Source: Microsoft)

24. Millennials aren’t willing to put up with bad customer service and are more than ready to go elsewhere after a negative interaction. Business Wire shows 74% of this age group will switch to a different retailer if they receive poor customer service.

25. The past year has been tough for customer acquisition, leading many brands to shift their focus to customer loyalty and retention. As a result, 90.2% of US consumers feel equally or more loyal to a brand than they were a year ago. (Source: Yotpo)

These statistics can help you begin thinking in terms of customer experience and better understand how important it is to focus on consumers’ needs during every step of the purchase journey. While one small misstep can cost you dearly, investing in customer experience is proven to reap tremendous rewards.

With so much hubbub around the importance of social media in brand marketing and customer interaction, it’s easy for brands to let their websites go by the wayside. However, your website plays an essential role in your customers’ experience. It’s the central hub around which both potential and return customers congregate, providing you with ample opportunities to secure new business and build customer loyalty.

Your website doesn’t only offer a space to showcase your offerings and tell the story of your brand. If you view your site as a one-way street of information, you’re not taking advantage of its full potential. 

Your website doesn’t only offer a space to showcase your offerings and tell the story of your brand. If you view your site as a one-way street of information, you’re not taking advantage of its full potential. 

Building Blocks for Customer Loyalty on Your Website

Wondering how you can transform your website from a two-dimensional information station into an interactive experience for your customers? These four building blocks create a solid foundation on which you can use this platform to develop relationships with customers.

1. Customer Testimonials

With the right widget, customer testimonials add a personalized feel and attractive flair to almost any website. Requesting testimonials from customers makes them feel appreciated and emphasizes the fact that their opinions matter. When they see their words on your site, they’ll begin to view themselves as a representative of your brand.

Testimonials don’t only reinforce customer loyalty among existing customers. They also draw in prospective customers, providing them with the kind of trustworthy, experience-based information they’re looking for about what to expect from your brand.

Of course, testimonials aren’t only trophies to look at. They should be acted on as well. Any insight you receive from customers about their purchase experience will help you better understand what’s working and what’s not.

2. Customer Experience Analytics

While testimonials offer a written account of the customer experience, analytics represent the digital body language of customers. Customer experience analytics are vital to ensuring your website is effectively reaching customers and providing them with a smooth purchase journey. By facilitating a positive experience, you’re increasing the likelihood customers will return and develop loyalty to your brand.

With customer experience analytics, you’ll have access to a detailed analysis of how customers interact with your website. From the most frequently visited pages on your site to the products customers keep returning to look at, you’ll quickly see the most popular elements of your site. 

You’ll also learn about the types of content customers find uninteresting and any areas of friction that repeatedly come up during the purchase journey. Understanding these patterns can help you increase conversion and customer retention. 

As you make any necessary changes, you’ll also have the ability to measure the difference your adjustments are having on your overall bottom line.

3. Valuable Content

You put a lot of time and effort into your content. That’s why it’s important you’re producing the kind of content your customers want to see. With fresh, useful content on your site, you’ll have a better chance of customers making repeat visits to check out what’s new.

The goal is to become a trusted source of information for your customers, a kind of authority within your industry. That way, you can ensure they return to your site, even if they’re not yet ready to make a repeat purchase. 

By providing relevant content that’s useful to both prospective and existing customers, you’ll increase the likelihood they become vocal advocates for your brand.

4. Customer Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs offer customers an incentive to keep coming back for more, make them feel appreciated, and inspire word-of-mouth marketing. Using your website as the hub for your customer loyalty program will open opportunities to catch their attention and encourage repeat purchases.

As they visit the public-facing side of the site, they’ll have a chance to browse what’s new. Then, they’ll log in to a members-only area where they can check their points, cash in on rewards, and view members-only content. 

Personalizing this area of the website and giving it a unique feel with notifications for events, discounts, and reward eligibility will drive proactive engagement from customers and promote greater levels of interaction.

With these building blocks in place, you can work on developing a loyal following who sees your website as a portal into a community of other brand advocates. Over time, you can transform your website into a two-way street that attracts customers not only for its wealth of information but also for its opportunities to connect and engage with your brand. 

In a blacksmith’s home, there are only wooden spoons.

The plumber’s house always has a dripping tap.

Proverbs such as these are scattered throughout cultures around the globe. The phenomenon is quite universal: sometimes we become so consumed by our profession, so preoccupied with projecting our talents outward, that we forget to look inward long enough to provide for our own families.

Rapidly growing businesses often have impressive and proven strategies for customer acquisition. An influx of new customers is an exciting statistic glimmering with the promise of revenue and growth. It is so exciting that it can dominate all of our efforts and resources. But what about the customers we already have?

When customers choose to buy your product or service, they become part of your brand family. Whether it is reluctantly or enthusiastically, they take up your banner in some fashion. Nurture and respect a cohesive family unit, and it can bolster the brand’s image, value, and future prospects. Consumers see a proud and happy brand family and jump at the chance to join. Neglect or mistreat that family, however, and you may quickly find frustration and disillusionment that could lead to an exodus.

Retention is an integral aspect of growth. It is exhilarating to look outward towards prospects with an appetite to conquer new territory. Fail to take care of the folks at home, though, and you might have a revolt on your hands. Slowing down to make sure customers have proper care and attention will greatly improve a business’ odds of survival. A high retention rate ultimately drives profitability and increases the value of a customer lifetime.

Just like customer acquisition, customer retention needs carefully planned programs. For some insight, take a look at this webinar with John Schroeder of Nova Foresight and Angela Bossie of Listen360. Tune in to follow along as these two experts map out the path to higher retention rates with 3 essential strategies.


Watch the recording here.