By John Brackett, founder of Break balloon. Smash Balloon provides social media feed plugins for WordPress.
Customer retention is one of the most important factors to consider as a small business owner. Getting new customers is a great feeling, but there are many benefits to retaining people who have already made a purchase on your website.
Returning customers are more likely to do the following:
• Spend more per order (increased average order value)
• Leave testimonials on your website and social media
• Subscribe to other marketing channels (social media, email, etc.)
The average retention rate varies by industry. At the top, media and professional services see an average percentage of 84%. Travel and hospitality are at the lower end of the spectrum, retaining about 55% of their customers.
In other words, if you don’t try to get existing customers to invest in your brand, you could be missing out on a significant chunk of potential sales and engagement.
My goal is to help you avoid this situation. Today I’m sharing a few tips you can use to improve your retention rate and save more lost sales.
Keep your promises.
The first way you can improve your retention rate is simply by keeping your promises. As business owners and marketers, our job is to convince customers that they need our products or services.
We get this message across through our blog posts, paid advertising, social media posts and other community interactions. But if you promise your brand can do things it can’t, you’ll see more users walk away.
In this case, churn is the opposite of retention. Retention indicates how many customers you have retained after a predetermined amount of time, and churn is how many customers have discontinued their service. If you keep your promise too much, the opposite can come true. Customers will stick with your brand despite a rising sea of competitors because you did your best and delivered on your promises.
Start a loyalty program.
A loyalty program can also help you convince customers to come back for multiple orders. We encourage all new customers to sign up for our marketing and loyalty emails so that they can be rewarded for shopping with our company.
The type of reward you choose can vary widely depending on your resources and product availability. Companies offer discounts, rewards points and gifts to gain loyalty and improve retention.
A surefire way to convince customers to join your loyalty program is to give cash back on every order. For example, if someone spends $100 on your site, they’ll get 10% of that store credit back.
This system ensures that customers always have some “bonus money” to use on their next order. We saw repeat sales skyrocket after implementing this system on one of our websites.
Make it easy to stay in touch.
A common mistake I see companies make is that they only have one main communication channel. I’m here to tell you that this is one of the fastest ways to get customers to leave. You need to develop a diverse marketing and communication strategy that includes your website, emails, and social media.
Imagine that you decide to buy a new technical product. Instead of joining their email list, just follow them on social media. If something pops up, you think you can easily reach them there. Only you soon find out that they don’t have an active customer service team on social media.
So you go back to their website only to find that you need to sign up and email a support ticket. I don’t know about you, but I think a lot of people would feel like they’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get an answer to a simple question.
Do not put your customers in this situation. At the very least, you should have options to talk to your customers through live chat on your website and direct messaging on social media. These additional communication channels will make it easier for customers to stay in touch, which can result in sales and traffic.
Remind users that they have abandoned their cart.
There is nothing worse than watching customers abandon their shopping cart. These users were almost customers, but for some reason changed their minds. A shocking number of entrepreneurs would write down their losses and move on.
Ignoring the problem is not a viable solution.
Instead, you need to develop a cart abandonment strategy. Create a series of emails and on-screen popups to reach users who have added things to their cart but are leaving before checking out.
You won’t convince everyone to follow up on their order, but you can get enough people on board to make this strategy worthwhile. I recommend offering these users exclusive discounts that they can use when they complete their purchase via the link in your email.
Fight for customer success.
Finally, let’s talk about fighting for customer success. After a user buys something from your site, do you check in to see how they feel about their purchase? How about a little note to make sure they don’t have any questions or concerns?
The truth is that most people will not contact you if they are not happy with their order or have questions about your product. You need to proactively approach your customers if you want answers.
Reaching out to your customers is a great way to improve your existing products and help customers in the event of a misunderstanding. For example, if a user can’t get a function to work, you can put them on the right path. When customers see that you are willing to help them succeed with your product, they are more likely to stay with your company.
If you fight for customer success and implement a few other strategies mentioned today, you should have no problem increasing your retention rate and improving customer satisfaction.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult a licensed professional for advice on your specific situation.