Loyalty Matters: How to Build a Customer Retention Plan That Really Works

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Most people follow a three-strike rule when it comes to company patronage. Only about 33% of customers will drop you if you give them bad service once.

Excellent news, right? Verily. We’re living in an age of excellent customer service. More than 80% of Americans report that businesses are meeting or even exceeding expectations in customer service.

But is 80% enough? Would 80% be enough for you to trust your doctor-recommended birth control? Even that 99.9% success rate birth control sometimes fails.

How do you beat the numbers? Customer retention programs, that’s how. Below you’ll find some of the best advice on the net on how to keep them coming back for more.

1. It Begins With Customer Service

While customer service historically hurts rather than helps customer retention efforts, it’s still a hole you must plug. You might not gain customer loyalty, but you’ll be less likely to lose it if your customer service is excellent.

How do you make your customer service great? Remove all obstacles to a solution.

Think about the last time you called a customer service line. How much waiting around and hoop-jumping did you have to do before you got what you wanted?

Focus on optimizing the options you give customers. Automate as much as possible without sacrificing interpersonal communication. Sometimes you can only present a solution if the customer tells you what’s wrong. But 90% of the calls will be similar.

2. Everyone Loves a Reward

Common sense dictates that we invest a little in discounts and benefits to attract customers. If you don’t get them in the door, they’ll never buy, after all. But what about your loyal customers?

Are you rewarding people for coming back to your door and stepping over the threshold? Loyalty solutions are one of the most effective ways to bring people through your door again and again.

But a loyalty program isn’t for everyone. And not every loyalty program will attract customers back.

In fact, if you look at Millennials exclusively, you’ll see the obstacles you should avoid. What will send Millennials running away?

  • Too many purchases required to earn rewards
  • Fees of any kind
  • Long enrollment processes

If you can streamline the process, make it FREE, and space out the rewards appropriately, you’ll hook Millennials and really anyone else. While Boomers and GenXers might be willing to pay some sort of small fee to get benefits, they’d rather those benefits be free.

3. Offer a Subscription Service

Let me tell you a story. There once was a person I loved very much. She signed up for a free month of Google Play Music.

This woman enjoyed her free month and forgot to cancel. A few month later she told me about this charge after I saw it on our bill and asked if we could keep it. Suffice it to say, five years later I’m still enjoying her lapse in memory and listening to my favorite bands on Google Play Music.

We’re the generation of subscription services. From meal plans to subscription boxes, we’re spending more and more on subscriptions each year. 84% of Americans don’t know how much they spend on subscriptions each year.

Take advantage of this culture before GenZers and the next generation start calling their parents on their B.S. financial habits.

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