Customer retention is a big deal. Hyping up your brand and even getting the first sale is relatively easy compared with the struggle that many businesses face in trying to keep their customers once they’ve found each other. As a result, retention is set to be a top priority for companies looking to keep customers engaged and driving growth.
What are the top five customer retention marketing trends that’ll help you the most in the upcoming year?
- Focusing on the customer experience above all else
- Genuinely caring about your employees (and sharing that fact with the world)
- Personalizing your content offerings and opt-in
- Leveraging live video
- And not relying on your niche products and approaches because they are niche
These are the trends that’ll emerge to shape the way companies delight and retain customers next year. Let’s take a look at each one and explore possible ways companies can use them.
Focus On Your Customer Experience
Once upon a time, all people wanted were reasonably priced products at locations that were easy to get to. For some things, this still holds true, but in many cases, it's not like that anymore. People want a great experience, and savvy companies are delivering.
Some ways to create a one-of-a-kind customer experience include:
- Making seamless customer journeys that apply to real people
- Meeting people where they’re at, such as on their phones and social media
- Taking time to address issues or concerns in a personalized fashion
- And listening to the customers when they tell you what’s going on.
Truly Caring About Your Employees
While not every consumer puts their money where their stated values are, many of them care about how a company treats its employees. And they go to those companies when they want to buy something.
From a return on investment (ROI) perspective, happy employees are more invested in the company’s growth, more likely to share their positive experiences on social media (a great way to make companies more approachable!) and more caring and friendly to your clientele.
Personalizing Your Content Offerings
The future of personalization goes far beyond creepy ads that shout your name and emails that are promptly sent to the trash folder. It’s not just about using people’s names and general preferences anymore — it’s about sending them custom content that you know they’ll enjoy.
For example, small companies may send a custom note to each person that signs up. Larger companies can send a semi-custom one, depending on the consumer’s indicated interests and preferences. The essential thing is to make the customer or client feel like you care.
Leveraging Live Video
When done correctly, live video is fun. It’s engaging, entertaining, and attention-drawing, particularly for companies with large social media followings. The biggest challenge of live video is how to use it in this way and not in an unapproachable, clunky, or in a way that aggressively pushes sales.
Some great starter ideas to leverage live video as a company include:
- Live Q&A sessions
- Thought leadership conversations
- Product showcases and walkthroughs
- Meet and greet sessions with the people behind the company
- Promotions and offer call outs
- And more.
Don't Rely on Being Niche
Everything is on a time cycle, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of marketing. Niche products can’t rely on being “niche” anymore; the saturation point has been reached. While it’s still an integral part of certain industries, such as jewelry, companies that want to retain their customers will have to evolve beyond being merely “niche.”
Companies facing this situation should move away from promoting their niche and refocus on expanding their marketing strategies and on the quality of their products. The trends previously mentioned can significantly assist here, as well.
The Customer is Key
Gone are the days of marketing tactics such as single-channel, single-touch, and advertising “spray and pray” distribution models. Now, many successful companies are shifting their metrics to examine their customer retention rates across multi-channel approaches. And it’s working in ways that no one thought of even twenty years ago.
People have options and aren’t afraid to shop around. Customers aren’t loyal to brands anymore, nor do they want to stick around a company that’s overly focused on direct sales and the bottom line. Instead, they are loyal to companies that put people and experiences first.
Whether that's in the form of innovative pop-up shops, a truly caring social media response to an irritated customer, a brutally honest live Q&A session or a personalized email that resonates with a new lead, people crave those experiences and will stick with the companies that consistently provide them.
And that’s how companies will retain customers now and in the future.
Want to learn how to turn happy customers into brand advocates and why this matters to your business? Read more here.