10 Ways to Increase Your Customer Retention

customer retention

Businesses often focus their efforts exclusively on customer acquisition, and much of SEO, PPC and social media marketing is about driving traffic to your website and increasing conversions, but customer retention is just as important – if not more important – than bringing in new customers. Think about it – if your customers find your sales process or customer service sub par, so-so, or just plain terrible, they won’t come to you again. It’s all very well driving a ton of traffic to your site but we want it to stick, and to visit again and again and again… Increasing your customer retention rate by just 5% can raise your profits by 25-95%, according to the Harvard Business School, so it’s time to start refocusing your efforts!

Building a sustainable business means paying attention to your customer retention, and here are 10 easy ways to ensure your customer retention strategy works:

1) Create a community around your brand – Make your brand recognisable, familiar, and something that customers want to associate with, and they’ll become part of your ‘family’. Each brand needs to go about this in their own way (and yes, we realise it’s a sort of vague instruction – that’s what a digital marketing service is for!), whether it’s a quirky social media presence or strong core values that really stand for something worthwhile.

2) Promote the positive – A fairly obvious one, but studies have shown that highlighting the benefits (“over 100,000 customers recommend us!”) over the negatives (“without our services, 80% of companies fail…”) is a much more effective way of getting customers on board with your brand. Even if your negative statement is reinforcing your worth, the human brain is wired to get more excited about the positives.

3) Utilise intelligent targeting – Targeting your audience goes beyond simple demographics. Find what makes your customers tick – or, more importantly, what they aspire to be or have. Zoning in on these aspirations and idealisms with your advertising, marketing, social media, branding and products can create a strong attraction for your customers’ ego! Make your brand appeal perfectly to their desires, their goals and their view of themselves. Fill the existing demand rather than creating a while new one.

4) Simplify your process – Reduce as many hurdles and as much friction in your sales and enquiry process as possible. Customers want to get the job done as quickly and as easily as possible, and they start to get irritated when faced with too many steps, confusing processes, mistakes and slow loading screens. The easier it is for customers to buy, the more likely they will – just look at how (terrifyingly) easy it is to use Amazon’s one-click button…

5) Reciprocate  Show your customers a little love and make it worth their while to stay loyal to you. Go above and beyond to make sure they receive the very best service – better range of products, faster delivery, cheaper (or free) shipping, flash sales, special deals and vouchers, recommended products based on their previous purchases, social media promotions – spend some time and a little of your budget on really giving your customers a good experience, and one they’re likely to talk positively about to others. 

6) Keep the lines of communication open – Make sure customers can reach you – by phone, email, social media, whatever – as easily as possible. Websites that don’t provide clear contact details, or companies that are slow to respond raise big red flags for consumers, and they’ll always choose a business they can easily get hold of over one that is unresponsive. 

7) Make it personal – Find a way to show your customers you appreciate their repeat custom. When you communicate, get their details right, take notes of previous interactions and keep on top of your business relationship. Suggesting related products based on their purchase history can offer an easy conversion. Once again – know your customers and give them what they want.

8 ) Be there when they need you – Your customer service department needs to be on point if you want your customer retention rate to be high. Errors happen but they needn’t affect your sales so long as you deal with them professionally and quickly. The customer is always right and you should go above and beyond to fix problems when they occur. If you use social media, make sure you have a strategy in place to deal with complaints and negativity – a social media marketing specialist can be  invaluable if you have a busy social presence to make sure everything runs smoothly.

9) Focus on speed and quality – Customers want great quality products and services, and they want them now. Given the choice between a slow delivery and a fast one, which one would you go for? Given the choice between a high quality product or a shoddy one, which one would you go for? In both these instances, price will also play a part, but if you give your customers both fast service and great products, they are more likely to pay a premium than go elsewhere.

10) Do what you do, and do it well! You know your company best, and you should be able to translate what you stand for and what you offer to your customers clearly and succinctly. Don’t try to be a Jack of all trades – focus on what you do best, and offer the highest service possible to your consumers.

Keeping customers loyal means making them a part of your business ‘family’, providing a solid reason for them to stay with you (great prices, great service, great communication, great overall business ethic), and showing them that they matter to you as customers. For more help creating a watertight online business marketing plan, get in touch with us at www.ikroh.com.

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Email Marketing that Works

email marketing tips

Email marketing can be a highly beneficial arm of your digital marketing campaign, but there is absolutely no point in sending out a promotional email each week or month if your recipients are pinging it straight to the spam folder or trash before even opening it. So how do you create emails that grab (and keep) your customers’ attention? And, more importantly, how do you use email promos to increase conversions?

As consumers we have adept at ignoring spam and scanning through promotional material, so a good way to approach your email marketing strategy is to look at it as creating (and maintaining) personal correspondence between you and the customer. Your content needs to be personalised, worthwhile, and distinctive from the rest of the marketing mailouts that drop into your subscriber’s inbox. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Welcome new customers and make a genuine first impression. Reward customers for signing up for a newsletter or registering an account with you – promo codes, money off vouchers and exclusive offers – and make their experience personal.
  • Show recipients why they should keep you off the spam list rather than spouting off about how great you are or keeping emails dull and perfunctory. Grab their attention with a subject line you can’t NOT click. Then follow up with great content.
  • On the subject of content, make it count – you may only have one chance to persuade email viewers not to unsubscribe so make each email unique and interesting. Highlight offers, provide subscriber-only codes, update on recent news, tease about upcoming events, and offer valuable information that is worth reading.
  • Your emails need to achieve two goals: to get viewers to read your content, and to get these readers to click through to your site or follow through on a call to action. Your emails should lead the viewer to a mutually appealing conclusion – to click or buy or act. It should be intriguing and irresistible to your customers and should provide you with something of value: a social follower, a purchase, feedback, whatever.
  • Once you’ve captured your reader’s attention, next you give them access – easy clickthroughs to your site, specific offers, hell – take them right to the checkout with the item you’ve just mentioned already in the basket and the discount already applied! Make it easy for customers to find you on social media or to contact you via email or phone.
  • Show customers they’re valued and that you actually know who they are. You can do this by personalising content according to previous purchase history: celebrate birthdays, tell them when an item they bought previously is on offer, recommend similar products and make educated guesses for what they might be after next. Give them a reason to stay a customer and stay subscribed.
  • Cut the promo spiel and get to the juicy stuff – provide useful content in the actual email so if the don’t have time to click through to your site they still get something out of reading it. Chances are next time they open their inbox they’ll feel favourably towards your email and give it a second look – and a clickthrough. Use multimedia, topical subjects, valuable info, tips and tricks – don’t just stick to sales and promos!
  • Finally, see your marketing emails as mini websites pinged straight to customer inboxes – use bold imaging and aesthetic layouts, add sidebars with useful links and social media info, reflect your branding style so that readers know who the email is from as soon as they open it.

Email marketing shouldn’t be a boring regurgitation of your weekly offers or a pointlessly self-serving description of your business, so make your promo emails truly worthwhile and boost your site traffic and sales with every mailout.

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Debenhams Embraces Diversity in Fashion

debenhams diversity campaign

Debenham’s ‘Inclusivity Campaign’ offers a view of fashion that is both inspirational and realistic for its customers with models who represent a diverse range of sizes, ages and races, including an amputee and a paralympian athlete. The department store’s ‘High Summer Look Book’ has rejected the traditional industry approach and specifically chosen a more realistic array of models to show off their collection – a break in convention that is not simply a gimmick, but hopefully the start of a new, healthier view of fashion advertising.

debenhams diversity campaign

The high street retailer is the first in the UK to diversify their choice of models, in the hope that the move will help to promote body confidence in its customers. Director of PR for Debenhams Ed Watson explained: “Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity.  We would be delighted if others followed our lead.  Hopefully these shots will be a step, albeit a small one, towards more people feeling more comfortable about their bodies.

deb2

Debenhams won a Body Confidence Award in 2012 for the on-going campaign, and is now part of the Government’s ‘Body Confidence Advisory Committee’. Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson commented: “Once again Debenhams is showing that beauty comes in all forms – different skin colours, ages, body shapes and sizes. It was one of the first to introduce size 16 mannequins, and continues to send a clear message to the rest of the retail industry that many customers want to see more diverse and realistic images.”

We say hooray for Debenhams for not being afraid to break away from the unrealistic expectations enforced on us by the media and encouraging their customers to feel good about their bodies and appearances. Maybe Abercrombie and Fitch could take a few lessons…

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

The Battle of the Christmas Ads

john lewis christmas ad

Which is your favourite Christmas TV ad so far?

The major UK retailers have released their latest seasonal campaign, with an interesting selection of approaches – from the John Lewis animated tale to Sainsbury’s Christmas in single day… With retailers spending almost £400 million on advertising in the festive season, a greater proportion of this budget is being allocated to online marketing, according to market analyst Nielsen. And sensibly so, with rising numbers of online shoppers foregoing the Christmas rush and getting their Christmas lists sorted online – including their food shopping.

Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, Christmas adverts have a habit of sticking in your head – it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until that first ‘holidays are coming’ ad from Coca Cola…

One of the few exceptions to the rule is Next, who focuses its spending on its infamous New Year sale, starting at the crack of dawn on Boxing Day.

Watch some of the main contenders below and let us know in the comments which one captures the spirit of Christmas (or should that be commercialism?!) the best:

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Social Media Customer Service Done Right!

tesco twitter customer service

Sometimes a company gets its social media personality just right – there’s a fine line between being humorously playful and being unprofessional, but Tesco Mobile and Netflix have both struck a great balance in their recent responses to online customers.

First off, a Netflix customer service operator casually slipped into a Starfleet uniform to create a fantastic roleplay response to a customer complaint. Even better, the customer gleefully responded in kind…

social media customer service

 

‘Captain’ Michael turned an irritating complaint into an entertaining exchange with just the right amount of geekery – you can read the entire transcript here.

Tesco Mobile have also proved they have a cheeky sense of humour on Twitter, when what started as a tongue-in-cheek response to badmouthing of the network turned into a multi-brand online party.

First off, Tesco fired off some silly, snarky replies to Twitter users who were less than impressed with its street cred.

tesco twitter customer servie

Filipe took the dig with good grace and the tweet received a massive response. But that’s not the last of it. A few days later, Felipe received a DM from Tesco asking for his address, and the following parcel of goodies was delivered to his door:

tes

Tesco Mobile also shared the love with other Tweeps who jumped on the bandwagon and defended the network against online insults – notably a fella called Ricardo who tweeted a pic of himself responding to a friend’s negative comment on his Facebook wall, saying “gotta love Tescos”.

@tescomobile quickly showed their gratitude, and the pair instigated a bizarre Twitter party, inviting along the Twitter accounts for Yorkshire Tea, Jaffa Cakes, Cadbury UK and Phileas Fogg (Walkers crisps declined their invitation…). The brands bantered and shared imaginary biscuits (or are they cakes?), embodying a very British tea party. The conversation really needs to be seen to be believed, so check out the full thread on Buzzfeed, have a cup of tea, and enjoy.

If you require any further help with your social media marketing please contact us on 01908 379938.

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.