6 ways to improve customer retention

Natalia Selby

Written by Natalia Selby

Category: Marketing strategy and tactics

Keeping your sales flowing can be a major challenge when people are spending less. If your customers are starting to go silent on your brand, regaining their attention is an absolute must.

Past customers can be a valuable source of sales. A common topic among retail marketers is how to use ‘win back’ strategies effectively to re-engage with previous customers. These customers already know your business and were interested in buying from you before, so you should be able to persuade them to purchase from you again.

The question is: how can you regain the loyalty of a customer who’s taken their business elsewhere?

Here are 6 ways you can use data to engage your past customers and turn them into paying customers again.

1. Use emails to improve customer relationships

Email marketing is an effective way to win back your previous customers.

The need for email is often questioned amongst marketers due to the rise of social media and mobile marketing. However, friendly emails or newsletters to your previous customers could lead to renewed custom. Send out a regular newsletter with relevant content helps to keep you at the front of your customers’ minds.

Email also gives you the opportunity to mine for more data from your customer base beyond their purchase history. Tracking your email responses allows you to continuously profile your customers, and the data enables you to personalise and refine the emails you send out.

Incentives in your emails – such as an offer – are a good way to tempt your customers back. Test what works best for your business; money off is often more popular than a percentage discount because it’s perceived as greater value.

You can also send out cart-abandonment emails to customers that haven’t completed a transaction. Customers often abandon their shopping carts for a number of reasons: hesitation over shipping costs, a change of mind or simply running out of time. Email a link to the full basket within 24 hours and you could potentially win back these customers.

You then need to determine whether your email has led directly to a sale. Emails are increasingly opened more on a mobile device than desktop, which means a phone conversion is a very real possibility. So how do you know whether a customer converts online or on the phone?

With call tracking you can tag your emails and link the sale directly to the source, medium – even campaign – that triggered it.

2. Find the best time to post social media updates

Social media is a great way to interact and engage with your customer base. To get it right, you need to make sure you’re landing in your followers newsfeeds at the right time.

Post updates at time your followers are likely to see them, especially if you want to improve your relationships with past customers. There are various social media tools to help you find the best time to tweet, such as Hootsuite and Buffer.

Posting social media updates at your peak times will ensure that you receive optimal coverage. All marketing exists to boost sales, so timing your tweets correctly can be the difference between winning back a customer and a lost sale.

3. Create content your audience is looking for

Google updates its search algorithm up to 600 times per year. Although the majority of these changes are minor, it’s important that you keep up to date with major changes to improve your content ranking in Google’s search results pages.

Keyword research tools provide search data that helps you determine what type of phrases you should be including in your content, as well as what kind of topics you should be writing about for your business. In addition to helping improve your search rankings, this data can also help you to create content that’s better targeted to your audiences’ needs and drives relevant traffic back to your site.

4. Use call recording to improve your customer experience

If you’ve lost customers, you’ll want to find out what could have driven them away in the first place. This is where call tracking is really beneficial – allowing you to listen to a recording of your phone calls, giving you customer insight and the ability to check on the performance of your customer service. You can drill down into the customer’s history with your company and:

  • See when they called, how many times and how long each call was;
  • Listen to call and evaluate how it was handled;
  • View their transaction history if your CRM is integrated with Mediahawk.

Crucial data like this allows you to pinpoint why a customer may have decided to leave, and enables you to use the information to reconnect with them.

5. Use remarketing display ads to bring visitors back to your site

Remarketing lets you show relevant ads to people who have visited your website and have left without buying anything. It works by using a special tracking code that places cookies in the visitors’ browser, and then serves ads to those with the cookies.

Remarketing is a powerful tool that allows marketers the opportunity to continue the conversation with customers that haven’t completed a transaction. Because you’re reaching out to customers who have expressed an active interest in your website, these people are more likely to convert than people who have not yet been to visit your website.

6. Target your previous customers with social advertising

Another great way to win back your customers is to use social advertising. Facebook’s custom audiences and Twitter’s tailored audiences both now allow you to target email lists, phone numbers, and previous site visitors, giving you a great deal of flexibility in targeting your customers online.

Both of these ad options are based on hashed customer data and not cookies, giving you the option to target your former customers across devices. Using social advertising enables you to see just how many impressions and engagements your promoted updates receive, giving you the opportunity to fine tune this to the demographic of customer you’re targeting.

Following on from the success of this, particularly on Facebook, Google launched Customer Match. This works in a similar way, allowing you to upload email addresses provided by your customer base, enabling you to target users across devices. This provides a powerful feature for businesses, as they can specifically target their existing customers with specific content at precise moments.

Call tracking completes the marketing analytics puzzle

Your old customers can be a valuable source of sales. Rather than using your resources to chase new customers, it can be more economical to revisit old leads. Integrating call tracking software gives you a 360-degree view of customer behaviour and gives you more insight into how to reach your audience more effectively.

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