The Growing Importance of Customer Retention
Building customer loyalty has always been essential for businesses to succeed. But in 2023, customer retention strategies are taking center stage. As the IMF predicts economic growth will be the slowest in over 20 years, decision-makers are looking to unlock savings and maximize efficiency. And customer retention is where they’ve set their sights.
Just a 5% increase in retention rates can lead to 25% higher profits. That’s why companies are refocusing on how to retain their customers — and to help you do just that, we’ve put together a list of five best practices for customer retention (you’re welcome).
1. Dive Into Your Customer Data
You’re sitting on a data goldmine. Yep, all those past support conversations contain valuable insights into your customers. Getting to know your existing customers allows you to determine which channels they prefer, make product recommendations, and provide more personalized experiences (psst … there are plenty of AI-powered tools that can analyze this historical data in seconds). By tailoring experiences to each individual, you’ll keep customers coming back again and again.
2. Provide Fast, 24/7 Support
Customers want speedy support, whenever they need it. With a virtual agent that can understand exactly what your customers want and send useful replies at any time of day or night, it’s easy to provide the instant 24/7 service that customers crave. And — even better — automation helps departments shift from reactive to preemptive customer service. By anticipating issues and pushing relevant information to customers via your bot, you can communicate solutions before they even know there’s a problem.
3. Create Opportunities for Regular Feedback
Communication is a two-way street. So create opportunities for customers to provide regular feedback on the experience they have with your brand. This might be through customer interviews or feedback surveys after every support conversation. And be sure to address their comments — this builds trust, and with trust comes loyalty.
4. Don’t Make Cut-Backs in Areas Your Customers Will Feel
The economic downturn means cutting costs is a necessity for the majority of businesses. But when looking for areas to trim the fat, never make cuts in places your customers will see or feel.
While more customers are seeking self-service options, human connection is still at the heart of customer service. So don’t ghost your customers, or make them wait, or turn off the phones. Instead, try to optimize your behind-the-scenes setup with intelligent process automation.
5. Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination
Retention shouldn’t be something your company only cares about when there’s a risk of customer churn. The most CX-leading brands are already implementing Voice of Customer programs or Customer Journey teams to map and optimize the experience across every touchpoint. It’s important to create a customer-focused culture within your organization, so that retention is top of mind for every employee, at every level of the business.
It’s Time for a Customer Retention Strategy
In challenging economic times, consumers are only spending money with brands they trust. And the best way to build trust is by providing a seamless experience they can count on. That’s why customer retention is the #1 customer service trend to watch out for — and to plan for — in 2023.
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