Hold Your Own: 5 Key Strategies for Peak Client Retention

 

Many factors determine the success or failure of a business, but it ultimately comes down to one thing: Do you have enough clients? That’s why every aspect of a business strives to bring in new clients and increase profits. But in pursuing new clientele, it’s important to remember the clients that you already have.

In fact, a lot of businesses view consumer retention as an even bigger priority than new business — data has shown that it is approximately seven times more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to keep an existing one. Plus, existing clients spend on average 31% more than new ones. The probability of converting an existing client is also much higher than new clients — 60%–70% versus just 5%–20%.

Client retention then is incredibly important. But what goes into it? There may be no magic formula, but there are five main areas you can focus on to cultivate high retention.

 
Learn how to connect every interaction across email, mobile, advertising, and the web — along with sales and service — into a seamless customer experience.

1. Set the right expectations from the start — and then deliver.

You may have heard the phrase “underpromise and overdeliver.” You need to make sure that you are expending resources on the things that matter — actual results — rather than simply talking the talk. Better results allow for better “talk” anyway, as they can drive marketing campaigns.

The most important thing here is alignment of message, across marketing and sales and through to fulfilment. Full collaboration between teams and departments results in improved marketing and sales efforts, as well as more satisfied clients. Overpromising from the beginning can be frustrating to consumers, and result in lower chances of retention.

2. Facilitate connected consumer journeys.

Consumer experience is more important than ever before: Seventy percent of clients agree that technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere. And with consumers spending time on more devices and channels than ever before, unified 1-to-1 journeys are essential. This involves an omni-channel experience and evolution of the message across all devices.

This Salesforce report goes over a few of the reasons why these journeys are so important, and some of the hurdles you may face in implementing them. It’s crucial to work within the consumer’s time frame and arrange more flexible campaigns around it. Brands must know where the buyer is at each stage of the journey, what they want, and where they want to interact with your brand.

Consumer journeys are vital for retention. They benefit both buyers and marketers by providing a more personalized experience. They also make it easier for clients to get the products they want more quickly.

3. Leverage client data more effectively.

A big part of crafting these kinds of consumer journeys is using data correctly. Many marketing teams have more data than they know what to do with. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are helping to solve this problem, collecting data and stitching together relevant information to create client insights.

For example, AI can be used for audience segmentation and targeting, helping companies know which clients are the most valuable (more likely to return, more likely to spend more) and where they can be found. This data can then be leveraged to reach out to those clients in a more effective, more personal manner. That’s how marketers send the right offers at the right time, across the optimum channel.

4. Client service is your most important marketing tool.

In a culture of online reviews and social media, client support is becoming an even more decisive factor in retention. Luckily, this is another area where consumer data and new smart tools are empowering brands. Cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) systems enable brands to build a community of buyers, become more active on social media, and more effectively manage consumer loyalty through this community.

With AI-driven insights, you can solve problems before they happen — and work with clients more efficiently. With case management tools, service representatives have immediate access to relevant data and the ability to transfer issues to the best people to solve them as soon as they arise.

Creating a community of buyers requires a consistent brand voice across all marketing, sales, and client service efforts, but will result in more return buyers. It can also lead to more customers recommending your company to their friends.

5. Focus on the mobile experience, specifically apps.

Everyone should be aware of the importance of the mobile experience to a brand. The number of people purchasing items on mobile devices is growing every year. But in order to provide a fuller experience that will boost retention, mobile applications should now be the focus. Adults in the United States spend an average of 2 hours and 41 minutes per day using mobile apps. Apps present a more personal avenue for users to engage with your brand, and an opportunity to strengthen your bond with them.

In particular, the return on investment (ROI) of using Salesforce to build apps is very high, with this IDC white paper showing a 478% ROI over a five-year period and $242,272 in business benefits per 100 users per year, and just 7 months needed to break even.

Salesforce goes beyond helping you build portal apps. Using Salesforce, you can manage buyer journeys across marketing, sales, commerce, client service, and more. Through AI-driven tools, you can use available data more effectively and hold on to your most valuable clients.

Increasing client retention by just 5% could lead to an increase in profits of up to 95%. The benefits are there for everyone to see. It’s just a matter of knowing how to access them. Sign up for a free demo of Journey Builder, and see how you can boost your retention rates in no time.

 
Do you want to build customer journeys, but don't know where to begin? These worksheets will get you started on successful customer journey mapping.

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