Effective and Unusual Ways to Improve Customer Retention Rate



In business, having high customer retention rates can be the most profitable way for a company to grow and establish a dedicated and loyal customer base. It’s much less expensive for a company to improve customer retention rates than it is to attract new customers through advertising or marketing strategies. The thought is that satisfied customers will tell others about their experience, which in turn leads to organic growth and a favorable reputation among new shoppers.

Customer retention rates should be high for any company or business looking to grow, however improving customer retention can be a mystery to anyone. Luckily, there are a number of tips and tricks that companies can use in order to improve their customer retention rates, which in turn will result in a better bottom line and a growing, loyal customer base.

The key to customer retention is showing buyers that they are appreciated. By giving shoppers a one of a kind experience, they will be more likely to return – possibly with a friend. Connecting with customers can be done in a number of ways, and businesses should always strive to go above and beyond what is expected of them to give their shoppers the best possible experience.

Some ways to increase customer retention by personalizing the shopping experience include:

  • Engage with customers by following their public social media accounts and comment on relevant conversations.
  • Offer rewards for referrals (for example, give customers free shipping or a gift card if they refer a friend who makes a purchase!)
  • Get involved by hosting and attending gatherings and events to get to know customers more directly.
  • Send thank you cards or emails to show customers that they are truly appreciated; while emails go a long way, and hand-written card is sure to result in a repeat customer!

When businesses work to personalize the customer experience, the customer will feel as if they are truly being taken care of, and as a result will be far more likely to refer a friend or return to the same business when they are looking to purchase another item. Accompany this by ensuring your customers that your company prides itself on its integrity, and have a system in place to guarantee satisfaction (such as a warranty or money-back guarantee). Customers will work with companies they feel they can trust, and lifetime warranties are one of the best ways to instill that trust.

Along with the referral rewards program mentioned above, another great way to show customers that they are appreciated is to create a VIP program that rewards them for repeat visits. Many companies have begun to implement VIP programs, and there are no rules for how they can or should be done. The objective is to come up with a simple rewards system that gives customers an incentive to return again and again in order to retain their business.

Negative feedback is something no business owner wants to hear, and eCommerce entrepreneurs are more highly effected by negative feedback than ever before with the rise of social media. While some negative feedback can be ignored (obvious trolls, infiltration of competitors, etc.), honest feedback about a product or service should always be listened to. While negative feedback may mean for a lost customer, it also gives businesses a chance to improve in order to prevent the same situation from happening again in the future.

Finally, the key to high customer retention is prioritizing quality over speed. Customers should be satisfied with the product they have purchased, as well as with the service they received. Companies who do not make efforts to connect with their customers will ultimately fall behind those that do, so taking the time to go above and beyond is sure to pay off in the end. There is no limit to how good customer service can be; even in today’s internet age, personally contacting a customer by phone to learn more about their experience with the company is a great way to establish an invaluable connection with them.

Those looking to grow their business must first work on making their current customers happy, and by implementing the tips and tricks above, any company can step up their customer retention rates with a little effort and understanding.

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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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