10 proven customer retention strategies for a better CRR (2023 updated)
In the business world, acquiring new customers is similar to buying gold. It’s just not about the thrill of the first purchase; it’s about maintaining a long-term relationship that benefits both you and your customers. Acquiring new customers is a satisfying moment, but the real challenge is in retaining them.
If you are handling a business, customer retention should be on top of your priority list. It is one of the factors directly affecting your sales and revenue.
If you're curious about the concept of customer retention and looking for strategies to apply to your business, this blog has got you covered.
What is customer retention?
Customer retention is a KPI used by businesses to calculate the number of customers who shift from making one-time purchases to becoming repeat buyers over a period.
Retaining customers is keeping your customers coming back every time they need products or services you provide. It’s a way to figure out how many customers made a first purchase from you, ended up loving it, and now they are your regular customers.
According to ThinkImpact, 8% of retained customers contribute to half of the company’s revenue.
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How to calculate customer retention? (With example)
Customer Retention Rate (CRR) is the percentage of customers a company has retained over time.
To calculate CRR, subtract the number of new customers acquired from the number of customers at the end of a period. Now, divide that number by the total number of customers at the beginning of the period. To find the percentage, multiply the result by 100.
Here’s the formula:
CRR = ((E - N) / S) x 100
E = Number of customers at the end of the period.
N = Number of new customers acquired during the period.
S = Number of customers at the start of the period.
Let’s understand it better with an example.
At the beginning of the year (January 1st), X company had 1,000 customers. Throughout the year, they acquired 200 new customers. By the end of the year (December 31st), they retained 800 of their initial customers (E).
E = 800
N = 200
S = 1000
Hence, the CRR of X company would be
= ((800 - 200) / 1,000) x 100
= (600 / 1,000) x 100
= 0.6 x 100
Thus, the annual Customer Retention Rate (CRR) stands at 60%. This indicates that they kept 60% of their starting customers during the year.
10 powerful customer retention strategies to improve your retention rate
Are you now convinced about the significance of customer retention?If you're pondering how to transition from a subpar retention rate to one that positively impacts your financials, we've got some straightforward and impactful customer retention tactics for you.
Understand your customers' likes and dislikes
For effective customer retention, it is important to understand your customers' preferences. You can create detailed customer profiles by gathering information on their demographics, browsing habits, and past purchases. This enables you to customize your products and services, marketing messages, and recommendations according to their preferences, resulting in exceeding customer expectations.
Provide pre-sales support
Offering support before a purchaseis made demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction. This involves answering questions about products, resolving issues, and providing guidance to customers. Pre-sales assistance fosters trust, making customers more comfortable with their purchasing decisions and more likely to return in the future.
Establish communication with your customers
The foundation of lasting connections is effective communication. Make frequent contact with your customers by using numerous platforms, including email, social media, and newsletters. Provide updates on your business, offer tips or insights, and keep the lines of communication open for inquiries and feedback. This constant connection keeps your brand in their minds and encourages loyalty.
Carry out customer surveys and seek feedback
Actively seeking feedback from customers through surveys and feedback forms allows you to gain valuable insights into their experiences and expectations. By analyzing this input, you can determine areas for improvement and make the required adjustments to improve the customer experience. Customers appreciate knowing their opinions are valued.
Personalization involves tailoring your interactions and services to the preferences of each individual customer. You can provide personalized recommendations, product suggestions, and content by using data analytics. This degree of personalization not only boosts customer interaction but also deepens their emotional connection with your business, increasing retention rates.
Offer effective customer support
Providing exceptional customer support is a cornerstone of successful customer retention. When customers encounter issues or have questions, a responsive and helpful support team can make all the difference. When customers receive quick and effective help, issues get resolved promptly, improving their impression of your company and increasing the possibility that they would come back again for future purchases.
Plan a customer loyalty program
A well-designed customer loyalty program rewards repeat customers for their continued patronage. You can initiate various loyalty programs, including those that use point systems, tiers of benefits, or exclusive access to goods or services. This customer retention strategy not only encourages customers to continue doing business with you but also gives them a sense of worth and gratitude for their consistent loyalty.
Offer exclusive offers and discounts
Exclusive offers and discounts create a sense of exclusivity and appreciation among your customers. Providing loyal customers with exclusive deals, early access to sales, or exclusive discounts encourages them to support your business. These special benefits not only promote repeat business but also strengthen their feeling of being part of an exclusive community.
Build an online community
Building an online community around your brand can improve customer retention. Encourage customer interaction on forums, social media groups, or specific community platforms. Customers are more likely to stick with your business and form enduring relationships when they feel connected to others who share their experiences and interests.
Identify and rectify the reason for customer churn
It's essential to proactively identify and deal with the root causes of customer churn. To determine the reasons why customers are swirling, analyze customer feedback, monitor churn patterns, and conduct exit surveys. Once you've identified the root causes, take swift action to rectify issues, whether it's improving product quality, enhancing customer service, or adjusting pricing strategies. You can minimize future losses and increase customer retention by addressing the fundamental reasons for customer churn.
Why is customer retention important?
Walt Disney once said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” The contribution of customer retention to a business’s success is countless. Let’s look at how important customer retention is for your business.
- Cost-effectiveness: It is significantly more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones. It frequently entails spending on marketing, advertising, and promotions. On the other hand, maintaining relationships with your present customers usually takes less expense.
- Steady revenue stream: Your reliable source of income is your loyal customers. When customers keep coming back, you can depend on a steady income stream, minimizing the uncertainty that comes with relying only on new customers.
- Higher profits: Over time, loyal consumers often make larger purchases. They have faith in your company's reputation and are more willing to look into your other offerings, which boosts sales and profitability.
- Word of mouth: Happy customers become advocates for your brand. They often share their positive experiences with friends, family, and colleagues, leading to new customers via word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Competitive edge: In such a fiercely competitive environment, nurturing customer loyalty is the key to long-term success and market sustainability. It helps customers make a strong connection with your brand, convincing them to opt for your services or buy your products every time they need one. This loyalty provides you with a valuable buffer against market pressures, reducing the chances of your customers to be swayed by competitors.
- Feedback and improvement: Retained and loyal customers provide insightful feedback. Their suggestions can enhance your products or services, elevating the customer journey and attracting more customers.
Nurturing customer relationships for success
Customer retention can be the lifeline of a business, saving it from drowning and making it thrive again in the industry. The customer retention strategies we discussed aren’t just normal business processes; it’s about creating experiences that keep customers coming back, not just once, but time and again.
By prioritizing customer retention, you are building a community of satisfied customers who push your business to excel in this competitive market. Remember, customer retention is always cheaper than customer acquisition. Also, the contribution of retained customers to a business’s success is paramount.
Now, armed with these customer retention insights and strategies, it's time to put your knowledge into action and elevate your efforts. To improve customer retention rate, all you have to do is focus on delivering excellent customer service, and it is possible with a solution like DevRev. Using this platform, you can constantly be there for your customers and their problems. You can provide instant solutions, and all this will automatically impact the customer retention rate.