Customer acquisition is like the firstborn, it gets the most attention because it came first. No blame here, it’s natural. It’s easy to see why; when you add new customers to your portfolio, you know you’ve earned new revenue (cha-ching!). So naturally, new customers often get all the glory and time and marketing effort. But what about your current customers? Stat after stat shows that one of the best business growth tips is to not only keep existing customers but also increase sales from them – meaning the focus is equally, if not more so, on retention. In the customer acquisition vs. retention conversation, it’s clear that customer retention isn’t getting the investment it deserves. How do you know if you’re among the companies guilty of this? Here are four signs your other “kids” (retention) aren’t getting the same attention as the first (acquisition).
You don’t know your customer retention rate.
Some business leaders know their retention and churn rates like their Starbucks order (who knows the back of their hand really?). Other leaders have no idea they should even be tracking it at all, let alone where to start. If you’re not clued into your retention rate, you’re not alone, but the time to make a change is now.
If you find out you have an excellent customer retention rate, then you’re clearly doing something well with your current customers. But if you haven’t been paying attention to your retention rates at all, this is a good indication that current customers haven’t been getting your attention either. Once you start tracking, you’ll be able to stay on top of trends and changes so you can improve retention over time – proactive vs. reactive.
Your marketing budget doesn’t include customer marketing.
We’re digital marketers, so we understand all the joys of budget allocation. You put together line item after line item of everything you wish you could do with your marketing… and then you start slashing line item after line item to get closer to the reality of your available funds. Was customer marketing something that’s been slashed in the past? Or, worse yet, didn’t even make it into the dream budget?
Again, you’re not alone (or heartless) if this is the case. Many really smart marketers forget about customer marketing in the chaos of everything that is digital, social, and technological. But (you knew there’d be a “but,” didn’t you?), customer marketing is one of the very best ways to improve retention.
Customers don’t want to feel abandoned once they buy from you; in fact, quite the opposite. Use customer marketing to stay in front of them, make them feel appreciated and keep your brand top of mind. It deserves its fair share of your budget, even if other tactics have to get slashed.
You’re missing a systematic way to gauge customer satisfaction.
We all know we can benefit from hearing customer feedback but knowing this, and implementing a system for gathering, analyzing and acting on it, are two different things. If you haven’t yet gotten serious about this, there’s good news. Customer satisfaction can actually be positive and help motivate your team.
You don’t reward loyalty.
You’re no stranger to customer loyalty programs. You probably have eight apps with their own reward systems, and receive discounts from your favorite companies when you purchased from them frequently. Whether we as consumers think of it consciously or not, loyalty programs work. They not only make us feel appreciated for our purchases, but they also compel us to buy more. It’s a win for us, and a win for the company.
If you don’t have a loyalty program in place yet, this is a valuable way to improve customer retention. Make it simple for customers to join, and make any perks easy for them to redeem. You might just be amazed at how such an initiative can make your customer satisfaction grow, and incentivize customers to stick around longer.
Need help in creating a customer retention strategy? We can help; give us a call!