Owing to the huge proliferation of brands, customers are spoilt for choices. Brands are pouring in lots of blood, sweat and tears to increase customer retention.
According to Bain & Company, a company’s profitability can increase by 75% if customer retention increases by 5%. Is this an aberration? For all intents and purposes, the answer is No.
Customer loyalty drives profitability and growth. Customer retention and loyalty are inherently associated with customer experience. Customer experience is significant for a multitude of reasons and is associated with branding. But what exactly does branding mean? And is there any robust correlation between branding and customer retention strategy?
Branding entails service and product offerings, website, packaging and promotional content. By all means, branding signifies promises made by companies.
Here are a few crumbs of knowledge picked up from the experts, wise and knowledgeable.
#1 Trust & Credibility
Brand trust is an intangible asset. Its worth is of monumental proportions.
Brands should learn from Amazon. Amazon does a wonderful job of fostering relationships with customers through its superior search and browse technology, in-depth product reviews and testimonials and excellent purchase experience.
Based on their past purchase experiences, users write reviews and product ratings. User generated content is assisting Amazon in forging personal bonds with new and existing customers. Moreover, Amazon has features such as wish lists and Listmania lists wherein users can recommend their favorite products.
#2: Net Promoter Score (NPS)
It’s important for brands to reinvigorate and reinvent themselves.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be used as a tool to gauge the satisfaction of customers. It is an indicator of willingness of customers to recommend a brand’s service or products. It ranges from -100 to 100. Brands should strive for clocking a score of at-least 70. The higher the NPS, the better customer retention is.
Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s Pizza, had a tough time battling the withering criticism of customers. Many customers in focused groups expressed opinions such as “the worst pizza I ever had”, “the sauce isn’t much different from ketchup”, “and the crust is as hard as cardboard” etc.
Doyle wanted to change the deep-seated negative mindset of audiences. Domino’s launched an ad campaign skillfully. Doyle appeared in the ad campaign and accepted the criticism, and promised to improve the quality of pizzas, delivery and supply chain.
#3: Digital Retention Strategy
Well executed digital retention strategies can help brands carve a niche for themselves.
GE is a well-known B2B brand. It is present on popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. It’s also present on less explored platforms such as Snapchat and Tumblr.
Its website has loads of informative content, commentaries, debates and perspectives on topics of national and international significance.
Communication across each of the social platforms is consistent. In every Tumblr and Facebook post, video and report, GE focuses on two important and integral tenets – innovation and technology.
#4: Customer Support
Customers expect 24/7 assistance. Brands should not walk away from customers.
I had the opportunity of analyzing customer service interactions of two industries – Airlines and Wireless carriers. Many major airlines such as JetBlue, Delta, American and United are reluctant to share their CRM and sales data. Similarly, a vast majority of Wireless carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc., hardly disclose any data.
However, complaints on Twitter are public and hence, can be observed by all and sundry. Brands should focus on three important parameters – Customer sentiment, tone and response time. Unfortunately, many popular wireless carriers fail to set their sights on response time. More often than not, many popular airlines ignore customer sentiment(s).
Customer dissatisfaction doesn’t bode well for your business.
And yes, it’s important to extend after-sales support to your customers. Just listen to their concerns patiently. Acknowledge your mistakes. Apologize if necessary.
#5: Proactive Engagement
According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), the most important attribute in customer retention in 2018 is reduction of customer effort.
Apart from prompt customer support and digital retention strategy, proactive engagement is an indispensable component of customer experience trends. In other words, before customer contacts brands, brands should proactively reach out to customers.
Brands should seek inspiration from Amazon. Amazon has collaborated with many shipping and delivery partners. It keeps its customer posted about the delivery status, transit time and name of the delivery guy. Amazon proactively engages with its potential prospects and customers.
In conclusion, customer loyalty drives profitability and growth. Customer retention strategy of brands should constitute aspects such as distribution, product, price, placement, promotion and service.
Let me know if you have any doubts. Share your thoughts and concerns with me. I shall reply in a day or two. Cheers!