Retaining the customer for a greater Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is an evolving science in the modern SaaS industry. And a great customer engagement strategy is indispensable in achieving that goal. Customer loyalty is not an overnight result of your efforts. It stems from the long-term strategy in place that involves regular engagement with the clients in a meaningful manner.
Trust and loyalty are the fruits of your consistent efforts directed towards fostering a positive working relationship with your clients. It may take years to build the same and on the flip side, just a day to break it. Hence, a Customer Engagement Manager has to take every step very diligently while interacting with the clients. They have to measure the repercussions of their actions both on the client’s business as well as their psychology. Giving a greater customer experience is equally important as achieving their business goals.
Before we begin talking about building a great customer retention strategy, let us spare a few minutes in understanding why customer retention is important in the first place.
Lower marketing cost
Existing customers have a way lower marketing cost new customers. Your existing customers are already the filtered ones whose needs are being fulfilled through your brand. Hence, to expand your business you can get too specific with your offerings with them. The rest of the aspects like building confidence on your brand are already taken care of. So you don’t have to start again from scratch to introduce your brand to your existing customers.
Higher business expansion opportunities
Your existing customers must be already satisfied with your product because of which they continue their relationship with your company. The initial stages of doubts and apprehensions have already been passed with them and they have built trust on you. Hence, it becomes easier for them to buy new products that you may offer. In fact, according to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% – 70%. Whereas for selling to a new prospect it is only 5% – 20%.
A happy and satisfied customer is a goose that lays golden eggs for your business. Apart from numerous benefits they offer, brand advocacy is one of the most impactful ones. The reviews they would leave online, the testimonials they would give for your website or just a word of mouth appreciation they would make in their circle, it all matters a lot in a customer driven economy. Finding a Net Promoter Score (NPS) would help you evaluate how likely they are to recommend you to others. And if it is high then it has a compounding effect on your progress.
And the list goes on. To aim for a 0% churn rate you need to formulate an outstanding customer engagement strategy. While there are tonnes of material available online around this topic, this article aims to cover the best of those strategies that you can implement. Let us now dig into the most useful tenets that comprise that strategy.
Keep it personal
As a customer engagement manager, when you are managing a large number of customers then using a Customer Success Platform is indispensable. But in doing so, make sure that you don’t lose out on the opportunities to make personal contacts with them.
A hybrid engagement model is the best where you can make optimum use of automated communication while at the same time also engage personally on a time to time basis. Your customer success software should have stored specific information about your customer. Making use of that you can identify the stage at which your customer is along with anticipating their needs. The more personalized experience you give to them, the more likely they are to build trust and dependency on you. And these are few of the prominent aspects that build customer retention.
Identify inactive users
Based on the real-time usage data of your clients you should be able to segregate active from inactive users. Disengaged customers should give early signs of churn to you. Hence, instead of waiting for them to reach the point where they would unsubscribe, you can take early preventive actions.
For example knowing the spread of features they are regularly using will give you a clear picture of their degree of engagement with your product. And to raise the engagement you may send them email tips to recommend the unused features. If they are your one of the most valued customers and you have bandwidth then you may schedule a call. You must take all possible measures to drive engagement from those inactive users right from early stages.
Reward your customers
It is essential for a customer engagement manager to communicate business goals to the customers in the beginning itself. These goals are the measures of their growth in deriving value out of your product. And every milestone they reach you must reward them with special offers.
These offers can be something like unlocking enhanced features of your products. The more they use your features, the deeper they immerse into your product. Sending them gifts on special occasions like festivals or birthdays would also help deepen your relationship with them.
Besides, it is very important to nurture a deep relationship especially with your most valued customers for they help you most in expanding your business. In fact, it is a well established fact that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.
The knowledge sources like this blog would surely help you get a gist of deploying a right plan towards customer retention. But nothing can beat the real time experience you would gain with each of your customers. It is one of the best practices for a Customer Engagement Manager to maintain a playbook where you always document your learnings in this journey. Each customer is a chapter that comes with a gamut of learnings for you.
The more passionately you get involved in building the customer engagement strategy the deeper discoveries you would unfold in this ever evolving field. Remember that the engagement should always be made with a win-win mindset. And that demands you to think from the user’s perspectives as well. With the success of your customer, your own progress becomes inevitable.