The Importance of Customer Retention (and 4 Ways to Improve Yours)

customer retention

Finding new customers is great, but keeping old ones and turning those new customers into loyal buyers is even more important. Customer retention is the name of the game and the better yours is, the more profitable your brand will be. How so? Check out these stats:

  • It can cost a brand up to 5x as much to get new customers vs. keeping old ones

  • 68% of customers leave a brand because they perceive that it is indifferent to them

  • A 2% increase in customer retention has same effect as decreasing costs by 10%

  • 68% of customers leave because of poor customer service

  • A 5% increase in customer retention increases profits up to 125%

  • 41% of consumers expect an email response within 6 hours, but only 36% of U.S. companies respond that quickly, and 14% never respond

From SalesForce Desk and Kapow Events

What can you do to improve your brand’s customer retention rate?

Ensure consistent customer service across all platforms and channels.

Brands still adjusting to the digital and social space might be less than well equipped to handle customer complaints that come in via their customer service outlets. To ease frustrated customers and improve your customer service in general, ensure your presence across all of your customer service outlets is as consistent as possible. If there are standard answers that reps are supposed to be giving for common problems, make sure that reps working across all platforms have that information. Also, make sure that reps across all platforms are courteous, polite and know the chain of command, should larger concerns crop up.

The CEO of headphones manufacturer JLab recently shared how he ensures customer support is consistent:

“I think that, if you look at the landscape, there is nothing different about where we are today as consumers. It’s simply preferences have shifted. Instead of a phone call, people want a live chat box. Instead of writing an email, people want to tweet. There are still customers that do things the old way, too. We have adapted to provide customer service on all platforms per our customer preference, and do it well. That involves a lot of training and investment in software, but the payout is well worth it. And as preferences continue to change, so will we.”

Look and ask for feedback.

It’s hard to know how well you’re responding to customer’s concerns when you’re looking at it from the perspective of an insider. To get a more accurate impression of what you can improve on, look for feedback across all of your presences and take the time to create a survey or a poll. Make sure, though, that the feedback you receive is feedback you act and reflect on.

Add customer service to your social media strategy.

If you haven’t already created a structure that allows customer reps to address customer complaints in the social space, look into it. A whopping 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies who leave complaints on social media unanswered. Even if you can’t get a customer rep to monitor your social presences, create a workflow that enables your community manager to direct complaints to the reps in a timely way.

Add incentive for long-time loyal customers.

Reward those who have been with your brand for the long haul by showing that you care and value their business. Giving them birthday or anniversary discounts or gift cards are both great strategies that customers look forward every year. Having customers earn points for each purchase they make is also a great way to help encourage repeat business, and reward them for their loyalty.

Could your customer service use some improving? Here are three ways you can use social media to improve your brand’s customer service.