Top 5 Customer Retention Marketing Tactics

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% (from Marketing Metrics).  Research also shows that a 10% increase in customer retention results in a 30% increase in the value of the company (from Bain and Co.)  Anyone working at a SaaS business knows that churn and customer renewals are critical metrics for the business.  Yet, many marketing plans are so focused on customer acquisition that they largely ignore customer retention. (note: I did a more recent post on this topic here: Customer Retention: 7 Ideas for Marketers) Here are some ideas to help you kick-start your customer retention marketing: Regular Communication with Customized Content and Special Offers – This is the cornerstone of any good customer retention program and careful attention should be paid here.  Most companies have some sort of newsletter to communicate with existing customers but fewer are actively making offers to their current install base that are customized according to what is already known about the customer.  This can be as simple as offering an upgrade at a special price to tiered discounts or preferred access to support or other resources. Customer service – Poor customer service accounts for 70% of customer loss.  Marketing should take that number very seriously and work with the support team to deliver content that can help service folks do their job.  In my experience many thorny customer service issues stem from a mismatch between the offering functionality and customer expectations.  Marketing can create content that can set customer expectations for functionality and performance to make sure there is...

4 Ways to Send Customers a Valentine

Ah Valentine’s day.  There’s nothing like a made-up holiday to remind us that we should be nice to people at least once a year.  When was the last time you showed your customers a little love?  And I’m not talking heart-shaped box of Godiva love here either, I mean when was the last time you lavished carat-sized love on the people that pay your salary? Does Hallmark really have to tell you to do everything?  Seize the moment and plant a big squishy one on your customers in one of the following ways: 1/ Give them an Award – Awards are a great way to recognize customers and unlike Godiva chocolates, absolutely everyone loves to get an award.  The folks that get the award will probably brag about it to their friends and you get to brag about having them as a customer (heck, why not put out a press release about it?).  You’ve only got a couple of customers?  Well it won’t be hard to pick who gets the award then, will it? 2/ An Unexpected Little Somethin’ Somethin’ – Godiva chocolates aside, sometimes it really is the thought that counts.  It doesn’t hurt to send your customers a little something that shows that you appreciate them.  I’m a big fan of unusual gifts for customers that get them talking about you.  Last year when Google launched sidewiki they sent me a book of poetry.  The book had a bookmark in a passage where the poet described a library book from that had some notes written in the margins and how interesting it was to see what other...

Do You Act Like Your Slogan?

I took my son to the Art Gallery of Ontario a few weeks back.  My son, being 3 years old and fairly full of beans, trotted around in circles in the waiting area while I sorted out tickets.  The staff made sure to remind me that my son shouldn’t touch anything.  Once inside, we were followed closely by nervous staff.  I didn’t blame them.  I would be nervous too if I saw an energetic boy skipping around my precious collection.  I’m pleased to report he didn’t touch a thing. The next time I went to the gallery I was with a friend.  Surprisingly, we got the same treatment.  Any time we leaned in for a closer look we were reminded by the staff that we shouldn’t touch the art.  The message was repeated no less than 4 times during our visit.  We were both wearing the “Members Matter” slickers that were given to us at the members desk yet the staff seemed certain we didn’t know the basic rules of gallery behavior. For marketers it’s important to remember that slogans like “members matter” or “customer focus” are meaningless if the product or customer experience fails to deliver as promised.  Sometimes that’s harder to do than you think.  It means you have to step outside the marketing department.  Product marketers in particular need to reach into other parts of the organization to make sure that the messages communicated are not simply what the customer would like to hear but actually reflect the reality of the product or customer experience.  Customers know when you’re lying. Subscribe to this blog or follow...