Let’s take a look at 9 customer retention strategies based on psychological research.
1. Shared values with customers
Most people prefer products and companies that are somewhat similar to them. This cognitive bias is called
implicit selfishness; it is an unconscious process based on people’s favorable associations with themselves.
Most large companies highlight their values that are broadcast to the world. So, Adidas and Nike define them as the development of a healthy lifestyle for people, Google – as equal opportunities for all through the Internet. Values should not be too vague, they should be understandable beliefs that you confirm with your approach to work and special projects.
What beliefs does your company convey? Defining your values and making them stand out as part of your brand will make it easier for you to retain customers who share those values.
2. Share your updates
When your product changes for the better, it motivates all employees. But do your customers feel the same way? It won’t if you haven’t taken the time to share your work.
Always share your achievements. For example, when we launched a new service – search space optimization, we released publications both on our blog and in the media.
Not only does this impress new potential customers, but it helps promote new features that existing customers might otherwise miss out on. And according to
research by CX SolutionsAfter telling customers about new products or services that they can actually use, the likelihood that they will buy or recommend your product rises by 30% on average.
3. Don’t just sell – teach
The same CX Solutions study mentioned above also found that “providing information ahead of time on how to avoid problems or get the most out of your product” results in a 32 percent increase in purchase or recommendation.
You can’t force customers to figure out how to use your product on their own. They need to be given as much information as possible, and this can be done in different ways:
Offer in-system products with helpful articles and tips designed to help new customers get started.
Send a series of emails throughout the customer lifecycle that educate customers consistently.
Conduct one-on-one consultations with customer support.
Build an online academy and host webinars and conferences.
Build a community of product experts that new and old customers can turn to when they have questions.
We run free consultations for new customers to register to learn more about our product and ask any questions they have. In addition, every week we conduct three training webinars on working with Internet marketing tools.
4. Build the foundation for mutually good customer relationships
Reciprocity is a social construct which makes the world go round. The concept of reciprocity is simple: people react depending on how they are treated. When someone is treated well, they respond well. When they are mistreated, they react badly.
So it comes as no surprise that consistently good service leads to increased sales and company recommendations.
And while reciprocity itself works incredibly well,
studies show that it is much more effective when someone else gives another pleasant surprise. Think of a time when someone unexpectedly did something pleasant for you. This gesture was probably not all that unusual, but the fact that it came out of nowhere probably left a strong impression on you.
Think about how you can surprise your customers with a kind gesture. For example, these might be letters of thanks – perhaps handwritten. It’s a return to old-fashioned personal customer service; and stands out as a delightful gesture that makes clients feel special. Building relationships is worth a relatively small investment.
5. Find ways to consistently delight your customers
Discounts and freebies are a great way to please your customers, but they can be expensive. Instead, they must create reciprocity with small, thoughtful gestures.
psychologist Norbert Schwartz discovered that just 10 cents that you offer customers right now delights them more than the 10 dollars that you promise them in the future. It may seem like a small thing, but if you can make people feel good about using your product, they are more likely to stay.
Another example: in
research from the journal of applied social psychology researchers found that waiters and waitresses can increase their tips by 23 percent by simply offering customers a small chocolate bar with their check
6. Focus on service
Many companies assume that exceptional customer service can only be achieved by going beyond the usual work. That is, loyalty is built on spectacular gestures.
according to research Dixon, Toman and DeLisi, published in The Effortless Experience, the true driving force behind customer retention and loyalty is ease of problem solving.
Focus on meeting customer expectations and avoiding unpleasant surprises. Only then proceed to the next step – creating a wow effect.
7. Agree that quality is more important than speed
When it comes to good customer service, quality and completeness are more important than speed.
a study by Gallup, customers are much more satisfied with the brand when they rate the company as “polite, ready and helpful” rather than “fast”. Don’t try to fix the customer’s problem as quickly as possible (and move on to the next). Numerous behavioral psychology studies have shown that everyone considers their service experience to be more positive when they do not feel that the manager is in a rush or ignored.
Research by John Goodman, has shown that customers are much more sensitive to price changes – and therefore more prone to churns – when they had multiple issues with a product or the support they received.
8. Create smart customer loyalty programs
The key to creating loyalty programs that work is knowing why customers are using them and what drives them to continue using them. Fortunately, there is a ton of research on customer loyalty programs that you can use.
Give loyal customers an edge
Consumer researchers Joseph Nunez and Xavier Drez are renowned for their research
effect of secured progress… Their results showed convincingly that the biggest mistake in launching customer loyalty programs is the difficulty of connecting to them. So, if the loyalty program is filled in and starts automatically after registration, they take part in it almost twice as often.
Make ideal customers VIP customers
Additional research by Dr. Nunez on retention programs has shown that people love to be VIP or Gold members of a loyalty program. However, this only works when people know that this status truly separates them from the rest. Nunez saw a noticeable increase in the number of gold participants in the program as soon as he introduced the silver class.
Show your customers that you value them
Study of voting models,
conducted by Stanford University, showed that people are more likely to participate in something if they are given an incentive status. Buffer calls its premium customers “Great” members and even calls their updated payment plan “Great Plan.”
9. Reward your loyal brand advocates
If your customers go out of their way to recommend your product or service to others, let them know what you see and appreciate them! For example, if you spot someone who has recommended your business on social media, say thank you. This will show that their words mean something to you.
Another way to get to know your brand advocates is through a referral program. You can give your clients bonuses for the fact that they recommend you (and also provide a small bonus to new clients under the referral program).
Customer retention should be your priority
There are many customer retention strategies, but no keyboard shortcuts. You cannot hack personal relationships, so why should we assume that business relationships are different?
The bottom line is that the strategies above will hopefully give you fresh ideas for an approach to retention, but they are not a panacea. Your product and service will do most of the hard work of maintaining customer loyalty, and there is no way for that.
Based on Eli Overbey’s “9 Research-Backed Customer Retention Strategies”