by Larry Mead, Kate Kompelien and Kurt Schroeder
Even a small amount of effort directed at keeping existing customers happy can greatly impact a company’s bottom line. Research done by Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company, the inventor of the Net Promoter Score, shows increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. And yet, while most companies have a strategy to acquire customers, only 18% have a strategy that focuses on retention according research from Invesp.
So how can you make keeping customers happy a priority? Here are three steps to get you going:
Step #1: Make it Easy to Do Business with You
One of the best ways to create customer loyalty is the simplest: make it easy for your customers to do business with you. Begin by understanding the journey customers take to interact with you and eliminating any pain points or barriers along the way.
Create a customer experience journey map that details every step your customer takes from the beginning of the purchase process through the initial purchase and into a long-term relationship with your company. Then, use your journey map to its fullest to manage the relationship between your customers and your business.
Step #2: Utilize Customer Data to Improve Experiences
Your business likely uses a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) to collect customer data. While this is a crucial component of managing customer relationships, simply collecting and tracking data is no longer enough—you must use the data you collect.
There are many ways to use your data effectively. Here are a few some ideas to get you started:
- Look at the impact of the activity. Where do most of your customers interact with your brand? Do they follow you on social media, read your blog or open emails regarding the latest sales? Develop strategies based around what your customers are actually doing. Look at your own website, too. Do shoppers abandon a cart at a certain point? That could be a sign of a confusing shopping experience. Do customers abandon forms without completing them entirely? Decreasing the amount of information, you’re asking for may increase form completion.
- Align all departments. Sometimes, in marketing and communications, teams who don’t share data can cross paths and do more harm than good. Make sure you’re sharing your data internally so that Sales knows what Marketing is doing, for example. That way, you’ll better coordinate communications and you won’t confuse your customers with mixed messages.
- Gather and use customer feedback. Even small amounts of customer feedback can be highly useful. If you already gather feedback, take the time to review and respond to it. You might implement a process for responding to negative feedback with personal messages. You might also note trends and address those trends as you improve your customer experience.
Step #3: Always Look for New Ways to Foster Loyalty
Continual improvement is key to fostering loyalty to your brand. Your customers’ expectations are always changing, and online technology is becoming more competitive year after year. Google reaffirms this. It reports that 15% of searches are completely new. That’s 300 billion searches every year that have never been searched before—and 300 billion things that people are asking for that they weren’t last year.
Always continue to improve your web experience and remove barriers to purchasing your product. If you don’t make it easier for your customers to come back to you, your competitors will beat you to it.
Read Next: Using Technology To Drive Loyalty Management
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