Why customer retention is just as important as new sales

Some brands get obsessed with the idea that they should be constantly growing, expanding and reaching out to exciting new markets. However, while the grass may seem greener in a previously untapped market, it could make better financial sense to focus your digital marketing efforts on retaining existing customers.

According to research, it is a massive 81% cheaper to upsell to existing customers than it is to go out there and bring in new business. This surprising statistic alone should make you sit up and take notice, but there’s another reason to prioritise customer loyalty over new sales. As customer retention strengthens the bond between customer and brand, it increases the lifetime value of a customer’s business. In short, it helps to ensure the long-term future of your brand, firmly rooting it into the market and in customer’s hearts and minds.

A balanced approach

This isn’t to say that a brand shouldn’t have a strong strategy for acquiring new customers, but it’s easy to overstretch your resources when you’ve constantly got an eye on new markets. You need a sense of balance, first focusing on strengthening relationships with existing customers and bringing in new clients in your target market – before you start dipping a toe into new uncharted territory.

Tips and tactics for customer retention

So, how do you retain customers, keep their loyalty and strengthen the bond between client and brand? Here are a few tips, tactics and strategies from the experts:

  • Understand the customer life cycle. Taking the time and effort, and making use of analytics tools, to understand customer behaviour can help you to anticipate their needs and actions in advance. You can then use this information to judge exactly when to push a sale and when to leave off.
  • Create a win-win situation. Ideally, customers want to feel that you have their best interests at heart, rather than just trying to sell to them. You need to identify a need and match products and services accordingly, solve their problems, offer them added value and listen to their needs and complaints.
  • Provide exceptional service. Research has suggested that while 80% of companies think they provide amazing service to their customers, only 8% actually do. You need to not only do what you think provides great service, but get feedback, read the cues and actually find out if customers feel the same way.
  • Be contactable and communicate regularly. You need to regularly touch base with your customers, nurturing their interest, but you also need to be contactable in every possible way – not all customers are comfortable with an email form, when they’d prefer to speak to someone in person. Provide great after-care and support and make sure your customers can always reach you.

Do you prioritise customer retention at the same level as acquiring new customers and if so, what methods do you use to strengthen the customer-brand relationship? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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