Digital marketers often focus much of their time and resources on the buyer’s journey’s awareness, consideration, and decision stages. Of course, this would be wonderful if the buyer’s journey consisted only of these three stages. But there’s another: the retention stage.
The retention stage is centred on growing the relationship with your customer after they make a purchase. Despite what some digital marketers think, a lifetime value perspective of your customer is far more influential in this stage than looking at your customer from a single purchase point-of-view.
By focusing on post-sale initiatives, you can nurture customer relationships that foster repeat purchases and brand loyalty. However, customer retention isn’t easy, hence why many digital marketers push it to the end of their priority list.
Fortunately, you can overcome customer retention challenges with a solid effort and focused strategies. Here are five strategies for digital marketers to develop a loyal customer base.
Reach Out Regularly
You’ll never grow strong relationships if your customers only hear from you through a purchase confirmation email or occasional email newsletter. Developing a loyal customer base depends heavily on your consistent outreach.
- Social media profiles
- Email list
- Streaming platforms
Also, a content calendar should be alongside your content market strategy that explains what will be posted, when, and to what platform. This ensures your reaching out to your customers regularly and with relevant content.
Creating a rewards program can also help you develop a loyal customer base.
Create a Rewards Program
Many digital marketers make the mistake of focusing solely on getting a customer to loyal status and making the customers who’ve already committed to the brand an afterthought. But the customers who are already loyal to your brand deserve just as much if not more attention in your retention efforts.
A primary strategy for honouring a loyal customer base is offering deals and incentives through a rewards program. Your program could reward returning customers with:
- Promotional pricing on a new product or service
- A percentage off when you reach specific point tiers
- Exclusive discounts or merchandise
- A referral bonus when they refer a new customer
- Early access to new products/services
- Invitations to private events
- Personalized coupons
The next way to better your customer retention strategy is to spend some time improving the purchasing process.
Improve the Purchasing Process
There are many reasons why someone makes a one-time purchase. One of the most notable is a broken or complex purchasing process. For example, customers could love your product so much that they push through a difficult purchasing process. But, at the same time, they’re likely promising themselves to never go through it again when they’re done, birthing the one-time purchaser.
Your customers will tell you when your buying experience is lacking. When you get this sort of feedback, you must improve your platform as quickly as possible so your customers feel at ease when making a purchase.
It may be best to work with a web developer or software developer, depending on where you allow customers to make purchases. For instance, a web developer can help you ensure the purchasing process is user-friendly and efficient on your website. In contrast, a software developer can fix code bugs and implement in-app tools to improve the buying experience on your mobile app.
Another strategy for developing a loyal customer base is encouraging and analyzing customer feedback.
Gather Feedback From Your Customers
One surefire way to find out why customers are or are not loyal customers is to ask them directly. Taking customer feedback seriously could be the difference between a customer consistently choosing your business over your competitors or vice versa.
One of the best ways to gather feedback from your customers and leverage it to improve the customer experience is to design a customer feedback loop. A customer feedback loop is simply a process that allows you to seamlessly solicit customer feedback, collect it in an organized manner, study it, and discuss insights with your teams. Even if you decide against implementing a customer feedback loop, you must encourage feedback from your customers in some way.
In addition to gathering valuable feedback from your customers, you can utilize data analytics to collect additional insights about your customers.
Utilize Data Analytics
Data analytics helps you collect, process, and analyze data on your customers. For instance, you can find out how to specifically target your niche audience. Or get more specific and collect data on particular segments of your customer base, like your returning customers.
Set up data analytics tools to learn more about your loyal customers. Find out:
- The products/services they’re buying most
- Their favourite content
- How they navigate your website
- What platforms do they interact with your brand on
- How they’re making purchases with your business
- If they like your personalization efforts
- What their most pressing complaints are about your business
- What they love about your brand
Ultimately, utilizing data analytics gives you more insight into your loyal customers and how they interact with your brand. You can then use the content, structure, design elements, and so forth that resonate with them most throughout your platforms to keep them engaged.
Developing a loyal customer base requires intention, consistency, and a genuine commitment to getting to know your customers so you can better serve them. Start with the strategies above to improve your customer retention efforts and create a lasting, loyal customer base.