Mastering customer retention: effective strategies to boost loyalty and drive growth

Thursday 13 July 2023 - Toby Mortaro

 Driving customer loyalty is important for any business, whether you’re just starting out or in an established market. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who will drive your growth and profits. So building effective customer retention strategies is vital. We’ll be taking a look at how to calculate customer retention rate, why it’s important and how to build upon that customer experience. But first, what is customer retention?


What Is Customer Retention?

Customer retention is the process of encouraging customers to remain loyal to your business and return for repeat business. Retention strategies typically involve providing excellent and consistent customer service, delivering on your brand promise, offering competitive pricing and developing loyalty programmes. There are different types of customer retention strategies that will focus on different incentives, which we’ll be discussing further on in the blog.


Customer Retention vs. Customer Acquisition

These two areas of business are very closely related, and both should have a primary focus. Much like the chicken and ?egg dilemma, you can’t have one without the other. 

Where customer retention focuses on how to bring back repeat business from existing customers, customer acquisition is the strategy behind how you acquire new customers. Typically, customer retention requires fewer resources than customer acquisition – making it a more cost-effective option. But that doesn’t mean you should sweep customer acquisition under the rug. Customer acquisition strategies include marketing campaigns that attract organic search engine traffic and paid advertising campaigns targeting potential customers from specific demographics with tailored messaging. Additionally, expanding upon your services is a great way to extend your reach locally, encouraging word-of-mouth and encouraging new business.

Both strategies are essential for sustained business growth as they help create long-term relationships with clients resulting in increased return on investment (ROI) over time.


How to Calculate Customer Retention Rate

To analyse your customer retention strategies and their success, you need to know the customer retention rate formula. This looks like the following:

You need to ensure you have the correct data so you’re able to get an accurate figure. For example, if you wanted to analyse customer retention for a specific month, you can do the following:


                                   New customers acquired


Customer retention rate = 900 - 200 = 700/1000 x 100 = 70%

                                            ^                          ^

             Total number of customers           Customers at the start

              at the end of the month               of the time period

So your customer retention rate for the example above would be 70%. You’re able to gain valuable insight into your customer retention strategies using the customer retention rate formula. However, there are limitations to consider. It only measures whether or not a customer returns to make another purchase. It doesn’t account for factors such as how many times they return or how much they spend each time. Despite this limitation, tracking customer retention rate over time can help you identify areas where you need to improve and better understand what drives business growth. In turn, aiding you in making more strategic and informed decisions.


Why Does Customer Retention Matter?

There are a number of reasons why customer retention strategies are important. Increasing customer loyalty helps build a strong and engaged customer base. It’s also a lot more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. By focusing on the customer journey and making it a smooth process, this is an easy, surefire way to entice customers back. Excellent customer experiences lead to increased word-of-mouth referrals, which are one of the most powerful marketing tools available to any business. And high customer retention rates can be a key indicator of success and ultimately help boost a business's bottom line. How many times have you asked for recommendations for a specific service or product from a friend?

 As a customer, we all remember when we’ve had exceptionally good service or a positive experience somewhere, right? That’s how you want to be thinking about your business. A high customer retention rate means that your customers trust your business to deliver on what you provide as a service, and are more likely to visit again. Which in turn, drives profits and increases growth. By mastering how to retain existing customers, you can increase your bottom line while creating loyal customers that will stick around for years to come.


How to Create Exceptional Customer Experiences

If you want your business to excel within customer service, you need to create an exceptional experience for your customers. That’s a no brainer. So how do you do that? A good place to start is by building trust with your customers, delivering consistently high-quality service and remaining transparent with any communication. Let’s take a look at a few areas you should focus on.


Create a Strong Onboarding Experience

When your customers first request a service or repair from your business, you want them to have a lasting impression. Make sure the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible for your customer. That means ensuring staff know where they need to be and when, any information required from the customer is captured in order to carry out the work and keeping communication lines open.


Establishing Clear Customer Retention Goals

Your customer retention strategies will aid the customer experience. It’s up to you to decide which parts are working, and which need a little adjustment. Ensure the goals you’re setting are achievable and focus on enhancing the customer experience. This helps build trust and consistency. If you want your business to excel in customer service, you need to create an exceptional experience for your customers.


Personalise the Customer Journey

With your customers at the centre of your retention strategy, how great would it be if you could personalise your communications? The good news is, you can. Send tailored emails to specific groups of customers that target their potential interests, based on services they’ve requested from you previously. It puts your business at the forefront of their minds. Another way to personalise communications is through social media. Customers want to see the humanity behind your business name. By adding a personal touch to the way you’re answering queries on social media, it helps build familiarity and breaks down the corporate barrier.


Build Trust From the Beginning

It’s reported that around 80% of customers consider trust as a deciding factor before making a purchase. Trust always takes time to build, whatever the type of relationship. And it’s incredibly important for your customers to be able to trust you as a business. Consider the values you want to uphold and consistently stay true to those, as well as stay transparent with your customers about any changes or unexpected delays. Make sure you’re delivering on your brand's promises as well. This all contributes toward building trust. By focusing on these key points, you create an elevated customer experience and drive growth by increasing loyalty among existing customers and gaining new ones.


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