How To Focus On Customer Retention For Your Online Business

A big and common mistake among online business websites is how they focus their digital marketing and promotional efforts strictly on getting new customers. While customer acquisition is absolutely essential for any digital business’s long-term success, retaining existing clients is arguably even more important.

What Is Customer Retention?

According to the Harvard Business Review (HBW), the cost of acquiring a new digital customer is between five and 25 times higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Furthermore, research conducted by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company suggests that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% yields 25% to 95% higher profits. Not to be sniffed at! So, if you are the owner of an online business, ignore the following customer retention strategies at your peril:

How To Personalise Emails

Now, assuming you have customers names and email addresses, you can create stronger online relationships and subsequently increase your businesses customer retention rates by sending them personalised emails. A study conducted by Experian Marketing Services found that personalised emails generate 600% more conversions than non-personalised emails, but fewer than 1 in 3 businesses use them.

To create these personalised emails, call the customer by his or her name instead of the generic “Dear sir or madam.” A potential customer who sees his or her name in the message will feel more inclined to act. In addition to sending personalised sales emails, you can also send personalised non-promotional emails. If you know your customers date of birth, for instance, send them a happy birthday email, either with or without an exclusive offer – that is down to you. It’s the little details like this that make a business stand out from its online and offline competition.

Make Sure You Ask For Customer Feedback

Research shows that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain – higher if you are British! If you don’t know when a customer is dissatisfied, you won’t be able to resolve the issue and keep his or her business. A straightforward and practical solution is to use feedback surveys.

Online feedback surveys can provide you with invaluable insights into how customers perceive your digital business and whether they were satisfied with their order, booking or service. Using this information, you can make then make necessary changes to improve customer satisfaction. If a customer was happy with the product but dissatisfied with the shipping, for instance, you should consider using a new shipping provider or offer different delivery options.

Customer Feedback Best Practice:

Send feedback surveys via email and not regular mail.
Wait for one to two weeks to send customers the survey.
Avoid long and drawn-out surveys. Ideally, customers should be able to complete your survey in under five minutes.
Offer incentives, such as a 10% off discount, to encourage customers to complete the questionnaire.
Avoid asking for specific responses; use a multiple choice or a scale of 1 through 10 instead.
Thank customers at the end by telling them their input is highly appreciated.

How To Implement A Customer Loyalty Program

A loyalty rewards program is a very powerful customer relations online tool that will boost your businesses customer retention rates. Rewarding loyal clients who continue to make purchases, book or interact with your business by giving them store credit, free products, special discounts or some other inventive is always greatly appreciated.

According to a survey conducted by TechnologyAdvice, 80% of consumers are more likely to shop at digital stores that offer a loyalty rewards program than stores without. Which is hardly surprising, loyalty rewards programs are a great way for shoppers to save money by sticking with their favourite brands.

There are dozens of ways to create an online loyalty rewards program, one of which involves a point system. The online shoe and apparel retailer Zappos are known for its lucrative point-based reward system. Zappos customers earn points for making purchases, logging in to their account and writing online reviews, which they can redeem for discounts. Every 1,000 Zappos Rewards points are redeemable for $1 store credit.

How To Cross Sell Your Products

Another effective customer-retention strategy is cross-selling, by offering specific products to customers based on what they’ve already purchased or otherwise expressed interest in. If a customer buys a new TV, for instance, he or she may also be interested in a wall mounting kit and soundbar. Or if someone buys a dog grooming brush, he or she may also be interested in dog shampoo. The opportunities are simply endless but be intelligent about this.

You can cross-sell products directly on your E-Commerce website as well as your email messages. To create an effective cross-selling strategy, however, you need to collect data on consumer behaviour. Install analytics software on your business’s website to track customers throughout the sales process, checking to see what products they view, how long they spend viewing them, and which products they ultimately purchase.

The Best Online Customer Service

You can’t expect people to stick with your online business if they are unhappy with your service. For many people, customer service is even more important than price. If you go above and beyond to ensure customers are happy and any problems are handled in a friendly manner, you’ll have an easier time retaining customers and through word of mouth probably gain more.

On the other hand, bad service can be disastrous to your business. According to research from NewVoiceMedia, businesses lose approximately $62 billion per year because of inferior customer service. And a survey conducted by American Express indicates that 60% of consumers who experience bad service share it with others.

How To Improve Your Online Businesses Customer Service

1. Resolve customer complaints promptly whilst also offering some unexpected reward or incentive.
2. Whether you’re engaging with customers on the phone, through email, online chat or elsewhere, make sure they are left satisfied.
3. Use feedback surveys to identify pain areas of your business’s customer service.
4. Make customer service part of your business’s core values.
5. Make yourself available by offering multiple ways for customers to contact you.

How To Engage With Customers Using Social Media

Social media is highly instrumental in maintaining a high customer retention rate. In fact, a survey conducted by Loyalty 360 ranked social media as the single most effective platform for your customer retention. Using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, you can engage directly with your business’s clients in a public and transparent environment.

There are several ways you can use social media to retain customers, including handling complaints, responding to questions and even thanking them for their purchase or comment. When a client posts a message on your Facebook Page, for instance, take a moment to send a friendly and helpful response. Whether they are asking about a product or just dropping in to say hello, a response shows you care and on it!

Social Media Agency Exeter

It is practically impossible to achieve a 100% customer retention rate. But if you focus on improving this metric, you will place your online business miles ahead of its competitors. Talk to us about ECommerce and Social Media. Call us today on 01392 409159 to talk about How To Focus On Customer Retention For Your Online Business.


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Shaun Richings