Unique Ways to Retain Existing Customers

10 Unique Ways to Retain Existing Customers

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You probably agree that making money from existing customers is easier than new ones, but you would be surprised to see how effective it is. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%. In this article, I will show how you can Retain Your Existing Customers and Dramatically Increase Your Revenue.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for you!), most businesses are so busy acquiring new customers that they rarely pay attention to customer retention. You shouldn’t be like them, and as you will see, increasing the customer retention rate is far easier than you think, and the result is beyond ordinary.

 

What Is Customer Retention?

Before getting to the actual tips, it’s important to review what exactly customer retention is and how we can measure it.

 

🔸The Marketing Definition

Customer retention is the ability of your company to retain existing customers. In other words, it’s your ability to make previous buyers return and buy more.

 

🔸Why Do Customers Leave?

To start improving customer retention, we need to understand why customers leave. Customers, by definition, have traversed your sale funnel at least once. So they know about your company and have already become interested in your product or services.

Assuming your customers are still alive (it could be pretty dramatic otherwise), the problem is usually because they:

  • Were dissatisfied with your product
  • Found better prices
  • Found better alternatives
  • Didn’t like the way they were treated
  • Forgot about you due to a lack of exposure
  • No longer have the purchasing power

 

It’s usually due to the first five causes of a healthy economy. But usually, there is a mixture of all the above causes.

 

🔸How To Calculate Customer Retention?

To make things precise, we define Customer Retention Rate (CRR) as follows:

Customer retention rate (CRR) formula to Retain Existing Customers
Customer Retention Rate (CRR) Formula

 

Let’s say you have 500 customers at the start of the month. During the month, you acquire 100 new customers. And finally, at the end of the month, you have 510 customers (you have lost some of your existing customers).
Then your CRR would be:

[(510-100)/500]*100 = 82%

 

Of course, it’s far less than that in the real world! The average CRR for eCommerce stores is 30%.

 

Now let’s review our 10 different techniques for increasing customer retention.

 

10 Ways to Retain Existing Customers

We divide our actions into two categories, Technical and Psychological, although the distinction is not always clear, and there are overlaps.

 

✅ Technical Actions

Let’s start with the technical ones. Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a programmer to implement most of these actions! If you are using WordPress (or any other popular CMS, there are great plugins to implement them quite easily).

Whenever possible, I offer my favorite plugins for WordPress as it’s currently the most popular CMS, and I love building websites with WooCommerce.

 

1) Improve the User Experience

No matter how good and reasonably priced your products are, customers won’t return if they don’t have a satisfying online experience. They switch to a competitor offering a Better User Experience and always do it by instinct.

User experience is a vast topic deserving its own article, but it’s pretty easy to improve despite the apparent complexity.

To start, you should check the following on your website:

  1. Buttons are where they should be and work as expected: for Example, CTA buttons should be big and visible, preferably on the right on desktops and at the bottom on mobiles.
  2. Graphics, colors, and fonts are consistent, not distracting, and enchanting.
  3. Minimal or no deliberate thought is needed to perform common actions like ordering, canceling, and adding to a wishlist.
  4. Essential features are available: For example, Wishlist functionality and a share button.

 

Luckily, improving user experience doesn’t demand much technical knowledge, and plugins are more than enough. The following plugin is just an example.

Plugin review: TI WooCommerce Wishlist

TI WooCommerce Wishlist plugin
A Snapshot of the TI WooCommerce Wishlist Plugin on WordPress Repository

Ti WooCommerce Wishlist sets up complete wishlist functionality in your WooCommerce website within a few clicks. Customers can then add their favorite products to their wishlists and share wishlists with friends, improving the overall user experience.

 

2) Offer a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs have long been successfully used in increasing customer retention rates because:

  • Customers feel better treated and more important
  • They come back more to get awards and don’t forget about you.

A good loyalty program rewards users for purchasing and other helpful actions like writing reviews, sharing products, etc.

 

That being said, running your loyalty programs is essential; fortunately, it’s straightforward in WordPress via a plugin.

Plugin review: SUMO Reward Points

SUMO Reward Points Plugin
A Snapshot of the SUMO Reward Points Plugin on WordPress Repository

SUMO Reward Points is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly run your customized loyalty program. You can reward your customers for purchasing, signing up, writing reviews, doing Referrals, using coupon codes, sharing products, etc.

 

3) Offer Excellent Customer Support

God knows how many customers leave an online store only because they are unsatisfied with the customer experience. Don’t let that happen to you.

Customer support is both psychological and technical. Still, I’m going to focus on the technical aspects of it.

Many website owners think having an active telephone number is enough, while it’s definitely not. Many people don’t have the time to make a phone call. Instead, they love lives chats, emails, and online tickets.

Start with the following list for your live chats. All of them are very easy to implement and help you retain your existing customers:

  • Add live chat to all your pages.
  • Add a call button to be displayed on mobile devices.
  • Communicate clearly that you are ready to help.
  • Instruct operators to use friendly and personal language.
  • Reduce response time as much as you can, and avoid using bots. (bots are not very helpful in guiding people!)

 

Plugin review: Tawk.to

Tawk.to plugin
A Snapshot of the Tawk.to plugin on WordPress Repository

Tawk.to is my favorite live chat service. It’s completely Free (you only need to pay when your website grows considerably) and very easy to set up. It allows you and anyone in your team to answer chats via mobile, desktop, or web applications.

 

4) Adopt Email Marketing

Many people think email marketing is dead, but the mere fact that influential and innovative brands with heavy marketing budgets still use it says everything!

Email marketing increases customer retention rate because:

  1. It doesn’t let customers forget about you (even if they don’t open the emails!).
  2. It allows you to communicate better with your customers and increase customer satisfaction.

You can use email marketing to promote new products, give discount codes, and receive customer feedback.

Here are a few tips for making the most out of your email campaigns:

  • Use personal and friendly language 
  • Always use the user’s name in the emails
  • Use attractive visuals
  • Use bold and visible CTA buttons
  • Be creative with the content and title

 

Plugin review: MailPoet

MailPoet Plugin
A Snapshot of the MailPoet Plugin on WordPress Repository

MailPoet is a powerful plugin by the same team behind WooCommerce. It allows you to design customized emails and send them automatically to your users.
The Premium Email service is entirely free for websites with 1,000 or fewer users.

However, as the number of users grows, you should consider using services like Mailchimp to send your emails!

 

 

5) Create a Customer Feedback Loop

No matter how well you try to improve customers’ total experience within and after the purchase, there will be things they don’t like. Why not ask them instead of finding a problem yourself?

Here are some ideas:

  • Email a link to a survey after the customers receive the products: start by gathering a few important questions about the products, price, packaging, shipping, etc.
  • Call some of your customers randomly to ask their opinion.
  • State clearly that you like to hear from your customers and even create a form for that: It’s as simple as making a simple form for customers to express their feeling about your brand.

 

Plugin Review: Customer Reviews for WooCommerce

Customer Reviews for WooCommerce Plugin
A Snapshot of the Customer Reviews for WooCommerce Plugin

Customer Reviews for WooCommerce allows you to send your customers an automated personalized email reminder right after the order is completed. You can also set a delay to send emails after a fixed time following the order completion.

 

 

✅ Psychological Ways

Now it’s time to explore psychological actions. Remember that these are not separate from technical ones and should be considered when implementing technical actions.

 

1) Create a Unique Brand

Your brand is your identity. It’s how your customers see you if you are an actual person. Some are friendly and fun, while others are serious and determined. It’s essential to build a brand that customers love and respect.

Start by defining key personalities you like to exist in your brand. Don’t list more than 3 or 5. It’s tempting to want to be everything to everyone, but that doesn’t work. In the end, there should be only one strong personality that differentiates you from competitors. Focus on that!

For example, the automobile producer VOLVO is famous for producing the safest cars (which is not necessarily the case today), and Apple is famous for innovation and simplicity.

 

2) Be Honest and Transparent

Be honest when other companies lie, tell things they don’t, and you will benefit from it more than you think.

 

3) Make Each Customer Feel Important

You can’t build a genuine, long-term relationship with your existing customers and retain them without giving them the impression that you care about them. (and you should really care about them!)

 

4) Promote a Common Cause

If you don’t have any idea, here is a list. Remember that you can choose anything your potential customers care about, and it’s best to be something relevant to your business.

Some common causes:

  1. Saving the nature
  2. Fighting a specific disease
  3. Increasing social justice
  4. Fighting racism 
  5. Saving an endangered species

 

5) Personalize Your Communications

Finally, to build a good healthy relationship with your existing customers and retain them, you should personalize your communication as much as you can. It is ideal for creating a knowledge base about your customers.

You can gather information like:

  • Name and last name
  • Birthday
  • Education
  • Job
  • Interests

You can then use this information to create a unique experience with your customers whenever they reach you, whether by email, phone call, or live chat.

 

 

Wrap Up

As you know by now, Customer Retention is far more important than Customer Acquisition. If you can keep existing customers, they will bring new customers on their own.

Of course, customer retention isn’t a one-time process. Everything changes and your strategies and plans should change with them. What worked 10 years ago might be obsolete today, and customer retention is no exception. You should understand and change with your existing customers to retain them.

I hope you liked this article and if it’s the case, please share it with your friends.

 

 

Saeed Threes
I love WordPress, its plugins, and building a free world with this tool. That is why I would like to share my experiences in this wonderful world with you. You can do anything with WordPress without any hassle.
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Saeed Threes
I love WordPress, its plugins, and building a free world with this tool. That is why I would like to share my experiences in this wonderful world with you. You can do anything with WordPress without any hassle.
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