Digital Tools to Retain New Customers

Acquire, covert and retain is a key strategy for businesses
whether online or offline. Econsultancy’s 2009 model, shown here, illustrates
the full cycle. Our last articles, Digital Tools to Acquire New Customers and  Digital Tools to Convert New Customersfocus on customer acquisition and
conversion. This article looks at retention.

So you have gone out there and acquired them, reeled them in
and converted them into customers. Now comes the hard part, retaining them.
Simply offering a quality service or product is not enough to retain customers.
Customer Service

The way a customer is treated throughout the buying process
and often after care service is what defines your brand as much as the quality
of product you provide. For example, if I visited a restaurant and the food was
5 star, absolutely beautiful, I simply would not return if the waiter serving
me was rude and not attentive at all – unless this was a core part of their
offer, like Won Kei’s in London. The same can be said across all industries about
customer service, especially when dealing with complaints, as people like to
feel like more than just a number in your annual sales forecast.
Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to remind people you are
still there and keep that brand to customer relationship fresh. It doesn’t
always have to be an email to push sales either. People like to hear what a
brand has been up to, so even just an email to say ‘how’s it going? Just wanted
to update you on X, Y and Z’ or sending out a regular e-newsletter is a great
way to keep in touch with your customers.
Choice and

Giving customers a large choice and all at their convenience
is always going to win you business in today’s fast paced and over saturated
society. People are used to having everything they want and need at the click
of a button, delivered where and when they want it down to the minute, so don’t
give them any reason to need to look elsewhere.
Loyalty Programmes

Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage, Nectar Points. Giving
people something back for their continuous return custom is a great way to keep
them coming, because if they spend the same money with you that they would with
a competitor, but with you they get something back for that money, it works out
as a win win situation for all involved.
Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is the latest pricing strategy that involves
analysing the buying behaviours of customers and changing the prices, dropping
or rising, in real time according to the data. This can be a great way to
entice new and old customers back in to the business and optimise the times
when you hold a ‘sale’.

Everyone feels special having something tailored for them or
directed at them personally, whether it simply be their name at the top of an
email or letter from a company, or offers based on their previous buying
history. This both keeps the customer happy because they feel valued and also
encourages return customer because you aren’t just sending out generic emails
with offers that have nothing to do with their wants and needs, these offers
actually correlate with things they have shown previous interest in or based on
market research you can assume they would have an interest in.
Community Referrals

There is nothing better than receiving a referral, and
companies often use this retain customers as well as acquiring new ones. A
common strategy is to offer rewards for referrals, such as ‘recommend a friend
and you will both receive 20% off!’, thus giving both the new customer and
returning customer a good reason to use your products or services.
Social Media

Social media is a great way to build an online community and
ensure all your customers, old and new, are happy. In the digital age, social
media has become a part of everyday life, and people will shout about a great
new product or service they tried, ‘just been to X bar and grill, it was
amazing!’. But just as often, if not more so, they will complain about
something that annoyed them, ‘the new top I just bought from Y clothing store
is terrible quality, its already fraying!’.
So being on high alert to all mentions of your brand, both
good and bad, both inside and outside of your created communities on social
media, is a great way to demonstrate your brand’s excellent customer service
and engage your customers so they see the personality of the brand.