Retaining a customer is cheaper than acquiring one. Yet, 44% of companies focus more on customer acquisition, while only 18% focus on retention.
Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Plus, popular studies indicate that increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits up to as much as 95%. So, it is important to have a robust, well-designed, and regularly updated customer retention strategy.
Here’s what our customer success experts have learned from years of designing and executing successful app-commerce journeys for Plobal App’s merchants:
Retain Customers by Establishing a Customer Feedback Loop
You need to establish and maintain open lines of communication between your customers. This will help you tweak your operations organization-wide and cater to them effectively, thus increasing your chances of retaining them. A customer feedback loop provides a system for collecting, analyzing, and distributing genuine customer data received from your mobile app. Design a holistic customer communication plan and reach out to your customers.
This could include:
Mobile App Communication
SMS and email play a part in acquisition and engagement. However, their performance has either declined or plateaued over the years. Plus, given how many touchpoints the modern buyer’s journey has, push notifications to outperform email and SMS among a brand’s owned marketing channels with significantly higher click and conversion rates. A mobile app is a great owned marketing channel, arguably the most effective one. With push notifications, you can personalize your communication to an impressive degree. You can send highly relevant messages (in the form of push notifications) to your customers at critical points in their journey with timely and targeted messages.
Personalized push notifications help you build segmented journeys for different audiences based on customer behavior. An app engagement rate is 88% higher with push notifications. Just abandoned cart push notifications convert to 300% higher than abandoned cart email and SMS. App conversion rates are up to 5x higher than web conversion rates.
Additionally, a testament to customer preference for better shopping experiences is that within just six months, merchants for whom we designed app success journeys saw roughly 25% of the total revenue contribution through their app. The LTV, or the lifetime value of a customer, is what brands vie for, and personalized notifications through an app are the key to this.
Email and SMS communication
Establish an email and SMS communication plan with your customers. Your customers may not initiate communication or have feedback for you. However, your team should proactively communicate with them regularly. This will allow you to refresh your relationship with your customers.
Track your customer communication efforts thoroughly and plan out different types of emails and complimentary SMS to trigger. You can inform them of new product launches, promotional offers, seasonal discounts, and customer service features. You should also actively seek feedback with surveys and reviews.
Schedule regular email cadences for product updates and ease your customers’ buyer journey by resolving any issues that may crop up as they interact with your product or service. This can include reminding them of expiring subscriptions, memberships, and service renewals and informing them of new offers and promotions that will improve their shopping experience.
Social Media communication
Social networks enable your customers to communicate with you directly without going through complicated customer service processes involving tickets or virtual wait lines. You can not only reach your customers through their preferred channel of communication but also increase brand likeability. You can also set an example of excellent customer service by being responsive to feedback of all kinds and demonstrating a willingness to incorporate it. Social listening will allow you to create educational content that resonates with your target audience better and help you innovate your products and services to match what customers want. All of this goes a long way in customer retention.
Create Content that Keep Users Engaged
Content allows you to control the narrative and improve brand perception. Create valuable content to engage customers. You can build your brand as the expert authority in the problem areas your products address through content- your website, blogs, marketing messaging, ebooks, and guides. It gives you the power to guide your customers through the sales funnel and help them choose the right product.
An email newsletter to guide and educate your customers is a great idea. Keep them updated on trends, and discuss topics they love and are interested in.
User-generated content refers to customer-generated content – reviews, ratings, and product photos & videos. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and ratings after purchases (You can use mobile push notifications for this). When shoppers are unsure whether to buy a product, they look for social proof extensively in the form of reviews, ratings, pictures, and videos of other shoppers who have bought the product. This is a highly potent way of influencing purchases. Take Amazon, for example; don’t you check out the ratings and reviews of a product before actually purchasing it?
Improved Customer Experiences Equals More Retention
Go the extra mile in terms of customer support and service. We recommend getting customer satisfaction SOPs in place so that you can enforce the same high customer service standards to improve customer satisfaction across the board.
American companies are losing around $83 billion annually. The reason is that they have poor customer retention strategies. 71% of customers have mentioned poor customer service as the main culprit for leaving companies.
Your organizational culture and values should shine through your customer success practices and ideally go beyond conventional approaches. Make sure you’re remembered for your excellent customer success practices. Make extraordinary customer success synonymous with your brand.
You can support this with customer loyalty programs and offering loyalty discounts to reward customers for their longstanding commitment and keep them coming back for purchases. Gamification and referral programs incentivize customers, delight them and keep them invested in the shopping experiences you provide
A customer retention strategy should lay due focus on customer onboarding. You have a remarkable opportunity to create a lasting and impactful first impression. A significant percentage of churn is experienced in the early stages of the sales funnel. You can dramatically reduce churn and retain customers by improving their onboarding experiences.
Lastly, thank your customers for their purchases and for trusting your brand. Happy customers will gladly rave about your products and their loved experiences. This will get you user-generated content that acts as social proof.
Retention through Post-Purchase Communication
Other simple ways to encourage repeat purchases are by communicating with customers post-purchase via emails, SMS, and app push notifications that inform customers about the status of their investment – whether their order is confirmed, dispatched, shipped, or out for delivery. Post-purchase communication is also a fantastic way to upsell and cross-sell products. Customers are highly likely to purchase related and complimentary items.
So, make product recommendations that show previously purchased items or items discarded from the cart. One thing that our customers have found to be super-effective is to push notifications that encourage app subscribers to buy items that were previously removed from their cart. Tracking these app subscriber interactions allows an unprecedented level of personalization that causes them to take the desired action.
Focus on Collecting and Analyzing Data
Another reason companies do not focus on customer retention is that analyzing data from existing customers takes relatively longer to produce results.
We have the solution for that!
One thing that has radically improved decision-making for successful customer retention strategies and helped turn many customers into a loyal community of brand advocates is access to customer behavior metrics. After all, you can only retain your customers if you know how much churn there is, why, and how to fix it.
Our different mobile app integrations and features provide brands with a birds-eye view of customer data. Ranging from when buying intent is high to what products a customer has liked, wish-listed, or added to the cart, all user data can be generated. Brands can then multiply their conversions and get sweet, sweet repeat purchases that are typically almost impossible to target.
With a native app for your Shopify store, you can offer better, more streamlined shopping experiences and gain valuable insights into customer behavior.
However, the best feedback to guide your retention strategy comes straight from your customers. Listening to what they say is critical and needs a well-developed communication plan. Have a one-on-one with our experts to learn more about mobile apps and how they help acquire new customers and retain them.