When you look at modern advertising you’ll notice that a lot of today’s billboards, tv ads and print commercials are focused on persuading and courting new customers. That’s because in the eyes of most companies, extra customers quickly translate into extra revenue. While gaining customers indeed boosts revenue, not losing any is proven to do so faster and at a much lower cost. When someone is not familiar with what you have to offer, it will take a lot of persuading to get him to buy your products. But when somebody already knows you and has taken a liking to your products, it will not cost you a huge effort to get him or her to come back for more.
This is called customer retention: going to any length to keep customers from wandering off to the competition. It’s needless to say that customer communications have a large impact on the level of customer retention success.
Sustainable business growth
Many businesses who shift their marketing focus from customer acquisition to customer retention, notice how much easier and less expensive it can be to capitalize on existing experiences and customer engagement. In fact, studies show that customer retention is crucial to achieve sustainable business growth. According to Invesp, you can boost profits by 25% to 95%, just by increasing customer retention by only 5%. The probability of converting an existing customer into a regular customer is 60% to 70%, while chances of converting a new lead are only 5% to 20%.
If you want to boost customer loyalty and customer retention, it’s important you bring the quality of your post-purchase or service communications to the same standard as your pre-purchase communications. In other words, make sure your communications retain the same consistency of quality throughout the entire customer journey and across all touchpoints. A lot of companies don’t seem to get the hang of this. Their pre-purchase communications such as flyers and commercials are very attractive and persuasive, but once you go from prospect to customer, the communications don’t live up to expectations and the customer journey deteriorates.
Check out this fancy car configurator for example. In terms of look and feel it’s an extension of the brand and the cars it builds. The configurator gives the (potential) customer the freedom to customize his new ride, try out different configurations and see then and there, what the cost would be. In other terms, it gives him the quality customer experience that he or she would expect when engaging with this A-level car brand. Eventually it will be the push the customer needs to make his way to the closest dealer to close the deal.
And this is where the customer journey will already start to go downhill. The sales manager will take the customer around the car to show off all the bells and whistles. He’ll want to buy the car on the spot but just in time he’ll realize it might not be a bad idea to return home and ask the missus first. Hesitantly the sales manager will concur and give the prospect this quote below to take home to his wife.
You see the difference? This dull quote is a far cry from what the configurator has to offer. The customer reaches a new touchpoint in the customer journey and already it’s half as pleasing as it should be. He’ll not feel valued as he did before and his wife will surely not feel as enthusiastically over the car as her husband did at first. Guaranteeing consistent communications over the entire customer journey are key to matching customer expectations at every turn. Eventually this allows to build predictable and satisfactory customer experiences as well as a fine reputation for your brand over a longer period of time.