It’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of thinking the key to growth is to always be bringing in more customers.
In reality, there is far more potential in focusing on your current customers and increasing the retention rate for them.
And at the start of it all, is developing solid communication with your customers that will serve as a foundation for how they view and engage with your brand.
In this short guide, we’ll be discussing the importance of customer service, and how to utilize channels such as automated Email and SMS messaging to increase customer retention rates.
Why Great Customer Service Is Important
Great communication and top-notch customer service go hand in hand.
If you are already in regular contact with your customer base, they will reach out to you if any potential issues arrises. This gives you the opportunity to be proactive in addressing any problems in a quick and efficient manner.
By routinely providing value both in and outside your core product or service, quickly fixing or rectifying any potential issues, and building a relationship with a customer, you’re guaranteeing satisfaction in your business.
According to a study conducted by Brand Keys a customer loyalty increase of just 7% can boost lifetime profits per customer by as much as 85%.
How to Achieve Higher Customer Retention
Achieving higher customer retention starts with utilizing the tools you currently have to provide more value to your current customer base.
The two most used forms of business communication to clients is Email and SMS messaging. While most people think of these tools as primarily customer acquisition strategies, they are tremendously helpful when focusing on how to retain customers and increase their average lifetime value to you as a business owner.
1. Utilizing Email
While undeniably the most used business communication channel, email is still a great way to generate higher customer retention and value when utilized correctly.
Personalized Messages Based On Actions
Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers. When do you need or want to help the most? Typically the answer is in the beginning when they are getting set up with your product or service and most likely have questions on how to do so the right way.
In order to take a proactive approach to this, it can be helpful to draft emails that you can send customers based on actions such as initially singing up or downloading your product or service, or requesting a free trial, or interacting with a feature that they haven’t yet touched before.
By taking a proactive approach to customer service and providing value before they even have the opportunity to ask, you’re building trust and credibility between the customer and your business.
Send Friendly Reminders
People are people, and that means they forget things, often. One of the most frustrating things a customer can experience is getting charged out of the blue each month for a service that they didn’t remember signing up for or forgot the renewal date.
Sending automated reminder emails is a quick way to keep your customers engaged with your product or service, and provide them with ample time to take advantage of opportunities you may be offering.
Below are good occasions to think about setting reminder emails for:
- When a renewal is due
- When an invoice is ready
- When an upcoming webinar or blog post has been published (that’s relevant)
- When special promotions are available to customers
- When you are hosting a new webinar
- When you put up a new resource
While no customer enjoys being spammed with three “exclusive promotions” a week, they do enjoy receiving promotions when they are actually personal and relevant to that specific customer.
This can be as simple as an email sent a day after a customer makes a purchase saying,
Thank you for your first purchase, and welcome to the family! Here’s a 20% discount code for next time.
Alternatively, if a regular customer hasn’t made a purchase or engaged with your emails in a long time it could be effective to send an email saying,
Hey <name>! We miss you, here’s 50% off your next purchase to welcome you back.
When customers feel like they’re not constantly being sold to, but being offered, they are far more likely to engage with promotions and turn into conversions.
Educate & Add Value
Consistently educating and adding value to your customers even outside of your core product or service is one of the top methods to increase customer retention.
These emails could be as simple as sending a link to a relevant article for your industry along with a short summary in your own words of how your customers can take this information and apply it to their business.
Alternatively, give your customers value before they have a chance to see it elsewhere. For instance, if you’re planning on releasing a new blog post on Monday morning, consider sending it via email to your most engaged customers on Sunday night.
2. Utilizing SMS
While SMS is a very high growing communication channel for businesses, it is still largely underutilized.
It’s also equally (if not more) effective for customer retention as it is for customer acquisition.
- Use SMS for Customer Service & Support
When a customer comes across an issue or hindrance while using your product or service, they almost always want it resolved fast. As in, if a google search or quick look at your Help page doesn’t solve it, they will get annoyed quickly.
An easy solution to this is to have a dedicated customer service SMS line that is open for exactly that — solving quick problems and directing more sophisticated issues to the correct service department within your company.
- Collect Payments & Send Reminders
As also mentioned in the email portion of this article, customers are people, and people forget things often.
By having a set list of reminders to be automatically sent to each customer, you’re ensuring higher engagement and a greater chance of them choosing to renew or continue with your product or service.
Additionally, collecting payments through invoice links or forms via texts is an incredibly effective and inefficient way of getting your customers or clients to actually pay you. Over 97% of SMS texts are opened and read, meaning it will be far less likely for your invoice to die in the inbox graveyard.
If the main focus for your business is increasing revenue, and you don’t have a solid plan in place for increasing customer retention, you are doing yourself and your business a disservice.
By increasing the quality and consistency of your customer service, as well as communication in general, you’re guaranteeing higher retention rates through satisfied customers.