From social media to group meetings, you’ll see conversations around the upcoming recession. There are evident signs of the world hitting yet another economic slump.
Poor economic conditions can impact customer behavior and expectations, making it difficult for businesses to maintain revenue, particularly if they rely on repeat customers. No business wants that; we’re sure you don’t either.
Solution: Customer Retention.
Shifting your focus to customer retention can help maintain revenue and stay afloat in the recession. We say this because the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. Whereas the likelihood of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% only.
We’re here to help you with the best customer retention strategies that help you keep as many customers as possible, maintain revenue and swim through this scary pool of recession!
01. Personalization to your rescue
When customers feel like they are more than just a number, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand, even in tough times. Think about it:
With personalization, you’re creating a bond with your customers that goes beyond just the transactional relationship. So, when customers feel like you care about their individual needs and concerns, why would they leave?
Moreover, 75% of business buyers expect companies to provide personalized experiences. And this is during normal times—the expectations are probably higher during economic turmoil.
Don’t you want to personalize your customer service now?
We know the answer, so here’s how you can incorporate personalization into your customer service efforts:
- Get to know your customers: Take the time to learn about your customer’s business, industry, and pain points. Use customer relationship management (CRM) tools to keep track of their preferences and interactions with your company.
- Use personalized communication: Address your customers by name, tailor your messages to their specific needs, and offer solutions that are relevant to their goals
- Provide proactive support: Anticipate your customers’ questions and concerns and offer timely solutions. Use data analytics and AI tools to identify potential issues before they become critical.
- Show empathy and gratitude: Acknowledge your customers’ challenges and express appreciation for their business. Offer personalized incentives, such as loyalty discounts, special offers, and exclusive content.
In a bad economy, customers are looking for more than just a good product at a low price. They want to feel valued, understood, and supported. Personalization is a way to achieve customer service-led growth and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
02. Empower your customer service agents
There are two scenarios:
Scenario A: A frustrated customer is kept on hold for answers because the customer service agent needs to consult three different people and go through a complex route to get the solutions.
Scenario B: A customer service agent is provided with the latest tools, adequate resources, and training to give accurate and quick solutions to the customers that reach out to them.
In terms of customer satisfaction and, as a result, retention, the outcomes from both of these scenarios will be extremely different. In scenario A, the customer will most likely move to the competitor, and in scenario B, the company will earn many loyal customers.
The difference lies in agent empowerment.
When customer service agents are not micromanaged, are provided with adequate resources, and are given appropriate authority and responsibility, they’re able to provide the best service. As a result, customers feel valued and stick to your brand.
Alright, enough about the importance of empowering agents. Here are four ways to actually do it:
- Training and development: Offer customer service agents training and development opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge
- Tools and technology: Provide agents with the right tools and technology, such as CRM software, knowledge bases, and communication tools, to work more efficiently and make informed decisions
- Autonomy and decision-making authority: Give agents the freedom to handle customer issues and make decisions independently
- Recognition and incentives: Recognize and reward agents for their hard work and exceptional performance to make them feel appreciated and valued
03. Listen to what your customers want
Economic downturns are stressful times. But these are also times when your customer expresses their concerns the most. Moreover, if you don’t know how your customers feel about your brand and products, customer retention can be very challenging.
This makes listening to what your customers want an important strategy for customer retention.
Alright, let’s get to the juicy part.
While it may sound simple, listening to your customers’ wants can be complex if not done properly. Yes, listening to your customers is mainly collecting feedback, but there are multiple ways to do that.
Here are the different ways to listen to your customers:
- Surveys: You can conduct surveys through emails, phone calls, or social media. Surveys can be quantitative and qualitative and provide valuable insights into customer needs and preferences.
- Social Media Monitoring: Monitoring social media platforms can help you stay on top of customer complaints and feedback. It’s an effective way to address customer issues quickly and efficiently.
- Customer Reviews: Analyzing customer reviews can provide a wealth of information about customer satisfaction levels, areas of improvement, and competitive analysis.
The list obviously does not end here. There is much more to it. You can get creative and find your own ways of customer listening. A new emerging trend for customer listening is creating a voice of customer program; maybe try this out?
Whatever you do, remember to always ask the right person, the right question, and at the right time.
04. The magic of customer loyalty programs
If you fly with Southwest Airlines, you get flying points. The more you fly, the more your points are. These points can then be redeemed for free flights or other perks.
With H&M’s H&M NOW program, customers get 1 point for each dollar spent. At 200 points, they get a $5 voucher.
What do you think is happening when brands follow such practices? It makes the customer keep coming back to spend more.
Result? Increased customer retention.
Now connect it with providing a loyalty program during a bad economy. People will still be willing to buy your products, but now they’re also getting rewarded for their loyalty.
Who wouldn’t love that? Plus, we’re not the only ones endorsing loyalty programs. According to a Bond survey, 79% of consumers said a brand’s loyalty program encourages them to continue doing business with it.
You can start by offering a loyalty program as simple as a points-based program. In fact, this is the most common loyalty program out there. Brands like Starbucks, Sephora, Bath and Body Works, and Chiptole offer it.
If you want to take it up a notch, explore options like tiered or paid loyalty programs. Amazon Prime is the perfect example of a paid loyalty program.
05. Improve your customer experience
Think of your business as a restaurant. You may have the most delicious food in town, but if the service is terrible, customers are unlikely to return.
Similarly, in any business, providing a great customer experience is essential for retaining customers, particularly in a bad economy when customers are more likely to be cautious with their spending.
But wait, what does improving customer experience mean?
Improving the customer experience means creating a positive experience for customers at every touchpoint with your business, from browsing your website to interacting with your customer service team to receiving their orders. It involves understanding the needs and preferences of your customers and working to meet or exceed their expectations.
Ways to improve customer experience include:
- Make it easy to do business with you: Streamline your processes, offer clear and concise communication, and make sure your website is easy to navigate.
- Provide excellent customer service: Train your customer service team to be knowledgeable, friendly, and responsive to customer needs.
- Personalize your interactions: Use customer data to personalize interactions and make customers feel valued. As we talked about above!
- Use customer feedback to improve: Solicit feedback from customers and use it to make improvements to your products or services.
When you improve your customer experience using all these ways, you get:
- Increased customer loyalty: By providing a great experience, customers are more likely to stick with your business, even during tough economic times.
- Positive word-of-mouth: Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to others, which can help to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Win-win!
- Differentiation from competitors: In a crowded marketplace, providing a superior customer experience can help to differentiate your business from competitors and attract and retain customers.
As a business, why wouldn’t you want these benefits in a bad economy?
To sum it all up
With the uncertain economic climate, customer retention is more important than ever. With consumers looking to spend less, businesses need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to retain existing customers and drive revenue growth.
This makes it essential for your business to use the best retention strategies we’ve provided.
- Personalization allows businesses to cater to the unique needs and preferences of their customers
- Empowering customer service agents ensure that they are well-equipped to handle any customer concerns
- Listening to customer feedback provides valuable insights into what customers want and allows businesses to make necessary improvements
- Customer loyalty programs incentivize customers to continue doing business with the company
- Improving customer experience at every touchpoint can help to differentiate the business from competitors
Remember that in a bad economy, customers are more discerning about where they spend their money, and businesses that prioritize customer service will be more likely to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side. Prioritize customer service using a platform like Helpwise that blends AI with your processes.