5 Steps to Customer Retention

By Charlotte Currie

Life is all about creating, building and growing relationships. On a personal level we do this instinctively and make extended efforts to maintain and develop friendships. Everyone is different so we adapt accordingly. We seek new experiences with people but also relish comforts of what we know and love. It takes a lot of effort to make a really good friend, maintaining a good relationship is much easier.

When it comes to your customers, your approach should be no different. Work hard to make new customers, but don’t forget to make the effort to retain them.

A strategy that encompasses Customer Retention is key to customer longevity… It’s all very well building out a strong pipeline but up to 80% of your value can come from existing customers. It is often said that it is four times harder to win a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

Where do you start?! Always start with the data.

  • Analyse the data

Build out a picture of your customer base by asking the following questions

      • Who are your customers?
      • What do they look like?
      • What solutions/services are they buying?
      • How long have they been customers?

Build a picture of customer activities – what are they doing?

      • Look at your top 10 accounts
      • What do they look like?
      • Who are they?
      • What are they buying?
      • When are they buying it?

Review customers you have lost – who are they?

      • What do they look like?
      • Where are you losing the most value month on month, year on year?
      • Is there a particular profile that you can see that you’re losing?
      • Can you attribute it to a particular solution or product area?
      • Are you losing more customers in year X compared to year Y?

The data you already have will help answer the questions and shape your next steps. Plot your findings on a graph, for example, high risk vs low risk. Visualizing the data will really help you gain insight. The answers may be surprising and take you down an unexpected path, but it will help you prioritize where you need to focus your marketing efforts first.

Once you have insight into your data you can segment your audience and design a retention program that is; relevant to them and delivered how they want it. Your data should also tell you how they interact with your brand; web / email / sales etc. so tailor your program accordingly.

  • Approach and automation

Once you have analyzed the data, think about your approach. It needs to be personable not just in the way you can address that customer but also by how you can segment them and determine their needs. Automation makes this level of personalisation really easy and It allows you to manage multiple touch points, keeping them relevant and timely. It is vital that the content adds value and is not just an attempt to upsell. Show your customers the value of doing business with you.

  • Buy-in and updates

The data and the approach are sorted – it’s time to start the campaign? Wrong. Before you pull the trigger you need to get buy-in from all stakeholders, set targets and keep everyone updated on performance.

  • Reporting

How will you know if your campaign is working? You need to ensure that you know what you are reporting on. What are you benchmarking against? Where are you now and where do you want to be? Are you lowering your attrition rate, satisfying your customers, and growing the account?

  • Test and improve

No campaign is guaranteed to be a hit, but you can dramatically improve its chances. Test and learn. Take some control groups and run a test. Keep it simple. Measure and improve.

After that, you will have done all you can, and you are finally ready to send the campaign.

At Sojourn Solutions, we have worked with Eloqua users around the world for over 10 years helping them with customer retention and analysis. We’ve built data tools that marketers can use without IT support and built reports and dashboards that produce actionable intelligence that will tell you:

      • What is the definition of the personas that buy from me?
      • What campaigns influenced them to buy?
      • What activities influenced them to remain engaged?

Start your customer retention journey by contacting me today!

About the author:

Charlotte Currie

Marketing Automation Consultant

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