Getting prospective customers to buy doesn’t happen overnight, regardless of how awesome your product or service is. Given the landscape of far-sighted customers and fierce competition, making the sale can be quite challenging. That is why most B2B marketers mainly focus on customer acquisition to the detriment of retention. You must build an effective customer-centric retention strategy to sustain long-term growth and elevate your customer acquisition percentage.
Your marketing team will deal with poor customer reviews, negative word-of-mouth, and an increasingly damaged reputation without this dual focus. Finally, it will significantly impact marketing’s ability to drive future revenue.
Whether you are a small business or an enterprise, it’s essential to understand that the end goal isn’t just to sell your product or service but to create customers for life.
Customer retention is not a single event that happens at contract renewal. It’s an ongoing process that starts at the point of purchase. It encompasses the customer’s experience between the first and subsequent purchase engagements. Retention is directly measured by renewals or repurchases, and it’s influenced by the ongoing interaction between you and your customers.
The key to customer retention is customer satisfaction. Why? Because satisfied customers stay loyal longer, talk favorably about your organization, and pay less attention to the competition. They are also less price-sensitive and may offer service ideas to your company.
Here are 5 things that you should consider if you want to build a strong customer retention strategy:
1. Talk to Your Customers
Your most valued customers should know they’re valued. Tell them you want to find the best solutions to their problems. Ask them what they need to be more effective using your product or service and what is their overall experience as your customer. You’ll capture important insights about the customer experience, but you’ll also build stronger relationships with key customers.
2. Make it Easy to Capture Ongoing Feedback
Include survey links in employee email signatures, automated phone surveys that capture input after a support engagement, or even a form on your website. Capturing and analyzing feedback is now a lot easier, thanks to marketing automation and CRM integration. Such a tool will tell you which customers to target for the most significant value by analyzing your business from a customer-centric viewpoint and determining the lifetime value of your customers both individually and collectively. So, you must offer several options for your customers to provide feedback and make sure you analyze your data regularly.
3. Build a Cross-Functional Customer Advocacy Team
Collaboration across departments is critical for success. You achieve customer satisfaction by creating a cross-functional customer advocacy team to analyze customer feedback, identify opportunities for improvement and optimize processes. This will ensure buy-in from each department and will add consistency in your execution.
4. Remind Customers Why They Chose You
Lead nurturing also applies to your existing customers. While past clients might not need your services at the moment, they will still look to you for professional advice on topics you’re familiar with. This is where content marketing comes into play. If you understand your customers’ post-purchase experience, you can develop content to improve that experience. Provide whitepapers, industry research, hot topic webinars, or other resources that address their challenges. Meaningful content can go a long way to build relationships that go beyond a purchase transaction. You may see it as a great opportunity to reinforce the functionality of your product or service.
5. Continue to Measure and Refine
Outline clear objectives and make sure you’re moving towards them. Start with a baseline and measure your effectiveness over time. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can empower your company to make confident decisions and focus on high-priority activities concerning your customers. By identifying signals with over 80% greater accuracy than a rule-based approach, the SugarPredict AI Engine for Sugar Market, Sugar Sell, and Sugar Serve helps you implement a good onboarding practice for your clients. Follow-up with them regularly to check and make sure they’re still happy, resolve their concerns, and offer more value.
Companies that deliver superior value to customers on an ongoing basis ensure long-lasting relationships. This is essential for establishing a customer retention focus. If you incorporate these 5 components in your retention strategy, you’ll be able to minimize negative customer experiences.
However, you won’t be able to eliminate them entirely. Someone will inevitably express their dissatisfaction with your company, service, or product. If this happens, make sure you have a solid foundation of customer-centric retention programs in place to handle these circumstances.
After all, whether you keep a dissatisfied customer is often based on how you react to their negative experience, not the experience itself. A marketing automation platform such as Sugar Market, combined with the power of a CRM can help you improve your customer retention and existing relationships while getting your marketing and sales teams aligned. If you would like to learn more about integrating your marketing automation and CRM, we highly recommend you download our eBook.