How to improve customer retention in the era of fading brand loyalty?

September 2018
September 2018 Sebastian Gullak

In order to satisfy them, and to do it better than your competitors, meeting customers’ growing needs and expectations are crucial. Neglecting this imperative would impact on your customer retention, satisfaction, engagement, and ultimately negatively influence your company’s overall performance.

Nowadays, consumers are demonstrated to orientate their purchases based on different criteria than just their brand preferences, such as price, quality, user-friendly services, speed. For instance, consumers are expecting businesses to solve their inquiries, complaints, and issue within a smaller time-span. However, first and foremost, it emerges from several markets and consumer researches that the most important qualifier is customer experience. Online experiences are proven to influence the purchases’ likelihood and might be responsible for negative word of mouth, implying that consumers facing poor experiences would not recommend your company to their peers.

With this paradigm-shifting, focusing on solely competing through brand loyalty is obsolete, besides not being relevant to your customers, thus, not efficient nor effective. Therefore, it is undeniable that both online and offline experiences are the main characteristic the modern shoppers would consider when interacting with your brand. As a result, most businesses are competing on delivering superior and high-tailored experiences to their customers. With such premises, customer retention is one of the core concern, since businesses are now facing an era of fading brand loyalty, in a hypercompetitive market. In order to increase the chance to maintain and improve your customer retention rates, your business is urged to invest in customer experience, and implement retention strategies accordingly.

Four recommended strategies to boost customer retention

Customer retention is considered to be one of the imperatives every business is advised to aim for, especially given that competing on brand loyalty and brand initiatives is no longer sustainable nor efficient. Hence, re-structuring your organizational goals and strategies is a crucial step for your company, and there are four core recommendations:

1. Personalization and customer experience

Notably, personalization is a top priority, as it individualizes your customers’ experiences with your brand, establishing a 1:1 conversation, that differentiates your business from its competitors. Boosting brand loyalty and, as a consequence, retention, through personalized customer experience, entails heavily relying on marketing automation and customer journeys. This, in turn, grants you to tie your initiatives and customers’ expectations in order to shape relevant content and personal offers.

2. Loyalty programs

It is demonstrated that 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your audience, which is your top customers. These loyal customers appreciate your business recognition, and they need to be constantly rewarded, consolidating the reasons for their choices in shopping with your over competitors. Providing sneak peeks or beta versions of your product and services, exclusive offers and perks, including freebies, promotions, or privileged deals and discount, would nurture a mutual relationship of appreciation with your customers boosting retention and loyalty.

3. Customer surveys

Designing and implementing a dynamic and advanced customer feedback program would support your business in achieving improved services for your audience. It is a strategy that would impact your company’s understanding of your customers’ needs, expectations, and problems. Moreover, it supports accessing richer insights on your customers that will orientate informed decisions. By aligning your customers’ feedbacks you will design processes and tactics to boost customer success.

4. Solid customer support

Customer support plays a crucial role when it comes to retention, as it is a key differentiator: consumers often switch off your brand because of poor customer service. Therefore, it is recommended to invest in an omnichannel customer support, focusing on a cohesive experience to solve customers’ issues, rather than disjointed interactions with them. Furthermore, it is suggested to provide them with self-help options, such as chatbots, blogs, forums, etc., to empower customers and developing proactive solutions.

Implementing such strategies has proven to positively impact customer retention rates, and to achieve superior results in the long-run, securing your business’ competitive stand in the age of fading brand loyalty.