Relationships play very important roles in our lives. From our barber to our best friend, each one we create is valuable in its own unique way and requires nurturing to grow. Customer relationships are no different than those in our personal lives. Really the only difference is that when there's a fallout in your relationship with a customer, you're losing money instead of custody of the dog you got swindled into adopting.
So how do we prevent this from happening? Well, there are a lot of different ways that you can maintain these relationships, but today we're focusing on one: using social media for customer retention.
What is Customer Retention
So you set the hook, got a bite, and reeled in your customer now what? Definitely don't catch and release, that's for sure.
Customer retention is pretty much exactly how it sounds. It's the active process of engaging your current customers after they have converted so that they continue using your products and services.
Existing customers are low hanging fruit. You've won them over once, and because of that, the likelihood of you selling to them again is 60-70%. Not to mention the fact that it is much cheaper to retain a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. Five times less expensive to be exact. Think of all the rubber duckies you could buy with all that extra cash!
Now in an ideal world, your customer retention rate would be 100%, but alas this is not an ideal world! What is considered acceptable varies by industry, and of course company. Our tip would be to figure out what your current retention rate is, benchmark against your competitors, and then internally discuss your aspirations. If you're not sure how to figure out your retention rate, use this handy dandy formula:
(# of customers at end of period) - (# of customers acquired during the period) / (# of customers at the start of period) x100
Social Media + Customer Retention
So, how can you use your social media channels to your full advantage? Let's dive into some customer retention tactics.
Gain Key Customer insight
Social media offers key insights into the everyday lives of our customers. They put their life on a pedestal for the world to see, and boy should you be listening! With a little research you can home in on what makes them tick. Look into what they share, what they like, what they engage with, and in return you'll be able to learn about their interests. THEN use this information to tailor content to them and service their needs.
Provide Real-Time Support
When a customer is in a pinch, they want support and they want it fast. Nowadays people have little patience for the long wait that comes with calling customer service and will oftentimes try their luck by sliding into the DMs of the brand they're trying to reach. Being active and responsive on these channels will help create a positive customer experience that builds trust and loyalty for your brand.
Utilize Social Listening
Another great thing about social media? Everyone voices their opinion about everything, including your brand. The best way to find out what your customer base is saying is by utilizing a tool such as BrandWatch or Awario that helps monitor any and all mentions of your brand in addition to your competitors. Then use this information to your advantage and implement it to improve customer experience so that they know you value their voice.
Share Customer Content
Remember what we said about customers posting about your brand on social media? Well it's not all bad! If customers are posting about how much they love your product or service, share it. Not only does this build credibility with your entire client base, but it also gives them a personal shout out and who doesn't want that from a brand they love?
Teach Them Something
Keeping your customers is all about creating value. No one is more knowledgeable about your field than you, so use that noggin' and start generating content that educates your customers. In return, your brand gets positioned as a company that is much more than their product, and is committed to helping its customers.
Our point is this. Your customers are what keep you in business, so make sure they stick around and don't just treat them like a number. Treat them like they're actually of value to you and like with any relationship, they'll be in it for the long haul!