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What Is Customer Retention, and How Can I Utilize It in My Business?

Customer retention is key for businesses in the internet age; as more and more businesses continue to open into online spaces, the markets grow more and more crowded, leading to tight competition – and many businesses getting priced out before they can compete. The modern business competes not necessarily with price points, but with something much more powerful: customer retention.

Customer retention is defined as the securing of repeat customs from previous users of your service – essentially, getting your customers to come back again. Previous customers are up to 14 times more likely to purchase from you than prospective customers; repeat custom will form the backbone of your business model, ensuring the lights stay on and the shipments keep coming in, while the acquisition of new customers is what allows your business to grow. The fostering of loyalty in your customer base can be achieved in a number of simple ways, though it may still require hard work to achieve. Here are some tips you can apply to your business, to increase your customer retention and compete with the bigger fish.

FAQs, and Refund Policies

FAQs are the main way in which new customers alleviate anxiety about their purchases, learning things about a delivery, warranty, and crucially, refund policies. A concise, fair, and well-written FAQ section will engender confidence in the reader, giving them a sense of trust in your authority. A generous refund policy reduces perceived risk on their end, making more and riskier purchases more likely – after all, they could just send it back.

Tracking Metrics

This is a more introspective, internal process that can help you understand your customers and how you might retain them. Churn rate is the rate at which customers drop off from using your store or service; analyzing your churn rate with regard to the calendar, product releases, or even discontinuations may give you insight into your demographic’s behavior, and give you the opportunity to turn it around.

Email Marketing

Building a strong mailing campaign for your users can increase retention significantly. By paying close attention to the copy you use in the email – keeping things succinct, engaging and compelling – and utilizing a strong subject line, you can draw customers in, before hitting them with a call to action in the form of a “buy now” button. With larger mailing lists, you can A/B test different email formats and copy, to ascertain what will increase click-through to your site and sale conversion rates more.

Exclusivity

Exclusivity is very appealing to the average consumer. Giving them the impression, they are receiving rare treatment, and access to offers or products not offered to just anyone will significantly increase the likelihood of continued patronage. Repeat customers could also be offered entry into a tailored loyalty program, which grants them points for purchases and rewards them for their loyalty to your brand.

Communication

Contact with your customers can indicate that you as a business care about them – whether in the use of feedback forms to learn more about how your site is being received or indirect responses to queries on social media platforms. Cookie-cutter responses don’t cut it anymore, meaning businesses with the human touch are more likely to keep customers happy with their brand and continue to purchase from it.

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