12 Ingenious Customer Retention Strategies That Work

12 Ingenious Customer Retention Strategies For Small Businesses

$243.

That’s the global average value of one lost customer. $243 doesn’t sound like a lot, but let’s put this into perspective.

If you lose 5 customers in 1 week, your business could lose $1,215.

If you lose 20 customers in one month, you could lose $4,860.

If you lose 100 customers in 6 months, it could cost your business a whopping $24,300.

Now, this isn’t just a case for why you should provide outstanding customer service, but it also serves as a warning to small businesses who mistakenly focus a majority of their marketing resources and budget on acquiring new users rather than retaining current customers.

As a matter of fact, a 2008 Forrester Research study found that acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers.

In this blog post, we’ll share 12 customer retention strategies from the Ladder Playbook that will help your business improve customer satisfaction and retention, and ultimately help you generate more revenue.


Post-Purchase Discount

After a first purchase, a customer has a 27 percent chance of returning to your store. Customers who return a second or third time have a 54 percent chance of returning again. Email a post-purchase discount to a first-time buyer so they are more likely to move down the funnel from one-time buyer to devoted customer.

Pro Tip: Offer a discount on an item or service in the same category as their previous purchase. According to LoyaltyOne, 76 percent of customers felt that receiving personalized discount offers based on their purchase history was important.

Post-Purchase Discount - Customer Retention Strategy

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Educational Onboarding Email

When onboarding new users of your mobile or SaaS app, send an educational email that explains how others have used and found success with your app is a great way to get them engaged with your product. This can be targeted specifically at users that have bounced early in their use of your app. It can help get them past a “how/why would I use this?” dilemma.
Educational Onboarding Emails - Customer Retention Strategy

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Unused Feature Email

Try sending an email to existing users who haven’t used a particular feature. The vast majority of your users probably aren’t even aware you have that feature, so showcasing it can solve a problem for them and keep them using your product for longer.

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Live Chat for Customer Support

Add live chat widget to your website, allowing your customer service representative to talk directly to current and potential users. An ATG global consumer trend study found that 90 percent of consumers consider live chat helpful, 62 percent are more likely to purchase again from a site that has live chat, and 38 percent of respondents made their purchase due to the live chat itself. Ensure that every person who visits your site and wants to buy your product is able to do so by keeping a person on hand to answer questions and help confused customers.

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Customer Retargeting Ads

After a first purchase, a customer has a 27 percent chance of returning to your store. Customers who return a second or third time have a 54 percent chance of returning again. Email a post-purchase discount to a first-time buyer so they are more likely to move down the funnel from one-time buyer to devoted customer.

Pro Tip: Need some creative ideas for retargeting ads? Read 7 Brilliant Ways to Use Retargeting Ads

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Comment Mention Alert

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media platforms have mastered this tactic: if your platform has a built-in community for its users, alert users via a push notification or email when they’re mentioned in a comment by another user to get them to return to your platform. This helps continue conversations between users and creates a community among your users. Your platform becomes more interactive and draws users back more regularly.

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How-To Guides

Improve customer retention by providing dedicated how-to guides that show users how to get the most from your product. How-to guides help users independently solve any issues that may arise, saving time (and headaches) for your support team and the users themselves.
Pro Tip: Create multiple how-to guides with annotated photos, short videos, or animated GIFs to help guide readers through each step of your how-to guides.

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Downsell on Cancellation

When a user wants to end their subscription to your product or remove items from their cart, chances are it’s because of price or how much of your product they need. Try a downsell during the cancellation process to get them to sign on for a cheaper subscription that provides less of what you offer or provides them with a discount. This can keep price-conscious users retained.

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Variable Rewards

Rather than predictable rewards for actions, offering variable rewards seems to make a product more addictive. For example, when you scroll down a Facebook timeline you aren’t sure if you’ll see an incredibly engaging post or the worst post of your life. Another example is a slot machine – if you knew exactly what you’d get, you’d never pull the lever. Introducing variable rewards has proven time and time again to make a product addictive and therefore improve retention.

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Additional Explainer Copy 

In your UI, don’t count on a user just being able to intuit exactly what is needed. What might seem obvious to you is not necessarily obvious to the user– so don’t be afraid to explain and give context for actions the user is being prompted to take. Give users a reason for what they’re doing and an explanation as to what their actions mean.

Explaining, Not Assuming  - Customer Retention Strategy

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Handwritten Thank You Cards

Send your customers handwritten “Thank You” cards to make them feel valued and important to your business. It’s a small investment that can bring huge returns, decreasing churn and turning your customers into advocates for your business.
Pro Tip: You don’t have time to write hundreds of thank you cards. Instead, consider using an automated online service like Thanks.io or Bond.
Handwritten Thank You Notes - Customer Retention

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Social Listening

Listen for customers complaining or praising your company on social media and respond. A study from Lithium Technologies showed that 53 percent of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour. Social listening gives you the opportunity to understand and address the concerns of your consumers in real time. Take it a step further and leverage the topics that resonate with your audience to optimize content, SEO, and PPC strategies. Use a social media management tool like Hootsuite to monitor industry and branded keywords, hashtags, and brand mentions.

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