How many times can an eCommerce store offer a poor customer experience before it loses a customer? Unsurprisingly, the answer to that question is…not many. In fact, according to American Express, 33% of consumers would consider switching companies immediately after receiving poor service just once.
This is something both small and large brands are all too aware of and a reason why customer retention specialists are in demand across the US. Helping companies to reduce lost revenue and mitigate customer churn, retention agencies use innovative methods to stimulate repeat purchases.
After more than one bad experience, 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitorZendesk
What is the Role of a Customer Retention Agency?
It's common knowledge that acquiring new business is far costlier than retaining existing clientele for B2B and B2C companies, and the main focus of a customer retention strategy is to create customer joy. Also referred to as customer success management, it's the role of delivering a positive buying experience while addressing complaints as they arise.
By building strong relationships between customers and brands, retention agencies are able to leverage loyalty, engagement and satisfaction to drive additional revenues.
How Do Customer Retention Agencies Function?
Customer retention specialists are as popular as ever, and they help brands to shape their public perception. Their work involves interaction with customers in order to obtain feedback while managing expectations - both of which feed into cultivating long-lasting relationships. As such, their functions will typically include the following:
- Creating a smooth & welcoming onboarding experience - the initial purchase that customers make with your business is a huge opportunity to make a great first impression. When customer service issues occur during this stage, they're often remembered by the buyer.
These issues can be easily resolved, but by then, the damage has been done. It can be easy as not setting a point of contact or mishandling customer data, but a customer retention specialist will ensure this is avoided with perfectly-timed email triggers, follow-up messaging and more.
- Implementing a customer feedback loop through mutual interactions - businesses looking for an understanding of what customers feel about their products will find it hard to improve them without insight. That's where the customer feedback loop comes into play.
A specialist in retention can implement a range of measures, such as a web-based Net Promoter Score system, surveys and reviews to keep the flow of data coming.
- Building & maintaining a customer communication schedule/calendar - irrespective of whether you're getting the desired customer feedback or not, your brand needs to maintain continuous communication. This effort is aided greatly by the use of a communication calendar that keeps track of customer behavior and creates cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
- Delivering highly personalized customer experiences - the needs of customers vary from person to person and may be seeking a tailored experience from the brands they buy from. Generic, broad-brush strategies don't cater for differing preferences.
Customer retention pros create super-relevant, personalized customer experiences that resonate with buyers, compelling them to come back to purchase again.
- Launching customer retention programs - incorporating a variety of effective tactics, there's a customer retention strategy to suit just about every type of business - meaning that there's great flexibility in terms of the type of program used.
Agency pros can implement a range of retention strategies, such as customer loyalty programs (points-based rewards), incentivized customer advisory boards and beta testing groups.
- Developing trust with customers - an error that some marketers make is to assume that customers trust them just because they buy from them. Hubspot stats show that more than 81% of customers say that trust is a vital factor in their decision to buy, but it takes time to build.
Customer retention agency specialists take actions that build trust - essentially by delivering on the brand promises you make to make sure those repeat purchases happen.
- Sending company newsletters - a super cost-effective way to retain more of your customers is to send out a company newsletter on a periodic basis. While they may be basic, they help to keep your brand front of mind with readers.
Retention specialists collaborate with brands to create newsletters that enhance reputation, backed by email automation that fires out impactful updates that offer value and remind readers that your products exist.
Irrespective of the sector, these principles apply, with a range of different tactics being used to enhance the customer experience, foster loyalty and boost sales. A combination of these methods can result in an increase in every one of your customer interaction metrics.
Who Needs to Employ a Customer Retention Agency?
Every business can benefit from the services provided by a customer retention agency, however, for smaller operators, it may not yet be a viable financial option to outsource the necessary work. When businesses are first launched, they will likely need to focus their efforts on customer acquisition.
44% of businesses focus on customer acquisition, while only 18% focus on customer retentionSemrush
Above the broader benefits that all businesses can enjoy when employing a customer retention agency, the following types of businesses stand to gain the most:
- Local businesses that experience mostly one-time customers
- Brands looking to reduce their ongoing customer acquisition costs
- New Software as a Service (Saas) Companies
- Subscription-based businesses
A healthy customer base can be created without professional assistance with minimal churn at the outset. However, as your customer base grows, the tools and techniques used by customer retention agencies can be used to great effect to meet your brand's customer service needs.
Customer Retention - Leveraging Your Business's Biggest Resource
Averagely speaking, most eCommerce businesses derive the majority of their ongoing revenue from their existing customer base. That's the reason why more and more companies are focusing on retention strategies and using the services of customer retention agencies.
While attracting new business is important, nurturing loyal customers is by far the most efficient way to drive sales and create a legion of brand ambassadors who sing your praises from the rooftops.
So, whether you enlist the help of the pros or get your in-house team on the job, getting your retention strategies in place should be a top priority.