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.

Maximising Online Customer Experience

Online sales have grown by 10.7% in the past year, accounting for a total of 9.5% of all retail spending in the UK. As summer winds down (waaah!) it’s vitally important for online businesses to maximise customer experience to keep sales strong through the slow periods of autumn and winter. A major part of this is providing a multi-channel access via personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and social media to ensure easy transactions, a consistent online front and high customer satisfaction.

online marketing

Earnings, interest and unemployment rates have remained consistent since July 2012 year but online growth is steadily on the rise, especially within the mobile market, with 50% of smartphone owners using their device for purchases.

At the 2013 Internet Retailing Conference in October, the closing keynote from Peter Fitzgerald (Google UK’s retail director) is due to offer a number of ideas for the future of online retail. Fitzgerald has said that mobile needs to play a key role in retailers’ plans to ensure that they are providing customers with easy access to products and services and excellent customer services.

mobile marketing

“We, as consumers, always have the internet at our fingertips for price checks, product reviews and additional product range choice, therefore businesses that have seamless touch points across channels and devices will win and win big,” Fitzgerald commented, “Companies that use data to customise to the needs of individuals make shopping more fun and relevant for them will lead the pack.”

E-commerce businesses should also take advantage of the vast amount of data available through online and social channels to shape and mould their operations to suit customer needs and desires, enhancing their shopping experience and increasing conversions. Multi-channel retailing means exploring mobile commerce, tablets, social media and interactive email marketing, and the Internet Retailing Conference is due to explore ‘The New Basics’ of retail and the future of the industry. The event will take place on the 16th of October at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London with over 45 exhibitors, eight free workshops and 500 delegates sharing knowledge and experience of three core areas: The Customer, The Business and The Industry.

For help on any aspect of your digital marketing and e-commerce plans, let Ikroh offer advice and expertise – from social media marketing to SEO and web design. Visit our website or get in touch by calling 01908 379938.

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Drowing in Data? A Mini-Guide to Website Analytics

Are you drowning in data? Feeling overwhelmed by analytics? Every professional search or social marketing will tell you that keeping close tabs on your website performance and analytics is essential in developing a successful online marketing strategy but if you’re finding it hard to understand which metrics matter to your company, you may be making some ill-guided decisions.

Firstly, if your website data matters to you (and it should), hiring a professional web analytics firm to handle your SEO and/or social media marketing is a good first step, and needn’t hack a massive chunk out of your budget. We offer specially tailored contract-free PPC packages for small businesses and start-ups because we think everyone should take their digital marketing strategy seriously while still being able to afford it!

website analytics tips

So, back to basics: how can you make sense of your data and pick out the essential elements to help you keep track of your website performance? On a simple level, it comes down to three main points:

1) Visitor behaviour

2) Website performance

3) Conversions

To gauge the value of each of these elements, you need to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your website and set specific goals to help you track relevant activity. Look at the breakdown below and think about the type of goals you could put into place to gather information on each point.

Visitor behaviour:

  • Where are your visitors are entering your site and which landing pages are getting the most visits?
  • Are visitors are leaving your website too soon?
  • How are visitors are navigating your site?
  • Are visitors making purchases/enquiries?

Website performance:

  • Which pages perform the best (and worst)?
  • Where are visitors leaving your site?
  • Are visitors being called to action and making conversions?
  • Are your pages loading fast enough?
  • Is your website connected to your social media sites?
  • Where are your visitors coming from?
  • What devices are visitors using to access your site?
  • Are your SEO and PPC campaigns performing well?
  • What keywords are customers using to find your site?

Conversions:

  • What is inciting customers to buy/sign up?
  • Where are your conversions coming from?
  • What is driving customers to your site?
  • Which pages lead to successful conversions?

In today’s business world we have an over-abundance of data and sometimes trying to deal with too much at a time can be the downfall of a company’s marketing strategy. What you really need to know is whether your visitors making purchases (hopefully, yes!) and how you can best track the KPIs of your website and the details of these conversions to make the most of future marketing efforts. You can leave the rest up to us!

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

How to Develop a Kickass Social Media Strategy

social media marketing strategy

 

A good social media strategy is grounded in your company’s short term and long term goals, focused, adaptable and engaging. Developing a kickass strategy for your business can be a steep learning curve, so be prepared to tweak and adjust your campaigns as you go, and learn to interact with your followers and customers in a way that strengthens your brand. Here are a few fundamentals to help you to build a solid social media strategy from the very start:

  • Link your website with social media – Customers should be able to easily get from your social media pages to your website and vice versa without needing to search for more than a second or two. Integrate social media into all your online activity and create your own mini web.
  • Focus and specialise  – It’s a waste of energy to try to spread yourself over too many social sites, and your audience are likely to congregate in one or two areas anyway. Focus your time and your budget on the places where you can really make an impact in social media.
  • Re-target existing and ‘almost’ customers – Use retargeting techniques to convert customers who have already shown an interest in your products and services using targeted ads, social media, and email marketing.
  • Use images and video  – Multimedia content is far more viral than text. Source high quality images and videos for your social media posts and encourage clickthroughs. Post your own content on YouTube or Vine for an extra boost.
  • Stay relevant – Respond to news and current events with your content, and keep track of keywords and mentions that relate to your company and your products.
  • Create original content  – And make it regular. Fresh, unique content not only helps your search ranking, it encourages followers to keep visiting your social profiles or your blog/website for new posts.
  • Interact! Social media is… well, social. Make sure you are on top of all your interactions, responses, complaints and enquiries. Nothing’s a bigger turn off in social media than an inactive account.
  • Use email – Email newsletter recipients are more likely to share content via social media than a casual follower on your account. Embed social buttons within your email marketing and encourage social followers to sign up for a newsletter.
  • Show off your brand  – At the end of the day, social media is a great opportunity to show the world what your company is about – give followers a sense of your personality and your style and make genuine connections to create a feeling of community around your brand.

So go forth, have fun, and enjoy the fresh approach of social media – you never know, it might even help to shape your company for the better.

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.