Investing in customer retention techniques is one of the best ways to increase your company’s ROI without spending money on acquiring new customers.
But what are customer retention techniques, and how do you use them to increase customer retention? Keep reading to learn about customer retention techniques and get examples from well-known companies you can use to inspire your business.
What are customer retention techniques?
Customer retention techniques are proactive approaches businesses use to nurture customer relationships. These approaches are meant to increase customer loyalty and maximize customer lifetime value. This, in turn, leads to sustainable profitability since it is 5x cheaper to retain customers than to acquire newer ones.
While you’re here, if you want to learn more about customer retention, what it’s about, and how to calculate them, you can check out this article – 5 ways to improve customer retention rates in SaaS. (hyperlink goes here when the article has been published)
10 customer retention techniques used by top companies
Not every customer retention technique works. But here are 10 proven-effective techniques (with case studies from popular brands you know) that can help you choose the best retention techniques for your business.
One of the best customer retention techniques is to reward your customers for their loyalty through a loyalty program.
You have complete control over your loyalty programs and the rewards you choose to offer. Some of the best rewards are discounts, sneak peeks, exclusive events, free trials, and more.
Yes, free trials. Many people think of free trials as incentives to convert potential leads, but they can also be used in loyalty programs. For instance, if you have a new product that has yet to be in the market, you can release a free trial for customers to try it for free. You can also partner with another company to offer a free trial for your customers – this is a bomb!
Case Study: Shazam
Shazam is a music discovery app that helps customers identify the music playing around them – Great product! But we have something to learn from them today.
Shazam offers up to 4 months of free Apple music subscription to users to say thank you and to keep them “Shazaming” music with the app and using Apple Music for free.
This action alone would nudge users to always “Shazam” music around because they can listen to the music for free with Apple Music – customer retention at its finest!
Ask for feedback
It’s easier to improve your business if you know how your customers feel about it. To know how your customers feel about your business, you need their feedback.
Andrew Gazdecki, CEO of MicroAcquire, tweeted this on customer feedback, and I totally agree:
There are a few ways to collect customer feedback. The most common way is with a survey like the NPS, CSAT, or CES, or you can ask customers to participate in user testing and focus groups.
Case study: Clearword
Clearword helps customers create smart meeting summaries that they can search and share in one central library. Today, they teach us a valuable lesson about customer feedback.
Instead of sending regular emails, Clearword’s team is not shy to ask for feedback from their customers to know what they are doing well and what isn’t working. This information is then used to make better decisions, contributing to customer retention.
Start a customer education program
A customer education program helps your customers stick to your brand because you’re not only offering a great product/service. You’re also establishing yourself as an expert in your niche by teaching them how to run their businesses better and possibly make more money through your product.
Case study: SEMRush Academy
I already love SEMRush for what they do for businesses in terms of SEO, but they take it up a notch by offering free content marketing and SEO training videos and certifications that anyone can use to learn and grow their skills. By watching training videos on SEMRush, users can learn more about how to use SEMRush tools in their everyday workflow.
Provide a personalized customer experience
Every customer is different, and no two customers have the same exact needs. So the last thing you want to do is provide a one-size-fits-all solution for all customers – they will churn.
One statistic in the Fifth edition of the State of the Connected Customers shows that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
But how do you personalize customer experience? By using data.
You can collect customer data through feedback surveys, reviews, purchase behavior, or by asking them during their onboarding with welcome screens surveys. Welcome screen surveys allow you to know more about your users and provide a more personalized in-app experience for them.
Case Study: Monday.com
Monday, a cloud-based project management tool, asks qualifying questions at the beginning of the onboarding process to segment users.
This ensures they don’t use the one-size-fits-all onboarding strategy for their customers. Instead, when users receive a personalized experience tailored to them, it increases the rate of satisfaction and retention.
Make your customers feel special and send a thank you message
Everyone likes to be appreciated, and your customers are no exception. Therefore, thanking your customers is a must-do for every business. Emotions are the most significant drivers of loyalty, and what better way to generate positive emotions than saying, “we really appreciate you, thank you!”
Case study: Canva
Canva is one of the best brands out there, and it’s no surprise they are doing so well. Apart from having a great product that solves a problem: access to easy-to-use design tools for non-designers, they are also great with something else – connecting with their customers.
Canva would send their customers awards for completing 1000 designs and thank you messages for being part of the company – it’s refreshing to see.
Engage on social media
A report by Spoutsocial revealed that nearly two-thirds of customers want brands to connect with them, and social media is the best platform.
Engaging with your customers through social media can help you create a sense of community around your brand, increasing brand loyalty and customer retention.
Case study: Hotjar
I love Hotjar, but I love their social media more. Big ups to Hotjar’s social media team. They are constantly engaging with followers, sharing customer-generated content, and being an overall relatable brand.
Listen to your customers’ complaints and empathize with them
Making your customers feel heard and letting them know that you’re always ready to serve them is a crucial part of any client retention technique. So, whenever you receive a complaint from a customer, try to listen, empathize with them and take bold steps to improve the issue.
Case Study: Piggyvest
Piggyvest is a Nigerian online savings platform that helps people achieve their financial goals by making it easy to save and invest.
I’ve been using Piggyvest for a while, and then I had an issue with their service. I wanted to withdraw some of my savings into my bank, but I couldn’t, so I reached out to them, and in less than 5 minutes, they replied with the email below:
Apart from the fact that their response was swift, they also listened and empathized with me. It’s one thing to say, “We are sorry about your experience, and we will get back to you.” it’s another to empathize with the customer, explain to them why they’re facing the issues, and proffer a solution – that’s what Piggyvest did.
Capitalize on social proof
The greatest form of advertising is done by your customers for your business. Why? Because customers trust other customers more than ads and branded content.
Soliciting reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers should be a part of every customer retention technique. Not only does social proof help you acquire new customers, but it can also help boost retention rates and reduce churn.
Case Study: Zoom
Using the power of testimonials and customer stories, Zoom uses social proof to show other business leaders like Hubspot values their product. And they didn’t just say it; it came directly from the horse’s mouth – the VP of Corporate Development & Business Development at Hubspot.
Give your customers post-purchase support
Once customers buy your product, don’t leave them hanging – they’ll churn. Instead, support them and help them recognize the value your product provides.
You can offer support by sending emails about topics your customers will be interested in, or you could provide tips on how to make the most of your product.
Case Study: SEMRush
SEMRush does a great job with post-purchase support. They send emails to users about topics that help them better with SEO and content marketing. These emails provide information that empowers customers to use SEMRush more effectively.
Track customer retention metrics
The most important part of any customer retention technique is tracking the right metrics and KPIs. These includes:
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): How much revenue you earn from each customer (on average).
- Customer Churn Rate: This is how many customers you lose in a period (monthly, quarterly, or annually).
- Customer Acquisition Rate: How many customers you acquire in a given period.
Customer Retention Techniques Summary
To recap, here are the 10 best customer retention techniques used by top companies:
- Reward loyalty
- Ask for feedback
- Start a customer education program
- Provide a personalized customer experience
- Make your customers feel special and send a thank you message
- Engage on social media
- Listen to your customers’ complaints and empathize with them
- Capitalize on social proof
- GIve your customer post-purchase support
- Track customer retention metrics