As every business owner knows, it’s much harder to get a client than keep a client! So keeping your client retention rates high, you must keep them happy and engaged.
Most companies use nurture strategies for marketing programs, with the goal of moving prospects through the sales funnel using emails, or social media, to offer content, promotions, and personal touch points. But sometimes we give short-shift to continuing this process once someone becomes a customer.
How to encourage customers to return? I’ll stick to the first two examples. In today’s hyper-competitive business world, it’s not enough to simply acquire new customers.
A unique research in the field of business-to-business marketing conducted in 2016 reported that only 38% of respondents had implemented retention marketing techniques or tactics listed to them in the preceding six months.
Despite the advantages retention marketing can bring to a business, many businesses are still not engaging in retention marketing tactics or strategies. Over the next few minutes, we’ll talk about some top ways to engage customers with retention marketing.
Harvard Business School found an increase in customer retention by just 5% can lead to an increase in profits by up to 95%.
The type of business you operate will determine how much time should be devoted to nurturing customer relationships versus lead generation and finding new clients, whether your business is primarily transactional or if you enjoy high repeat customers and recurring revenue.
The BlueBird Marketing Nurture Lifecycle highlights the various stages at which email programs, or social campaigns, may be used for engagement. Here we’ll focus on engaging and retaining customers.
There are many ways to increase your engagement with customers to further opportunities for cross and up-selling, references, loyalty and renewals. Here are some key ideas to integrate email campaign tactics into your company’s customer relationship nurture process.
1. Customer OnBoarding – Welcome new clients and setting expectations for interactions.
- Send a ‘welcome to the family’ email as well as a reach out from the account manager or sales rep. Include contact info & highlights about your key services and benefits.
- Prepare touchpoint emails that allow clients to learn about the product or service they purchased. Include product instructions, how to get support, and ways to engage/learn from other customers.
- If you offer complimentary products or services – begin to make suggestions to start the cross or up-sell conversation.
Product Improvement Surveys
2. Satisfaction or Product Improvement Surveys – Talk about what’s coming down the pike.
- People love to be heard and listened to. Prepare a short survey to get their input.
- How did they experience the sales cycle, what would make it easier?
- How do they like the product? What suggestions or improvements do they have?
- Keep it brief – under 10 questions and less than 5 minutes. Make sure you tabulate your data too – it will be useful in many ways.
Refer a Friend Programs
3. Loyalty and Referral a Friend Programs – Get them to be your spokesperson.
- Prospects love to hear from customers. Ask your key clients if they will allow you to use their name and a quote in your marketing.
- Offer to let them write/take part in a blog, article or case study on your behalf.
- Start a Refer a Friend program. Add to your customer emails/Newsletters and incent them with discounts/promotions or pure awards/gifts, depending on your product/price point.
4. Periodic Announcements/News/Product Updates – Keep your customers fully informed.
- Customer Newsletters or periodic updates about the product and your company. Has your Company reached a pivotal milestone?
- Are you launching a new or updated product? How will it affect them? Did current clients help shape the new release?
- Upgrade options and promotional discounts just for them.
- Pre-Renewal communications to remove any obstacles at renewal time or with the process.
Direct Marketing News found that engagement/relationship strength has 12 X more influence on retention and repeat purchases than satisfaction.
Overall, by deploying simple touch points, either through email, social, direct mail or in person, your customers will feel like they are important and valued, and it will keep them engaged with your company.
These are the basic steps to follow:
Market with a target outcome
Update content regularly
Engage customers in conversation
Provide customer value