One thing everyone always talks about is conversions. You want to convert your views and engagements to sales, which is how your business grows. The next step, however, is to make sure these customers keep coming back. Returning customers are going to make sure that your business continues to grow after that initial push. They have already opted in to your business, after all, which makes converting them again so much easier.
Research shows that return customers:
- Are up to 25x cheaper than going for new customers
- As little as 5 percent customer retention can boost revenues by over 90 percent
- Return customers tend to buy and spend more over time
- Referrals from return customers massively decrease acquisition costs
Because of this, retaining your customers is crucial for a successful business. But that sounds good and all – how do you actually do it? The most important thing to keep in mind here is that a returning customer does not happen at random and there is a lot you can do to ensure that it happens. With that in mind, here are the 6 Best Practices To Keep Your Customers Coming Back to ensure success for your business!
Arguably, nothing is more important than trust. This goes for any relationships, so it applies to business relationships as well. Research shows that more than 80 percent of customers in the US would always pick a brand they trust over a newer alternative brand. More than 60 percent say they would spend more money on their trusted brands, too.
But how do you build trust? First of all, focus on quality and fairness. Whether you sell goods or services, maintaining that high level of quality and selling it at a price that your customers agree is fair will already get you much of the way towards building that trust. On the flipside, if quality or fairness are not what your customer expected, they will probably not return.
Second is your dedication to your customer. As long as your customer feels that you are dedicated to their safety, satisfaction, and success, they will want to come back. What this means is knowing they can trust you with their personal information, feeling their comments and concerns are appreciated and addressed, as well as being treated as a human being rather than as a consumer.
The final puzzle piece of trust is your business model. Globally, more than a third of consumers want the products and services they use to be ethical. They value treating employees fairly, being socially and ecologically sustainable, and serving a community or even the world at large.
Once your customers are convinced that these three key points are met, it is going to result in trust in your business. Keep in mind that only consistently fulfilling these points will ensure that trust will last. One slip-up can often be enough to spoil trust that has been built for a long time.
Next to trust, consistently delivering value to your customers is paramount to retaining them. This means constantly looking for ways to increase the value you provide. Adding value can be difficult, because as soon as a customer used your product or service once, they may have already gotten all the value they can from your business.
But even if there is more value to be had, it is hard to maintain the same value experience across several purchases without experiencing diminishing returns. As a result, customers may return a few times, but eventually look to fulfill their needs elsewhere.
Because of this, your business constantly has to innovate, improve customer experience, and maintain relevance within your field. Key ways to do this is to keep track of how customer expectations change, technology evolves and new ways of engaging your audience become available.
To succeed here it is important to try and address your customers as individually as possible. Always think about how you can take each and every one of your customers even further, to reach new goals after you have already fulfilled their previous ones. As a result, you will be able to deliver highly targeted upsells to your individual customers.
These upsells are not only nice as a way to increase revenue, though. Actively reaching out to your customers with attractive value propositions will make sure that they stay engaged with you over another business that may be offering similar solutions.
If you are successful in this, your customers will want to stick around. They will want to experience the next step your business takes and stay engaged with your products.
Impersonal brand experiences are some of the biggest reasons for why customers stop engaging with brands. However, the flipside of this is that when you do deliver personalized experiences to your customers, you can expect a massive boost in retention as a result.
The key to providing personalized experiences to your customers is learning more about them. This can be hard, especially in e-commerce businesses, which is why it helps to use different tools that help you understand your audience better.
A key tool for product recommendations is LimeSpot Personalizer, which will help you deliver those crucial upsells to your customers. Product Recommendation Quiz also helps with upsells, but it does so by helping you and your team understand your customer and empowering you to tailor product recommendations even more.
PushPro’s notification campaigns will make sure that every one of your customers feels treated as an individual, thanks to highly personalized messaging. Using these tools, you can maximize engagement between your customers and your brand, which will keep your customers coming back.
Another way to keep engagement up is to build a common history between your brand and your customers. Annual wrap-ups, for example, can remind your customers of the value they have gotten from you over the past year and keep them wanting to come back.
Here is where a key difference comes into play: Being personal vs. being personable. Being personable takes individual experiences even further by providing your customers with individual human-to-human experiences thanks to skilled brand representatives.
To make the most of personable experiences, try and include them in your customers’ experience wherever you can – including emails, live chats and even phone conversations.
Now, as your business grows, it will become increasingly difficult (and expensive) to create personable experiences for your customers. This is why more and more brands today are turning to simulated personable experiences via AI-powered chatbots.
Another way in which brands have tried to increase personability is to switch up their registration forms into something looking less like a form and more like a personal conversation in a question-and-answer format.
In a nutshell, creating personal and personable experiences hinges on showing your customers that you see them as a human being, and also showing them the human side of your brand. A human team is key for that, also because…
Whereas bad customers support makes for frustrated customers eager to look for alternative brands, great customer support does the opposite: It inspires your customers to return. While 50 percent of consumers tend to switch brands after one bad customer support experience, a whopping 80 percent do after the second time. However, more than 90 percent of consumers reward great customer service with more purchases and their repeat custom.
What does great customers support mean? Next to treating your customers as humans, it means being proactive in your support. This not only enhances your customers’ support experience, but also makes things easier for your support staff. It’s a win-win.
Another great tool for proactive customer support is a customer-facing knowledge base that helps your customers help themselves. Frequently asked questions, forums where customers can ask and answer questions, and the like. However, this should be combined with active moderation to respond to questions, and easy ways to reach out to a human if necessary.
Also make sure that the goods or services you sell are easy to get started with. Your customers will appreciate being able to get up and running quickly, without experiencing too much hassle or friction.
All these elements of great customer support require strong logistics. Which issues can be solved best in which framework, taking both expediency and the experience your customers will have into account? Some things can be solved immediately, others require escalation to a different level.
A key component of these logistics is giving your support staff access to the knowledge they need to solve your customers’ problems. For this, strong internal communications tools, as well as an internal knowledge base are crucial for maximum efficiency.
Doing this right will ensure that your customers will keep returning, and that your support will only get better as time progresses.
The highly tailored offers mentioned above can only unfold their maximum potential when they reach your customers at exactly the right moment in time. When they are browsing your products, abandoning their cart, or reading the “About” page on your website – actions such as these can trigger messages to be delivered to your customers exactly when they can have the largest impact.
Other popular ways to use behaviorally-triggered messaging is to use push notifications to engage your customers through recommendations and promotional offers, adding value-oriented popups to maintain engagement with users as they move to leave your site, or engage customers after they left your site with targeted emails.
Higher-level cycles can be used to reach out to previous customers at regular intervals to encourage re-engagement. Up- and cross-sell offers delivered by push notification a set time after a purchase, remind customers to replenish consumable products and, of course, good old promotional emails that tease re-engagement.
A reason for why behaviorally-triggered messaging is so effective is its degree of personalization. Opening rates tend to be more than 70 percent higher compared to regular email blasts. On top of that, they can boost conversion rates by more than 50 percent and push revenue to 34 percent more than the competition.
Ultimately, behaviorally-triggered messaging can make sure that you get both the “when” and the “how” right when it comes to reaching out to your customers at different stages of their journey with your brand.
Another massive reason for why customers leave brands is because they don’t feel appreciated. This feeds back into treating your customers like human beings. Intentionally making sure that each and every one of your customers feels appreciated is what makes the difference here. Hollow sentiments will not do the trick here.
Instead, the first step is mindset. Are you and your team genuinely interested in providing value to your customers? If the answer is no, then this is where you can start working on customer appreciation. One important part of showing your interest is reaching out to customers after a purchase, simply to check up on their satisfaction and listen to possible comments and concerns.
But also share in your customers’ successes. Case studies, blog posts, user-generated content – all these things add to a positive sense of appreciation between you and your customers that will make them want to come back.
Giving your loyal customers extra offers without asking for anything in return also accomplishes this. Special deals, but also exclusive events and experiences will make you stick out in the eyes of their customers and help them believe that you genuinely care about them.
All these ways strengthen your customers’ feeling that you appreciate them, which will translate directly into loyalty and ensure your customers keep returning to your business.
What do your customers need, want, and expect from your brand? Getting return customers is knowing the answer to these questions, delivering on it, and then adding some more on top. In a perfect world, your customers will want to consistently engage with your brand because they know that they will get what they need from you.
The more you can do to encourage your customers to return while leaving as little as possible up to chance, the steeper your business will grow. Thanks to PushPro’s automated push notification tools you can consistently provide your customers with highly personalized content at exactly the right time. Even better, the messaging will only get better and more precise the more you learn about your customers. As a result, you can make return customers as sure of a thing as can be.