No matter how incredible your products or services are, if your business cannot convert customers into loyal product ambassadors and evangelists, there is much room for improvement.
Consider how much your company currently invests in customer acquisition.
If you are spending above-average costs to acquire each new client and are losing these hard-earned customers after their first or second purchase, your team may need to shift focus and prioritize customer retention a bit more.
In this article, we will highlight the top customer retention strategies your team can start to implement to ensure customers purchase from you repeatedly.
Brand Ambassadors & Evangelists
How satisfied are your customers with your service? If another business that provides the same products or services were to offer what you offer for a more attractive price, would they stick with your business?
Do your clients recommend your business to others?
In every industry, successful brands have mastered the art of customer acquisition and retention.
Better yet, the most successful brands have discovered how to turn buyers into loyal clients by using a combination of brand ambassadors and brand evangelists.
Both approaches can lead to boosts in sales and overall brand growth.
Brand Ambassadors – Influencers & Employees
A brand ambassador (known as an influencer on social media platforms) is paid to represent your business.
They are responsible for speaking positively about your product or service on social media to their online followers. They also protect your reputation, increase traffic to your website, and provide positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Employee Brand Ambassador Programs
While many ambassador programs involve working with online influencers, many successful companies opt to involve their employees in the process. Employee brand ambassador programs work – a brand’s message has up to 561% more reach when an employee shares it as compared to when the brand shares it via their brand social media profile(s).
Not only that, leads acquired through employee brand ambassadors convert up to 7x more than other leads.
A brand evangelist is a customer that has gone the extra mile – these individuals form a part of your brand’s online community.
Often, they are customers who enjoy your product(s) or service(s), and they create online content (such as unboxing and product review videos), and they share your brand’s content on social media.
Brand evangelists are often not media influencers. They are everyday people who the positive opinions and experiences they have with your business brand.
An efficient method for converting your satisfied clients into brand evangelists is through a company affiliate program.
Affiliate programs work just as well for SaaS and B2B companies as they do for other consumer brands. A significant advantage is that they let brands reward customers who stay with them for the long haul.
To reward your most reliable affiliates, consider the following perks you can give them:
- Free upgrades to your service
- Free month of service
- More storage for their files
- Discounts on a yearly subscription or a newly launched product
- Access to an exclusive event your company is hosting
When executed correctly, loyalty programs like this can do wonders to improve the relationship your customers have with your business.
Increase your customer retention
The keys to incentivizing your current customers to become brand evangelists are very similar to the approaches you can adopt to retain customers.
It is more cost-effective to retain customers than to replace them with new ones continuously.
When your sales team sees a constant influx of customers who are no longer interested in buying your product or service, this is a sign that there is something inherently wrong in your sales process or your customer service.
Current customers are more likely to keep purchasing what you offer and at a higher rate than new customers. If you focus solely on acquiring new customers, your business is losing out on sales that it could be making with a bit more effort.
Build a great product & listen to feedback
Having a great product and delivering excellent service is necessary to keep your hard-earned customers.
Once a customer makes a purchase, they will talk. Whether it is through an online review, a post on social media, or a direct message to your customer support team, they will give you feedback.
If you keep hearing the same complaints repeatedly, the problem is likely on you.
Quite often, consumers are very open about their positive and negative experiences with brands.
Stay on top of what your customers are saying and listen.
Identify the gaps in your customers’ experience and make the changes many of your clients are asking for.
If customer retention is what you are looking for, give your customers the best. Often, this means upgrading your product or service and including the latest advancements available for your industry.
While this can mean higher production costs, consider the added value you will be providing to your customer base and the advantage this gives you over your competitors.
Understand the client buying process and the onboarding process
Customers who know the value of the service you provide to them are likely to stay longer.
The best way to communicate the value of your service is for your team to have a deep understanding of their customer path.
This includes knowing your target audiences’ pain points, how users first learn about your brand, the lead nurturing process, and the onboarding process. Every touch point should provide greater value to your clients and take them one step closer to solving their problem.
Engage with customers on social media
Social media helps your clients stay in touch with your brand outside of your website.
When you actively engage with customers, your team can follow up on any service or support requests, join conversations about your brand, and answer general questions.
Take inspiration for how your business can provide quality customer support on social media from notable brands.
Provide 1-1 support
Internationally successful companies are known for fully engaging with their leads, customers, and following up with them.
The customer support you offer should be excellent – delivering consistently so that users feel confident about the value your business gives them. If they should happen to run into an issue, they know your support staff is efficient and always provides solutions.
Make a point to respond to customer inquiries promptly. The last thing you want is to keep them waiting for an answer.
Quick response rates mean satisfied customers, and the slow response rates (or no response at all) can be detrimental to your business. 1 in 5 consumers is inclined to stop using a product/service for slow response rates through online chat.
Dynamics like this are what turns your current customers into loyal, lifetime buyers who recommend your service to those they know.
Host online Q&A events
>As your product and service selection grows, your customers are likely to have a lot of questions.
To learn more about their concerns, webinars, and social media Q&A sessions provide the perfect opportunity for your business to provide the answers consumers want and need.
Taking the time to host these events brings your brand closer to the businesses and the people you sell to, which will help retain them as customers.
Have an email marketing campaign in place
>An email marketing plan for your SaaS or technical company will help guide your customers. While you do not want to overload them with tons of follow-up emails, you do want to provide them with some guidance.
Perhaps your software has added features that may be too complicated for some clients to figure out on their own, or you want to check up on their progress.
Whichever is the case, make sure your email marketing campaigns are designed to educate customers on your best tips and best practices to make them feel you care about their progress. This approach is far more likely to instill in them a sense of brand loyalty.
Customer Retention requires an extra effort
While no product or service will ever be 100% efficient all the time, your team can implement a variety of strategies to ensure your customers keep coming back.
The key to customer retention and generating brand ambassadors and brand evangelists is being a great company that focuses on creating quality products and services and cares about the people who use it.
For example, let your clients know when your website is down or when your team runs into a problem related to their recent purchase. Keeping communication open will let them know your business is committed to providing the best.