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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 11, 2018

Top 3 tips to improve customer retention

Customer retention is expected by many experts to be the difference in marketers' growth this year because, while more and more customers are buying products online, fewer are returning time after time to the same brand. And, according to many, retaining those consumers is key to growth. Here are three tips.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Customer acquisition has been a key factor for brands for years, why are more brands now refocusing on customer retention?

Michael Cohen, VP of Marketing, eRelevance: It is far cheaper to get more business from the customers you already have than it is to get new customers. In addition, one of the most important elements to getting new customers is the reviews you have from your existing customers. Happy customers are often not proactive about writing reviews but unhappy ones sure are. Your marketing program needs to be proactive in asking for the review in a way that is not irritating to the customer. Irritate them by being overly aggressive and the review you were hoping for may not be so positive.

Kristina: How should marketers approach retaining customers without shutting out would-be new customers?

Michael: One way to encourage new customer purchases is to leverage your existing customers. You do this by establishing a great referral program. Reward existing customers when they refer someone that makes a purchase. "Word-of-mouth" remains one of the most powerful and positive ways to generate new customers. Happy customers like to tell their friends, rewarding them for doing so is a win-win.

Kristina: And the opposite of this: how can brands encourage new customer purchases, while encouraging customers to return often?

Michael: Retaining customers is about creating loyalty. Loyalty is built one transaction at a time. Existing customers should always feel special and you should realize that the marketing you are doing to get new customers is being seen by the existing ones. Customers don't like seeing better deals for new customers than the ones they get. This makes them want to become a new customer someplace other than your business.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips to improve customer retention?
Michael: Communicate with customers, don't spam them.
• A one-size fits all message isn't the best way to communicate. When your marketing segments customers into campaigns that are relevant to their interests they will perform better and improve customer retention.
Use multiple digital communication channels.
• Some customers respond to email, some to text, some to social channels, some to push notification on a mobile app. Because everyone has a communication channel preference it is wise to use several in your marketing so that customers can engage in their channel of choice. This helps them feel that you are marketing to them the way they want to consume it and therefore helps retain them.
Listen to your customers.
• Customers want to be heard, especially when they have an issue. Don't make it hard for them to be heard. Listen, be responsive, take them seriously and you may just retain them when things don't go well.

Tags: advertising, customer loyalty trends, customer retention, eRelevance, loyalty marketing, loyaly ad trends

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