In today’s ever-changing environment, customers are a critical area of focus for companies across all industries. With more and more emphasis placed on customers, the more important customer retention becomes. You want to keep your customers as happy as you can so they remain loyal to your company and share your company with others. But, customer retention is more than just on a buy-once basis; it’s a continued relationship which can lead to a long-term relationship. On the other hand, poor customer experience can lead to more churn.

Here are a few tactics that you can do to improve and maintain your customer retention to encourage lifelong customer relationships.

Provide great customer service

Oftentimes, customer service is the only touchpoint a customer may experience outside of purchasing a product or service. And it’s that customer service that can make or break a customer’s attitude towards the company. Make sure your customer service is stellar. This can be with the warranties that you offer, any exceptions that you make, or anything else to ensure customer satisfaction. The more satisfied they are, the more often they will come back to your company and recommend you to others.

Know your customer

Another tactic for improving your customer retention rate is to just know your customer. Know your target audience, both from a demographic and psychographic perspective. This information is your key to creating personalized offers that will resonate with your customers. It shows that you know your customers so well that you can recommend the products they would like. Not only that, make sure your products and service address their needs, always incorporating their feedback for constant improvement.

Foster post-sale relationships

A company’s relationship with its customers doesn’t end when the customer completes their purchase. The relationship goes far beyond that to include post-sale. Follow up with your customers, providing them with surveys, newsletters, deals, or other offers to keep them engaged with your brand. You want them to be loyal for life, and most of that time, that relationship grows after the sale than before or during it. By doing so, you are likely to decrease your customer churn rate and increase customer lifetime value.

Segment your customers

Similar to knowing your customer, work to segment your customers to better address your needs. Once you do a demographic and psychographic analysis on your customers, you might find that your customers’ needs can be broken up into various segments. Therefore, these segments can give you guidance on how to best appeal to your customers’ needs. For example, if you have an athletic shoe company, two possible segments could be customers who use the shoe for athletic purposes and customers who use the show for athleisure purposes.

Offer customer success and support

With services, especially technology, it is critical to offer a customer success component with a purchase. Sometimes, your customers need to be onboard or educated on the software at hand, something they might not be able to perform on their own. To combat this challenge, assign a customer success manager to the account so they can make sure the customer has all the information they need. Proper onboarding focuses on improving customer experience and providing useful information to ensure the customer gets maximum value from their purchase. It also fosters an ongoing relationship with customers.

Adapt to a never-ending buying-selling cycle

For most companies, the buying-selling cycle never ends. Once a customer makes a purchase, a new one is already lined up right behind them. The buying cycle is no longer linear, but a continuous set of distinct buying processes. It’s likely that the folks involved in making the initial purchase decision will move on, and you’ll work with new folks who weren’t part of that decision. This is no longer a “renewal” — it’s a new sales cycle. Make it a point to adapt to this cycle for ultimate customer retention success.

Listen and iterate

Customers will value more if you just take the time to listen and implement their feedback. If they give you feedback on how to improve a product, service, or process, take the time to consider what they have to say. Chances are, they won’t be the only ones feeling this way; it might be a problem for multiple customers. Customers always appreciate when their feedback is accounted for, making them feel like their voices are heard and do matter. This cycle of feedback can be useful in finding out what is making your customers leave.

Customer retention is very critical for companies, especially if they are in a growth phase. As it’s been said, gaining new customers is harder than retaining customers. Take the time to implement some of these tactics and you should find that your customer retention rate increases while your customer churn rate decreases. This isn’t only good for business, but for your customer relationships.

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