Many marketing researchers will tell you that customer loyalty and retention are two different things. To some extent they are correct, with much iteration about the fact retention is a simpler concept of how many customers you keep year to year.
However, this is an oversimplification. It is more correct to say that customer loyalty and customer retention are two aspects of the same operation. With improved customer loyalty you can increase your retention rates, while decreased customer retention can be improved by working on customer loyalty. Your simply need to hone your strategies specifically to customers who may be considering leaving your brand.
Such situations don’t call for desperation. They need consideration. Fortunately, Social&Loyal helps you consider with these 7 necessities for your customer retention software.
Maybe you have been worried about your customer retention software and have decided on a revamp. Including all the best facilities is a must for businesses. You need to have everything in your arsenal to make sure you have as clear a picture of the market as possible. The same does not go for customers.
Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Through their own social media accounts, they know how complicated marketing can be. They do not want added complications when it comes to interacting with your brand. This means from the very beginning.
With the heavy weight of competition, customers need to know that investing time and money in you will be an intuitive experience. Signing up is not just the first step of customer retention, but it needs to show that all the next steps will be equally effortless. Provide an intuitive interface which updates only when needed and makes accessible only the pertinent information to facilitate this accessibility.
2. Immediate Rewards
Setting the standard from the get-go means keeping them on in the future. If the user interface is easy to use, but customer’s aren’t seeing the benefit at the moment of sign-up, they may just forget about you. First impressions need to be lasting impressions.
Not only does providing a reward at the start of the customer’s relationship with your brand work for new customers, but it is a way to encourage existing customers to make referrals. If an existing customer encourages new custom, they can prove sticking with your brand has more than just immediate rewards, but that from the beginning there is somewhere to go.
What these rewards might be will be determined by your brand and by the type of reward system you want to introduce to customers.
3. Social Media Inclusion
With customers integrating all of their social media platforms together (something your customer loyalty software should also be doing), your CRM (Customer Retention Management) software needs to do ensure social media is incorporated throughout interaction with the customer.
This means that when customers interact with your brand, either by purchasing a product or service or by entering a promotional contest, social media needs to be incorporated with these actions. This is especially important with a points based customer reward system.
Customers can not only have their actions promoted across social media, but the very fact of doing so can earn them more points (or raise them to a higher tier). With every hashtag naming your brand or promotional post, customers can advance up the leader board.
Importantly, you also need to ensure customers are aware of how your brand interacts with them on social media. If customers feel like you are impinging on their social media presence without consent then this is a sure-fire way to ensure they won’t be retained for long.
4. Consistent Communication
One way you can make sure your customer retention software keeps customers informed is by providing comprehensive and consistent communication. If your business is succeeding well, you won’t have the resources to handle all communication manually.
Instead, your customer retention software will need to automatically update the customer when they have gained points or reached a new level. If you do not, customers will either feel like they are being ignored or will simply forget about your brand.
Your software needs to include automatic push notifications for when a customer succeeds. This provides a reminder of why they are loyal to your brand in the first place.
5. Segmentation Capabilities
While you will be using your customer retention software to cover all bases in terms of analyzing your market, all of the customer’s needs must be met. This means a personalized service which shows how valuable the individual customer is to your brand.
Your advanced communication system will need to update the customer when they have earned points, advanced up the leader board and keep track of their interests. This way, you can remind customers of which rewards will be coming their way if they stick with you.
You can use points of sale and other data from the customer’s history with your brand to inform the method of retention. Their location history, interests fed into the customer profile and any other pertinent information can be brought together, using segmentation to give as little excuse as possible to lose their loyalty.
6. Data Gathering and Analysis
To get this information, you need a loyalty platform which has the ability to collect the information you need to retain customers. Once customers purchase a product or service, they can have the option to share on social media, enter a competition with a promo code or use a QR code to access personalized content.
Any mention of your brand on social media needs to be tracked and recorded and location services need to show where your brand is working well and where needs growth. Your CRM software will also need to be able to analyze this data once it comes in.
Through this, you can chart demographics and create individual customer profiles which fit within them. You can then tailor your reward scheme, improve customer loyalty and retain custom long after the initial purchase is made.
7. Gamification as Standard
If you have the previous six steps in this guide to ensure your customer retention software succeeds, then the gamification element of your CRM software should fit into place nicely.
Through social media incorporation, consistent communication updates, an intuitive interface and personalized rewards, your customer retention software should be engaging, encouraging and, essentially, enjoyable. This way you will give customers the best reason to stick with you: doing so is fun!
If you want to learn how your brand can use loyalty program software, set up a free consultation with our loyalty experts today!