HomeArtificial IntelligenceCreate a sustainable customer retention strategy

Create a sustainable customer retention strategy

Customer retention have to be a top priority for leaders of any company that desires to stay competitive. An effective customer retention strategy should help the corporate maintain a healthy base of loyal customers and attract latest customers. Generating repeat business is crucial: McKinsey's customer acquisition report says (Link resides outside ibm.com) that firms need to accumulate three latest customers to offset the business value of losing one existing customer.

Customer loyalty has turn out to be harder in recent times

This goal is contradicted by the undeniable fact that the client journey is more complicated today; It is harder to satisfy customer expectations and retain existing customers. The IBM Institute for Business Value found that nearly all of service professionals (60%) (link resides outside ibm.com) say customer expectations have increased since before the pandemic.

Companies that reach retaining customers will profit from fostering customer loyalty. Anyone who understands the importance of customer loyalty will put money into the needed customer experience management. Customer retention is best achieved by overcoming barriers to switching, maximizing the worth of services, meeting customer expectations, and resolving customer pain points. This is achieved through a mixture of customer support, marketing, customer success and product development.

Customer engagement today requires a mixture of human operational discipline, human ingenuity and technological applications, particularly artificial intelligence (AI).

Steps to create an efficient customer retention strategy

Effective customer retention strategies begin the moment a first-time customer makes a purchase order. It is the corporate's responsibility to optimize the client experience in an effort to attract repeat customers and construct a healthy customer base.

Companies should develop initiatives which are either company or customer focused to encourage brand loyalty and word of mouth. The goal is to activate first-time buyers after which prevent customers from switching to competitors. Some of the steps to constructing an efficient customer retention strategy are:

1. Make a fantastic product

Ultimately, the primary battle for customer loyalty comes right down to whether the product or solution they purchase directly or from the retailer is well worth the money they spend. The calculation is that straightforward. Companies need a relentless mixture of existing and latest products that meet their customers' needs or solve customer problems. The customer loyalty components listed are less effective if customers immediately regret their purchase.

2. Perfect an omnichannel marketing strategy

Companies can reach first-time customers through a sturdy omnichannel marketing strategy that creates personalized experiences. You need strong messaging and strategic direction in your marketing to draw latest customers. This allows firms to interact existing customers across multiple channels, reminding them of their solutions and inspiring those customers to upgrade or purchase latest ones. AI and other technologies will make omnichannel marketing much more powerful today and in the long run.

3. Enrich the client experience (CX)

Effective customer loyalty programs are only possible when all the customer experience is running at full speed. You need a fantastic onboarding technique to increase customer satisfaction from day one. Next, they should keep the marketing engine running for existing customers through strong customer retention initiatives. When they see marketing messages, their interest within the products increases.

It's necessary to gather customer emails and send them regular product news, suggestions and offers to maintain them in contact with their existing products and the brand's latest developments. Companies with e-commerce offerings should make it easy for existing customers to buy these latest products, continuing the cycle.

4. Collect customer feedback

Collect, analyze and distribute customer data through reviews and surveys. It's also necessary to trace and analyze social media conversations about your brands. Not every customer will contact an organization directly. By tracking what people say online, an organization can track and solve customers' problems. This shows that it takes note of customer complaints and is committed to resolving them.

5. Prioritize customer support

Customer support teams are a useful a part of customer retention. If something goes improper with a customer's purchase, the client support team must intervene to resolve the problem. In order for purchasers to be satisfied and willing to buy an organization's products, that company must respond promptly to problems. The company must also introduce self-service tools to assist customers preferring to search out answers themselves.

6. Embrace AI

Companies have a wealth of recent technologies that they’ll use to extend customer loyalty. Companies can use artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools akin to chatbots and customer relationship management systems (CRM).

For chatbots, they’ll use generative AI to supply users with more meaningful answers and natural language processing (NLP) to decipher customer queries and supply automated responses.

For CRMs, they’ll leverage AI and machine learning to automate the retrieval and evaluation of collected customer data. Major Brazilian bank Bradesco turned to IBM Watson® to personalize its customer support interactions. IBM has trained Watson on 62 products and may now answer 283,000 questions per thirty days with a 95% accuracy rate, with only 5% requiring further human assistance.

7. Invest in customer success teams

This investment is especially necessary for firms that sell either as-a-service solutions or high-cost goods or services. Customer Success works directly and proactively with customers to make sure high customer satisfaction with their services or products. You will provide best practices to customers and collect feedback for product improvements.

If the corporate sells digital products, it may possibly track customer usage and increase reach if the client has decreased usage, which is an indication of dissatisfaction. For products or solutions which are renewed annually, customer success teams can work with sales teams to get commitment before that renewal date.

8. Communicate mission and values

Many customers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z shoppers, place more value on an organization's mission and values. Organizations with strong missions or values ​​should invest time and budget in communicating their perspectives through promoting, direct messaging to the buyer, and customer engagement.

This communication is particularly necessary when an organization's prices are higher than its competitors. For example, knowing that they’re supporting an ethical organization that offers back to their communities makes it harder for values-driven customers to decide on a competitor that doesn’t share these views.

9. Make returns or refunds easier to process

Customers may request a refund or exchange products for various reasons. Organizations that make this a difficult process can reap short-term advantages (since they don't should subsidize the associated fee of this product). However, you’ll most definitely lose that customer's loyalty and lose the chance to sell them more products in the long run. Organizations eager about long-term customer loyalty should accept the temporary setback for long-term success.

10. Track customer retention metrics

Customer loyalty initiatives all provide helpful insights that firms can use to realign their approaches and set key performance indicators (KPIs). At the highest level, they need to know the number of recent customers and the number of shoppers over a certain time period. First, they need to discover the date range they need to track (e.g. one month, six months, one yr). You should track how many shoppers they’ve firstly and end of the period.

This allows necessary metrics akin to customer retention rate (CRR) and customer churn rate (CCR) to be determined. Although every business is different, Salesforce recommends aiming for a goal CRR rate of 85% (Link resides outside ibm.com). By adding details about these customers' purchase lifecycle, they may also determine customer lifetime value (CLV) and net dollar retention (NDR). You must also track Net Promoter Score (NPS).

11. Use customer loyalty programs

To encourage repeat purchases, an organization sometimes must reward people for his or her support. A customer loyalty program can encourage customers to purchase more from an organization. Another option is to create a customer referral program where existing customers are incentivized to introduce latest customers to the corporate.

Why a customer retention strategy is significant

Customer loyalty is a needed component to driving an organization's bottom line. Satisfied customers are inclined to make repeat purchases over time, which accounts for “80 percent of the worth created by successful growth firms.” in accordance with McKinsey (Link results in ibm.com).

Prioritization and excellent customer retention ensures that a business has a healthy revenue base and may give attention to accelerating growth. They can do that by attracting and upselling latest customers or increasing the amount of products purchased by existing customers.

Satisfied regular customers are also more more likely to share their experiences on their social networks. Word of mouth and testimonials can attract latest customers, improve brand awareness and repute, and increase the effectiveness of promoting efforts while reducing costs. Therefore, customer loyalty ought to be a central a part of any business strategy.

Customer loyalty solutions

A Forrester Consulting study on the financial impact of IBM watsonx™ Assistant™ on enterprise customer support found a 370% ROI over three years and value savings of $6.00 per included customer conversation.

IBM iX® helps the world's most influential firms create experiences, services that reinvent their relationships with customers and employees. IBM may help modernize customer and field service operations with data and AI so firms can deliver superior customer experiences, increase revenue, improve customer loyalty and maximize business value.

Learn more about IBM watsonx Assistant for customer support. Subscribe to customer and worker experience updates


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read