Marketing for Customer Retention

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Marketing Strategy

Using Marketing Strategy for Customer Retention

There are many old axioms in the world of business, but one of the most frequently quoted is the fact that it is significantly more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. In fact, depending on who you ask, it can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive. If you’re reading this right now (or you’ve seen the episode of The Office titled “The Fire”), you probably already knew that. But what you may not have realized is that there are some reliable marketing tactics you can use to keep those existing customers in the fold and happy.

Here are a few of our favorite surefire ways to use marketing strategy to aid in customer retention.

Provide solid customer education

A true focus on the customer experience means supplying benefits long after the point of sale or the time when services are rendered. Keeping customers around is often predicated on the company’s ability to nurture the relationship with value-added offerings like customer education. Email, social media and even the company’s own website can house essential materials like FAQs, troubleshooting documents and videos, and promotional materials tailored to that customer’s history with the brand. For example, an outdoor outfitter company that sells gear and equipment might deliver customers who previously purchased a tent, unique instructions on assembling the tent in five minutes or less. When that customer is ready to purchase more gear for their next camping trip, they’ll know exactly where to go thanks to that added and helpful touch.

Create a customer loyalty program

In the last section, we talked about building the type of value that resorts in repeat business. Few approaches are as successful at creating a customer loyalty program. There are many different forms and fashions of loyalty programs, but most center on rewarding the customer for being a repeat customer. That can mean everything from discounts on future purchases to access to exclusive offerings. Whatever reward you choose for your loyalty program, make sure it’s unique to your business and enticing enough to make the customer want to act further.

Focus on good old-fashioned customer service

Is your reaction to a customer complaint more lip service than customer service? If so, you might want to rethink that strategy. In a Microsoft survey, 96% of respondents said customer service was an important factor in their decision to remain loyal to a brand. It’s clear that doing right by the customer—both in good times and bad—is critical to maintaining a customer’s interest in the brand. That means taking complaints seriously when they come in and working diligently to solve the problem. We’ve found that social media complaints often go unheard (or, should we say, unread). Remember: The customer may not always be right, but they should always be heard.

Ask your customers what you’re doing right (and wrong)

There’s no better way to get a pulse on how you’re doing as a company than by going directly to the customer. While it’s always a good idea to ping customers in person on this, most are often too busy or feel shy about voicing how they really feel. Enter customer surveying. Assuming you have a database of customer email addresses at your disposal, there are a number of free surveying platforms you can use to hear directly from broad swaths of customers. Most customers will appreciate your willingness to better serve their needs—and you can even sweeten the pot with a special promotion like a coupon for completing the survey. Google Forms, SurveyMonkey and Typeform are three platforms worth exploring further. 

There’s much more to marketing than just casting a wide net and trying to catch as many fish as possible—and the ideas discussed above prove that. If you’re interested in using marketing to improve your own customer retention efforts, Heart & Hustle Brands can help. Reach out, and let’s collaborate.

Stacey Harrison

About the Author

Stacey Harrison is the lead brand strategist and designer at Heart & Hustle Brands and has provided creative direction for healthcare, industrial, and financial services brands for 20 years. She started Harrison Creative Group in 2017 to serve businesses that need a professional brand image on a budget. In 2021, the company rebranded to Heart & Hustle Brands to walk in the shoes of clients that experience a change of name or brand refresh.