10 ways to improve customer retention

Published: April 2017

Investing and improving in customer retention

Nothing beats the feeling of a new order coming in, or a new client walking through your door. But when so much time and energy goes into getting new customers, is there a risk of existing customers being left behind? Investing and improving in customer retention transforms a new customer into a loyal client who always buys from you. Here are some customer retention tips from us:

1. Create a frictionless user experience

How easy was it for your customer to purchase from you? Can they order on their mobile, or do they have to move to a desktop computer? How many steps were between seeing the product, and finalising a transaction? A frictionless user experience is the difference between a customer who will come back, and one who won’t. We build every website with this in mind – an Urban River website has got to be fast, easy to use and responsive. There’s a reason Amazon have a patent on their one-click button – a speedier checkout drives customer retention. Take away any obstacles at checkout, and you’ll be decreasing the chances of cart abandonment, and encouraging customers to return.

Customer retention_mortgage pathways

2. Make sure your customer feels like you care about them – even after they purchase

No customer wants to feel like you only care about what is in their wallet. Keep showing them that they matter to you after the sale. Build a relationship with them and give them a reason to stay loyal. We installed this thinking into our web design for Pass’N’Go – we built software enabling instructors to give electronic feedback to pupils after every lesson, along with a messaging system where pupils could ask their instructor questions direct. This level of aftercare gives clients the assurance that they matter as individuals – giving them every reason to keep coming back creating customer retention.

Customer retention_PassNGo

3. Invest in e-marketing

Are you emailing your customers after a purchase? E-marketing matters, and all you need is an email address to keep in touch with your customer base, reminding them that you’re still here and ready for their next order. Is there anything you can offer customers? Maybe a voucher code, an exclusive offer – maybe just a reminder that the product they were looking at is about to go out of stock and to grab it now. With so many businesses out there, it’s easy to be forgotten! Don’t let that happen


If this all seems like a bit too much to take on, you can always contact us for help. We have handled marketing strategies focusing on customer retention with a proven track record of effective results.


4. Stay on their radar

How often do you interact with customers? You might see them everyday at your shop, or maybe once every few months at your hairdressers. It all depends on the type of business you have, but there’s no reason why you can’t stay on their radar in between sales. Enhance your digital presence and get your business on social media. Make sure your customers know you’re there and waiting for them to follow you. Maybe put your social media handles on your business card, or even in your shop window. We’re always encouraging our clients to get on social, and if they don’t have the time or the knowledge to take care of it themselves, we can do it for them. We recommend you post regularly, keep it engaging and your customer won’t forget you.

Customer retention_Helen McArdle Care

5. Find out what your customer wants

Do you acknowledge complaints…or just ignore them? Have you ever sent a survey out, or asked for a review? Maybe it’s about time you asked customers what they truly thought. Listen to them, no matter how negative their criticisms may seem. You can’t please everyone, but if the same complaint keeps cropping up time after time then there may be an issue. Address it, and thank customers for feedback.

6. Make it easy for them to access a real person when they need to

Hands up if you’ve ever called a company, only to be met with a robot for the first ten minutes of the call. Yep, it’s happened to us all. It’s almost as if they see customers as a nuisance they don’t want to deal with in person. Nobody wants to feel like that.
Make it easy for your customers to access a real person as soon as possible, showing them that they are a priority, not a nuisance. If you find your schedule makes this difficult, set yourself a deadline. For example – every customer who gets in touch must hear from a member of the team within 24 hours.

7. Get on top of your data

So you’ve collected information on your customers, their name, email address, etc. But what are you actually doing with it? Is it organised correctly, is it being updated when new information comes in? Are you making use of those all important email addresses, or are they just lying there dormant?
Organising data is a dull task that nobody wants to do – but you must. That data is vital to keep customers coming back. How are you to offer them a free birthday gift with their next purchase, if your data is badly organised? Or to let them know that there’s an offer in the store nearest to their home address?
If you’re struggling to think of ways to use your marketing data, you can give us a call.

Customer retention_Snowshock
8. Customer journey mapping

What steps do customers go through when interacting with your organisation? Try mapping this out in a flow chart to show what happens. Are there points where you touch base with the customer after a transaction, and how frequent are those touch points? Where along their journey with you do you make efforts to get them to buy again? From this, identify communicational gaps and correct them.

9. Work out what customer expectations are – and exceed them

We know it’s hard to view your organisation from the outside – but try and identify what your customers expect from you. Be more specific than just a ‘good service’ because we all expect that. What impression has your brand given customers? Once you’ve got a list of things your customer expects from you – put together a list of ways you could exceed that. Surprising them with better than they expect will give them every reason to return to you.

10. Personalise their experience

It’s difficult to personalise every customer experience if you have thousands on your books, but it is worth investing time in. Find out what they want, and build a personalised package around that, rather than just sticking to the standard package. Reward their loyalty to you, and create offers and deals for them based on what they would actually want or need, rather than just send the same offer to every client. Why not arrange a meeting with one of your clients today? You can’t manufacture a personal experience; you have to put time into it.

Urban River websites are built around you and your customers. We endeavour to create an online experience that encourages your customers to come back time and time again. If you’re serious about improving customer retention – get in touch with us
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