Your customers are your enterprise’s life’s blood. When you get a new customer, work to retain them and grow customer lifetime value. While the sales team will always be looking for new customers, retaining a current customer is far cheaper than finding a new customer to replace them. When you retain a customer, you’ve won a valuable patron who will be far likelier to want future sales or try new products.
So, don’t focus solely on hunting up one-time customers. Apply a few key customer retention optimization strategies to build deep, lasting customer relationships.
Why Retention Matters
Retention is a result of the customer experience. We all know what customer experience is— just remember the best, or worst, experience you’ve had as a customer and you’ll know how important it is! Your brand’s product and people create a lasting impression that stays with new customers. Once the sale is completed, it’s the customer success team’s job to expand upon the customer’s good experience at the time of the transaction.
When practicing customer retention optimization, keep in mind that the success of your clients is the success of your company. To retain them, you must ensure that they are successful in using your product. Follow your customers’ lead based on the goals they wish to achieve using your product. By understanding your customers’ goals, you can offer them training on how they can use your product to achieve their goals and keep track of their progress.
Make sure your customer success team is responsive and attentive, as customers hate having to contact a company multiple times. Keep detailed records of every customer touchpoint and make them available to all your team members. When you share customer data across teams, you ensure that customers don’t have to repeat their stories to multiple representatives.
The Best Customer Retention Optimization Strategies
To retain customers and reduce churn, you need to provide value throughout the entire customer journey. Don’t just think about retention when renewal rolls around; this should be a continuous effort.
Here are some excellent customer retention optimization strategies to leverage:
- Implement a Customer-Centric Culture. If you aren’t a customer-centric company, now’s the time to become one. Make the customer and their goals a top priority and structure your company around meeting their needs. This will help you provide better service and a better product, which enhances the overall customer experience and makes customers more likely to stay.
- Focus on the Entire Customer Journey. From onboarding to renewal, keep the customer in mind. No matter what new feature you develop or what communication you send, you should focus on analyzing product use to identify trends or bottlenecks that customers may encounter during their journey. By constantly monitoring your customers and gathering as much feedback as possible, you will forge a deeper connection, identify warning signs to help avoid escalations and, overall, improve the customer journey.
- Optimize the Onboarding Stage. Onboarding is the most important stage of the customer journey. Not only must you quicken the customer’s onboarding, but you must provide seamless service as customer success specialists pick up where salespeople left off. To do this, you’ll need to have a clean internal handoff between departments. If this is currently a problem, look into implementing solutions as soon as possible.
- Unify Communication Channels. Make sure communication between internal teams is clear and unified. For instance, during the handoff between sales to the customer success team, both teams need to communicate customer information so that everyone is on the same page. Maintaining open communication throughout the journey will make for a better customer experience and increased retention. Also, everyone who interacts with customers should know the standardized messaging so you can present a consistent voice when engaging customers.
- Be Proactive. Start thinking about the future of your relationship with a customer from the very start. What may the customer need down the road? Have other customers encountered challenges you can help this customer avoid? Know what your goals are for the client relationship and work toward those efforts during your initial engagements.It’s also a good idea to send proactive product update emails that include product roadmaps.
- Analyze Usage and Research Customers. In order to retain customers, you’re going to need data. How are they using the product? Are there any usage trends? Keep a close eye on how customers use your product and what they are using it for so you can discover new ways to deliver value.
- Take Responsibility. Most importantly, always deliver on what was promised. Give customers what you told them you would give and they will come to trust you. And if you fall short for any reason, take responsibility. When things go wrong, that’s the best way to salvage the relationship and show customers that you really do care.
Implement these steps and customers will be impressed by your brand’s dedication. You’ll start to see higher retention rates and lower churn rates.
Leveraging Software as Part of Your Customer Retention Optimization
One of the challenges brands often run into when trying to implement customer retention optimization is that they don’t have the right tools needed to connect with all their customers in a meaningful way. If this inability to connect is making it hard for you to retain customers, try using a customer success platform. Such comprehensive software offers visibility of customer health at every stage of the customer journey, puts all your data in one place so you can make smarter decisions, and helps you effectively engage customers. And with all the functionality you need to proactively nurture customers, you can easily meet your customer retention goals.
So, give customer retention optimization strategies a try. Your customers will love engaging with your brand on a deeper level and will be excited about your future products, releases, and innovations. It’s the right way to grow solid, long-term customer relationships.
Totango offers all the functionality you need to increase customer retention. Request a demo or explore Spark to discover how our customer success software can help you develop lasting customer relationships.