Game, Set, Match: Retention Strategies to Win your Customers Over
It's that time of the year again.
You've rolled out new offers and discounts, invested heavily in advertisements, and braced yourself and your support team for the holiday season.
Powering through the busiest time of the year will be rewarding.
The immediate surge in sales is only the beginning. Every business owner's real challenge is making the most of money spent on acquisition during BFCM.
Acquisition costs more, but 64% of shoppers acquired during the BFCM have a lower lifetime value than those acquired at any other time of the year.
So what is the right BFCM retention strategy
The increase in sales is often caused due to-.
- Brand Switching: Customers switching to your brand due to the discounts
- Stockpiling: Existing customers buying more because of discounts
- Pull-forward: Buying a discounted pack, which they wouldn't at full price.
Each of these groups needs to be treated differently-
Customer Retention Strategy for New Customers
Congrats! You've successfully tapped into the new market. The aim is to establish a connection with people who are new to your brand. Ideally, the right retention strategy is a recipe for good marketing and after-sales.
There are a few reasons why a new customer may not return to you after their BFCM purchase -
- They are not convinced of the benefits
- They do not want to spend more money
- Not satisfied with the quality of the product.
Continued communication and engagement is the key to customer retention. You need an understanding of your value proposition.
As for the customers that are not satisfied with the quality of the product- this is a great learning opportunity, and collecting feedback from such customers is crucial to your growth.
For all of these instances, continued communication becomes a potent tool for customer retention after the BFCM campaign.
Traditionally, an email or SMS marketing campaign explains your product's USP.
While this method is bound to show results, it results from a limited perspective.
True, retention is your end goal. But it would help if you also aimed to maximize efficiency and bottom-line profitability.
Much like a physical storefront with sales staff- guiding your while they are browsing or shopping on your eCommerce website, it would help eliminate any uncertainty customers may have while purchasing a product.
With this change in your approach, you're saving money on the acquisition by retaining clients and ensuring more website visitors turn into customers.
Some of you are nodding your head, thinking, "this only adds pressure on my already overburdened customer support."
Well, it doesn't.
You need to do it right.
And we don't mean to push you towards chatbots and automation that will only chip away at your customer satisfaction scores.
An informative and easily accessible knowledge base can help you achieve your goals without compromising on the quality of customer service OR burning a hole in your pocket.
Take Bumpboxx, for example. The innovators of these urban Bluetooth boomboxes faced low conversions and a high number of returns. This is because most users were unable to figure out how to pair the devices, and hence, Bumpboxx was losing acquired customers due to something as simple as a lack of information.
That is until they started using the Richpanel chat widget. They addressed different questions about the product and provided tutorials on how to pair the boom boxes.
Bumpboxx decreased its return rates significantly. It undoubtedly increased customer retention as well. And no points for guessing - they could achieve this without expanding their customer support team or even having redundant queries about the product too!
For customers unwilling to spend more money- a combination of personalized messages with lucrative offers and discounts should encourage them to stay.
Whether you're employing an email sequence or a knowledge base, we're sure you're ready to jump into action. But there are specific nuances with significant impact that are often overlooked.
Timings and Cadence:
Of course, you want to stay in touch with your newly acquired customers but are your Email sequences nudging them or chasing them away? Ideally, it would help if you customized the cadence of your communication through prediction analysis and automation tools based on the individual lifecycle and buying cycle.
If you're using a robust knowledge base to solve this issue, however, you won't need to worry about the frequency you reach out to your customers.
You're likelier to retain customers this way, along with the proper messaging.
This brings us to the next point-
Your communication should resonate with your target audience. If you observe an increase in first-time customers, create segments of your audience and talk to them with separate and group-focused messaging.
Now that we've gotten communication, the next step is to focus on customer engagement. This is crucial for both new and existing customers. New customers, however, require a little more support and push.
One way to approach this is to create an environment where customers can find help and a sense of community through your customers or self-service flows.
This helps eliminate fear, uncertainty, and doubt when purchasing and generates a sense of trust in your new customers.
This approach may or may not be suitable for your industry- a business selling vitamin supplements can take this path. Still, there's no need to create a community when selling apparel or perfumes, is there?
If that sounds like you- creating an extensive library of FAQs, video tutorials, or a knowledge base is yet another effective way to provide much-needed support for first-time buyers.
Lastly, ensure that the buying process and aftersales support meet the customer's expectations. If a customer needs to make too many clicks, enter their information again and again, or even struggle to get help with returns and exchanges- chances are you'll never see them again.
Make sure your user experience meets the mark and encourages customer loyalty.
This means good customer service, quick replies, and personalized conversations are a must.
Good customer service also gives you a chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one- increasing your overall customer satisfaction and, eventually, your retention rates. (True for existing customers as well)
A good helpdesk plays a crucial role in fulfilling this goal. Automation may be a great way to improve metrics like response time or help answer more customer queries with the limited human resources and time you have- but the impersonal exchanges will stand in the way of building lasting relations with your customers. Discover more on Ecommerce Helpdesk
So what is the solution?
Self-service flows have been gaining popularity in recent decades. It empowers the customer to take matters into their hands and facilitates quicker resolution. It not only helps customers find solutions without contacting the support team- it improves the customer experience and adds a layer of transparency to the whole process.
Imagine if your customers could track orders, initiate a refund or cancel orders without creating a ticket.
But Richpanel HAS managed to decrease 50-70% of customer tickets for most of its clients using this methodology.
Now, addressing the problem of retaining existing customers separately-
Learn More: Complete Guide on Customer Self-Service
Retention Strategy for Existing Customers
Most business owners think loyalty programs and rewards suffice.
But your retention strategy for existing customers should have multiple layers.
While loyalty programs are the base of your retention strategy, there's more you need to look into-
Retaining customers rely heavily on the hook model. There is a trigger based on which your customers take action and are then rewarded for the same.
The reward, in this case, is your loyalty program. But the triggers and actions play an equally important role.
The three keys to success here are-
- The relevancy of your triggers
- Low-friction actions
- The value of rewards
Messages, social media, and emails are excellent opportunities to create the right triggers.
The only thing to remember here is engagement and brand recall; highly personalized communication is a must. Use the information you've collected about your customer over time, and use it to devise offers, discounts, and even your messages to them.
Once you've managed to grab their attention, ensure your offering is lucrative enough for an individual to stay on, and you'll see a significant increase in your repeat customers.
Say, for example, the customers who are stockpiling. When it comes to perishable items, many of these customers will end up with expired products. What if you have a short window for returns or exchanges?
Allowing customers to return these items even when the exchange window has expired can leave a very positive impression on them, motivating them to come back and buy from you again.
Increasing customer retention by even 5% can increase profits between 25-95%. Please create relevant retention tactics along with your BFCM campaigns and preparation. But we understand you've had a lot on your plate and may need to consider your retention strategy. Well. It's still possible.