The best customer is the type of customer which returns to your store and buys more, right?

A returning customer helps lower your marketing spend, boosts your revenue and your customers’ lifetime value.

Improve customer retention should be way at the top of your agenda if you’re interested in making more money by doing less.

What does customer retention mean

According to Wikipedia, the official definition of customer retention is: “Customer retention refers to the ability of a company or product to retain its customers over some specified period.”

Now, reread the definition but this time ask yourself which customer retention strategies are you using at the moment?

Customer Retention for Online Businesses

I’m sure you can figure it out for yourself, returning customers will keep your marketing costs low and revenues high.

Improving customer retention is one of the most important key elements you should be focussing on.

Besides Customer Retention, Conversion Rates and Average Order Values, there’s no other cost-saving and revenue-boosting possibilities you have.

Improving Customer Retention won’t happen overnight. It will take time, dedication and most of all, plenty of trial and error.

While many marketers decide during meetings to go ahead with one specific, well thought out strategy, I always like to propose at least 3 different customer retention strategies.

Because we work with e-commerce businesses testing campaign results is easy thanks to tools such as Google Optimize.

If you happen to use WordPress or WooCommerce tools such as Split Hero, do a fantastic job.

A/B testing tools will help you understand your visitors. Understanding what motivates your visitors to buy or why they leave is fundamental for any optimisation.

So why settle with just one strategy?

If you don’t know why your visitors are leaving without a purchase, what are you exactly going to optimise, right? So, make sure you know what’s important to them first.

First steps to improve customer retention

As mentioned above, you’ll need to understand why customers are leaving your site, and there’s only one way to find out. Communicating!

What strikes me is the fact that many businesses only decide to ‘communicate’ when you have left.

Suddenly you have become important to them?

Your primary job is to prevent people from leaving or terminating their account in the first place. So why communicate with me after I’ve left?

You may have noticed many sites have a contact button on their website. The contact page has typically a few lines of text in the context of “Please contact us if you have any complaints or suggestions”.

In fact what these companies are ‘saying’ is….let us know when we mess up but don’t bother to share your great experiences. Crazy, right?

Have you ever seen “Please contact us if you’re happy with our service”?

You need to invest in your visitors, make sure they are happy and stay happy. Because once a customer decides to delete their account, it’s complicated to win them back.

When a customer decides to leave

When a customer chooses to leave all you can do is ask for their honest feedback about why they’ve decided to leave.

You can use tools such as Survey Monkey, or you could direct them to a specific form on your site. Just make sure it’s a brief questionnaire.

But be aware the majority of people will not answer the questions.

The visitors that do decide to respond will share precious feedback, and some of the input can be extremely harsh and confronting, maybe even confusing.

Even negative is feedback and it’s always valuable, especially if you take notice of the criticism and are willing to take necessary steps to prevent more visitors from deleting their account.

If you or your team ignore the feedback, there’s no real point asking your visitors opinions.

After all, feedback is an opinion, and we all know what people say about opinions…”opinions are like a%$holes, everybody has one“.

Mind you, if the visitor spends time filling out the questionnaire, you could try and win the customer back by offering a gift or free shipping.

In my opinion, there’s no reason a visitor should leave your site unless you really messed up big time and didn’t follow up appropriately.

Customers will leave if the trust level has declined to an all-time low. Your job is to find ways to restore the trust level your customer once had.

Sprinklr.com writes about the necessity to have a customer care strategy, and I agree.

A Customer Care strategy is crucial on so many levels. It’s a must for any company dealing with customers.

You can even ‘promote’ you customer care strategy as a USP. ‘This is what sets us apart from yadda yadda yadda”.

Your customer care strategy will define the type of company you want to be known for.

Many of my clients have told me – they’re still with me because I’m always there to help them achieve their goals.

Even if a strategy hasn’t worked as planned, I’m always there.

And there you have it; I don’t need to promote I deliver the best results, the highest conversion rates or the most leads.

All I promote is, I’m there for good or bad.