How Healthy Is Your Customer Retention Strategy?

Katherine Buchholz Product Marketing Manager, DialogTech

More and more marketers recognize that their ROI analysis needs to include customer satisfaction metrics like customer retention and customer acquisition. Still, customer retention is often overshadowed by flashier customer acquisition efforts. It’s important to remember that research shows 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers (Gartner).

Salesforce notes in its 2015 State of Marketing report that 23% of marketers now list both customer retention rates and customer acquisition in their the top five digital marketing metrics for success. Yet while many businesses think their current loyalty strategy is strong, most are still missing a key element that can help boost retention ROI even more: the phone. Below are key ways to build loyalty with existing customers, and how the phone can help accomplish that in a mobile world.

Nurture the Relationship (Especially on Their Platform of Choice)

One of the most important stages of the modern customer journey is post-purchase. It’s during this time you most need to focus on nurturing customer relationships in order to retain their business and dissuade them from turning to your competitors.

Email remains one of the best channels to nurture customer relationships and boost retention. And now that more emails are opened on smartphones than ever before (65%, to be precise), our customers are one step closer to calling directly from an email campaign. That means you need the right technology in place to understand which emails are driving an increasingly valuable conversion type: phone calls. Using call tracking software you can improve your email nurturing campaigns to drive more calls. Call analytics then show you precisely which emails led to a call conversion, and in turn you can use this data to optimize your marketing to generate even more calls.

Make Your Interaction Personal

In 2015, 61% of marketers are planning to increase their data targeting and segmentation budgets (Salesforce). While many will use this information to focus on acquisition campaigns – as they well should – you don’t want to forget how using data to segment your audiences will help personalize your retention campaigns for current customers.

When you use data to focus your marketing to engage with specific, qualified, valuable customers, the more you know about them and can personalize their on-call experience. For example, whisper messages arm agents with information on what marketing source prompted the call or any customer information that may have been collected. That way sales reps can know exactly why a customer is calling and have more productive and personalized conversations.

And for VIP customers you can flag their phone number as “VIP” to prioritize them above other callers in your call queue or route them to a specific agent. These customers expect personalized treatment, and prioritizing their calls accomplishes that. And you improve your chance of retaining (or increasing) their valuable business.

At the end of the day, using data to create a personalized experience for your customers leads to better customer service and better customer retention.

Follow It up With Great Service

Great service is essential to building customer loyalty and increasing customer retention. Just look at companies like Zappos (who promote long conversations with customers via the phone), Southwest (which just ranked as a top airline for customer service – a rarity in the industry), and Chipotle (I just had a coworker place an online order and she received a call an hour later inquiring about her satisfaction). If a business treats you right you want to return, don’t you? It’s logical, but many companies lose sight of how vital customer service is to customer retention.

With more marketers focused on mobile and driving phone leads for their sales teams, one of the best ways to provide superior customer service is to optimize the caller experience. There are two tools to help you accomplish this: IVRs and contextual call routing. An IVR (interactive voice response) doesn’t just help businesses qualify inbound callers, it also helps callers with automated functions such as business hours or account balances – things they may not need or want to talk to someone about. And that way, they have 24/7 assistance if your office is closed. Contextual call routing helps your business connect customers in conversation with the right agent right away. You can customize your routing rules based on a number of factors (such as business hours, caller location, marketing source, and more) to personalize the caller’s experience and create great service.

To learn more about how call tracking can help you drive new customers and increase ROI, download our ebook, The 10 Call Analytics Reports That Will Change Your Marketing.