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by Carly Stec Carly Stec on December 3, 2013

4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Retention Rates

December 3, 2013

 4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Retention RatesWhen you grab a hold of something good, place it on a pedestal.

Think about it, everyone has that one pair of jeans that they can't live without. You've probably had them for a few years, they're perfectly broken it, worn in all the right places, and they fit like a glove.

The thought of outgrowing them, losing them in an airport baggage fiasco, or ripping them to the point of no repair makes you cringe because they are truly one of a kind.

So what about your existing customers? Aren't they one of a kind? Where would you be without them?

80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers. (Source: Gartner Group)

This means that your customer base should be right up there on the list of your favorite things. They are the ones that drive your success, and keep your business in motion. If anyone deserves to be put on a pedestal here, it's them.

According to Bain and Company, just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.

It's simple; you can't afford to ignore the importance of customer retention.

Become an Expert

The best way to prove your worth is to produce content that reflects your expertise and nothing less. High quality content works just as effectively to retain existing customer interests as it does to attract new leads.

Developing a content marketing strategy that strikes a balance between producing information that seeks to educate old customers while continuing to feed the interest of new leads is of the upmost importance. This can be achieved through the release of eBooks, blog articles, or webinars that are designed to answer customer questions across all the lifecycle stages.

While a blog article about the transition from outbound to inbound marketing may catch the eye of a new visitor, an eBook that delves into advanced tactics for mastering attract, covert, close, and delight may lend itself better to the loyal customers and blog subscribers you already have.

Above all, strive to create content that outshines the subject matter put forth by your competitors. It is likely that many of your competitors push content that tells readers what to do, so your job is not tell them not only what to do, but how to do it and why.

Issue a Newsletter Worth Reading 4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Retention Rates

Keep your current customers in the loop with a weekly, monthly, or even quarterly newsletter just for them. This simple step tends to be overlooked by many businesses, however it is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic. A newsletter gives your business the space to engage with your customers, while shedding a positive light on your businesses' most recent developments.

In fact, here at IMPACT we just released our very first client newsletter a couple of weeks ago. Arriving bi-weekly, our newsletter was designed to showcase our company culture and provide useful information specific to the latest inbound marketing tips and trends.

The newsletter opened with some inside information on the implementation of our new pod structure as a way to improve our client services, an introduction of our new team members, and details about our upcoming events. By creating a newsletter specific to our company's environment makes for a humanized avenue for communication.

Customer-centric newsletters help to establish a sense of community, making it easier for your customers to stay in tune with what your company has to offer, while setting the scene for feedback and further discussion.

Provide Extraordinary Customer Service

What are we not doing? What should we start doing? What is something that we can change?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself on a regular basis to ensure that you are putting forth the highest level of customer service possible.

Your availability, tone, and ability to provide customers with a succinct answer that satisfies their request or concern are all areas in which you should work toward improving if you wish to retain more customers.

More than often customers find they feeling frustrated as they cycle through a series of automated messages in an attempt to address their issue. This means that many businesses are failing to recognize the word-of-mouth potential that each of their customers are representative of.

It is essential to recognize that your customer service serves as your main form of communication with your customers, both new and returning. If you dish out quality customer service, your businesses’ public perception will be more favorable. Exercising quality customer service worth talking about will result in profitable customer relationships that often grow beyond the first transaction.

Make Use of Feedback

5 Ways to Improve Your Customer Retention RatesIs there anything worse than reaching out to a company via social media to address a complaint only to have it fall upon deaf ears?

What about having them respond with a generic, half-hearted auto response? That's worse right?

The way in which your company handles social media feedback (the good, the bad, and the ugly) has the ability to make or break your customer retention.

Whether it's a compliment or a complaint, your customer service representative must learn to take a step back, and address the suggestion in a professional, timely manner. Failing to acknowledge customer outreach on social media platforms can directly translate into your lack of concern for your customer's satisfaction.

To avoid letting these things fall through the cracks, enlists a member of your team to monitor your social media engagement regularly. This type of surveillance will allow you to address issues as they arise, eliminating the off chance that they could snowball into something worse.

Beyond developing a strategy for handling feedback responses, consider what you can pull from the feedback in order to improve your overall marketing strategy. Knowing what your customers like, and what they don't like will help you make future decisions regarding content, products, and services.

Keep in mind that repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers (Source: Laura Lake), so take their opinions seriously. A strong customer retention rate translates to a strong army of brand advocates.

Photo Credit

Carly Stec

Carly Stec

Carly is the Content Marketing Manager at IMPACT. She's also a frequent contributor to the HubSpot Blog, has a strong affinity for anything Kate Spade, and keeps a wide variety of English Tea in her desk.

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