As a business, wanting to increase the number of new clients often where we spend the most time, energy, and budget. Companies survive & thrive based on how much of the value they put out is received by the public.
We try. Test. Then, we try again.
All in the hopes of securing new contracts or selling our goods & services.
But what happens when the well runs dry? When all our clever strategies have been exhausted and the fish aren’t biting the way they’re used to?
Sometimes, instead of draining resources trying to find new clients, we can RETAIN the ones we already have.
The process of doing this is called Client Retention. And it’s a fundamental piece of any & all smart marketing strategies.
If you haven’t already implemented retention tactics into your strategy, keep reading. We’ll break down what client retention is, why it’s needed now more than ever, and how to use it to skyrocket your sales.
What is Client Retention?
A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25%-95%.
Client or customer retention refers to a company’s ability to retain its customer base over time. To put it simply…it’s when clients keep coming back after the sale.
Retention is important because according to research, it’s 5-25x more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.
Those repeat clients spark brand loyalty, advocacy, and even referrals!
Bottom line? Getting a sale isn’t the goal, repeating the sale, is. To learn how to do that, we have to start from the beginning…
Customer Experience from Top to Bottom
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” ~ Jeff Bezos
Many believe a good retention strategy starts with the sale. However, to truly get the benefits, retention tactics should be weaved within each stage of your customer journey.
To do this…step back and look at your entire customer’s journey from awareness to becoming an advocate. Delivering a white-glove experience from the minute your ideal audience becomes aware of your brand through engagement to conversion makes retaining clients easier.
Client handoffs between departments can also make or break their experience with a company. Establishing, then mastering, a customer relationship management system ensures a seamless experience for clients & employees alike.
When sales & marketing are in alignment, businesses experience a higher retention rate. 36% higher to be exact! These two departments need to work in harmony in order to see results in retention.
The objective here is alignment.
6 Tips to Improve Your Customer Experience for Client Retention:
- Develop an amazing onboarding experience for new customers
- In eCommerce, this could start with how they experience your packaging when they open their shipment. Did you add a surprise note or product sticker to make them smile?
- For professionals, like lawyers and financial advisors, a thank you note or follow up new client gift doesn’t have to take a lot of time or be expensive to create a WOW moment.
- Send surveys to ask for feedback: Inviting clients to take a survey or leave feedback is a way to engage them that works two-fold. It’s great for retention, of course, but a well-thought-out survey can also show which elements of your customer journey needs improvement. (Plus, it sets you up to ask them to leave you a review or testimonial.)
- Reward your most loyal customers: This tactic works well for e-commerce businesses as customers get more incentives as they purchase more. These rewards can range from percentages off to early-access invites to cashback.
- Offer loyalty discounts: Offering a deal also yields good results. Take it a step further & offering deals on goods & services exclusively to clients who have already done business with you.
- Automation authentically with content personalization: There’s really nothing a customer loves more than feeling special. Automation can feel robotic if you’re not careful so add personalization for a more natural, human element in your automation.
Curate new content, special offers, and personal notes to clients authentically through smart automation, tagging, and hitting those moments that matter…like a special birthday email.
- Get out of the inbox…and into the mailbox: Added efforts in sending special, personalized gifts like thank you cards or customized gifts can be a wonderful surprise in your clients’ mailboxes from time to time. Layering in your authentic email automation with moments that matter in their mailbox…in addition to a birthday email note (in tip #5), send a birthday card and sweet treat that is timed to arrive perfectly on time.
Ask us about our automated client engagement system.
How Does Retention fit in Your Strategy?
The great thing about client retention tactics is that you can implement them any time. It’s never too late to check-in with past clients & begin to connect with them again to boost retention.
If you’re in need of an improvement to your customer retention rate, contact Smart Girl Digital. We work to boost retention through automated marketing solutions.