We’re in an age of power-startups and growth hacking. A by-product of this is that many business owners tend to focus explicitly on new user acquisition, almost ignoring the fact that it costs several times more.
Hey, we all need to be on top of our game when it comes to growing our customer base, though it pays to bear in mind the value brand loyalty and customer retention holds. Consider this:
The most successful mobile businesses have nearly 40% of their revenue coming from repeat customers. What’s even better, repeat customers help businesses lay low and ‘sit out’ tough economic times. Not just that, repeat customers can help you generate higher revenue by at least 50%, compared to small businesses trying to acquire fresh customers – a mere 10%.
We need to acknowledge the fact that brand loyalty is among the most difficult and prized assets for businesses to acquire, or it was anyway. In the old days, we could rely alone on providing customers with a stellar experience either through our product, service or employees. Today, we can go right ahead and provide them with an unforgettable experience, though several mobile businesses still haven’t quite figured out how to go about it.
Well, here’s what you can do to maximize retention, while boosting brand loyalty and customer lifetime value.
#1. Take and Accept Customer Advice – Give Em’ Credit
Constantly making refinements to your product will boost customer loyalty, period. Relying too heavily on numbers or gut instinct won’t do. You need to sit down and try to anticipate what your customers want next. Here’s a harmless little idea: jot down your ideas and create a poll. Spread the word through your blog, email and social media channels.
The important thing to remember is you must give customers the space and freedom to make suggestions that weren’t on the list – a poll participation incentive will coax even more customers to participate. No matter how small the incentive is – early access to an upcoming feature or a gift card – it’s going to undoubtedly have a major impact on the number of customers participating.
#2. Bring Fans into the Limelight for a Change
I’m sure you can pinpoint a few fans who’ve shared your content and said something good about your product to their followers. You should embed their social media posts. Give them a little spotlight and show them how much you appreciate their efforts.
Without even consciously knowing it, customers will identify with this reciprocity and make your brand one of their highest priorities. This is one of the most powerful marketing assets a mobile business can have in their arsenal.
Victorious is a great example of an app that does something along similar lines.
#3. You Gotta be There for Em’
Your blog and social media channels aren’t your primary channels for providing customer service, however, they are ‘touch points’. Make sure the customer service reps operating these points are well trained to help customers resolve common issues.
Also cut down on the practice of redirecting your users to the customer support page by default. Think of it in terms of holding their hand as you walk them through a solution, helping them in any way possible to eliminate confusion or getting them in touch with the right person who does have the solution. All the while, remember not to have them stay on hold or wait for an email reply.
Exceptional customer service is a common trait all truly successful brands share.
Word of mouth is something that doesn’t come into play only when customers are spreading positive words about your brand. A bad customer service experience will likely get people talking 50% more on their social channels, as opposed to those talking about positive experiences alone. Also, unhappy customers are five times more likely to share that experience.
#4. Give Em’ Something Fresh
This is not limited to discounts, but rather offering something completely fresh that your competitors aren’t. We’re talking services, features, or anything at all that’s of high or sentimental value to your customers.
You don’t have to start reaching out to all customers at once; handpick a select group of customers, and come up with ways to offer unforgettable value to them. This is going to pay off big time in terms of long term loyalty. You can then work your way over to other groups.
If you can’t find this “magical” value in one of your products or services, do it through your customer service. Let’s say you’re running a mobile business streaming or selling Hollywood movies. Pay attention to how a customer may have specific movie preferences. You could hunt down upcoming movies of similar genres or shortlist a bunch of classic movies, and offer it to him/her in an email or monthly newsletter.
As your relationship develops, your customer might ping you on Facebook to let you know if you missed something really good on the list. Strike up conversations with them online or over the phone if possible – it really pays to cement long-term relationships with your customers this way, offering a little something extra to them.
Put in the extra effort, and customers are going to come back to you asking for more.
#5. Boost Em’ with an Upgrade
Do a little sleuthing: customers who are actively engaging with your brand on a daily basis are the best ones to give the ‘full’ experience.
If you happen to have a brand line up, send them something that hasn’t been released yet or something they’ve had no chance of trying out. If you’re running a premium service, boost them with a free upgrade. You see, the real cost to you is nearly insignificant compared with the sizable impact these customers will have on their social and web circle.
I honestly think one of the best things since, well, let’s go with pizza, is Netflix. Streaming no doubt has changed the way we get our hands on different online media. When streaming was still in its developing stages, Netflix actually released it as an add-on, only for existing customers. Even though at the time, they were a relatively new player in the market, they offered their customers something they didn’t really know they would like or want.
This led to Netflix’s domination at the charts for best brand loyalty in 2011, and they’ve been a prominent player since.
In your opinion, what works best in terms of Customer LTV and loyalty? We’d love to know your perspective. Leave us some feedback.
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