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So, you’ve acquired a new customer... You probably spent a lot of money doing it. You crafted the perfect campaign to get your prospect to pull the trigger and choose YOUR brand over the competitors. Congrats... but don’t get too comfortable.
You have a chance to create a long, fruitful relationship with this new customer. Or... they might be gone just as quickly as they came. It all depends on what you do next. And that’s where retention comes into play.
In our third installment of the J&C Customer Retention blog series, you’ll learn about the important stages of retention... and how to make the most of each one. If you missed the rest of the series, make sure to check out Why Customer Retention Matters and 4 Retention Strategies to Keep Your Customers Engaged.
Now, let’s go over each stage of the customer’s post-purchase journey... and how you can keep them engaged at each one.
Stage 1: Onboarding
This is where you get your new customer excited about their future with your brand.
Think of customer acquisition as the initial “swipe right” on a dating app. Now, it’s time to impress them on the first date. If you mess up, it’s unlikely you’ll get a second chance.
Follow up on their purchase. Let them know when it’s on its way. Give your new customer plenty of avenues to ask questions. Clear communication is key here. Don’t leave your customer wondering when they’ll hear from you... or searching for customer service.
Also, give your new customer some perks to get excited about. Can you offer a discount on their second order? Do you have an app they can download? Can you share your social media channels or helpful content? This jumpstarts their relationship with your brand and gets them excited about your future together.
Stage 2: Building Trust
Time to follow up. Ask your customer how it’s going with their new product or service. Let them give you feedback on what you could do better. Make sure they’re happy with their experience. And if they’re not, find a way to make it better.
This is where excellent customer service comes into play. If a customer needs to complain or make a return, it should be simple. They should feel heard. Provide a resolution promptly. No one wants to jump through hoops to get service, so make sure your customer experience is up to par.
And to get an overview on how to create excellent customer experience, check out this blog article.
If your customer is satisfied with their purchase, give them a sincere thank you. Maybe even encourage them to write a review to help other customers. Make them feel like they’re part of a community... the likeminded folks who love your brand too.
Stage 3: Re-engagement
Now it’s time to get your new customer back into the buying cycle.
Keep in touch with your new customer by promoting sales, product launches and announcements across channels. Don’t be afraid to follow-up with direct mail, even if they connected with your brand online. It’s refreshing for customers to receive mail... especially when there’s an incentive to purchase. A coupon catches the eye. When it comes to online communications, invest in cart abandonment emails and targeted banner ads.
Relevant products are great too. You don’t want to send a postcard featuring men’s fashion to a female customer, for example. This is where hyper-personalization can come into play. You can create ultra-relevant communications that show your customer you know who they are and what they want. For more detail on hyper-personalization, read this article. It can be the lynchpin that makes a customer feel seen.
Stage 4: Long-Term Retention
Alright... you’ve got the customer on board. You’ve built their trust. You’ve re-engaged, maybe even clinched another sale. You have to nurture the relationship if you want it to keep growing.
Keep customers engaged through content. Newsletters, info about upcoming product launches and social media content can help keep your customers engaged with your brand. Know your audience and what they’re interested in. Meet them where they’re at. For retail and fashion brands, Instagram is a must-have channel. For an industry like financial services, a blog with helpful guides for budgeting or investing can make a difference.
As experts in the science and art of customer engagement, J&C understands the impact of customer retention. From personalized welcome communications to touchpoints across the consumer journey to successful re-engagement campaigns, there are plenty of opportunities to make your brand stand out.
If you need help building a successful retention strategy, contact J&C today. And if you want to see one of J&C's retention programs in action, watch the video case study below.