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Why customer input is essential for customer retention

fredag 15 mars 2024

Customer retention is a two-sided coin for both customers and businesses. For businesses, it signifies the ability to retain customers over a specific timeframe, which translates to stable revenue and growth. This metric is crucial for businesses to understand their customer base and identify areas for improvement.

For customers, it's about building trust and a positive emotional connection with a business. Emotions often drive purchasing decisions, and businesses should cater to this aspect throughout the customer journey, from initial acquisition to long-term retention. 

Keeping existing customers is generally more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. It’s 6x-7x more costly to acquire than retain customers. 

Additionally, loyal customers can become brand advocates, attracting new customers through positive word-of-mouth marketing recommendations. According to SEMrush, 60% of loyal customers will share their favorite brand with their friends and family. 

Customers are invaluable sources of insight, offering real-world experience and invested perspectives that guide product and service improvement. 83% of customers agree they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints. This is one of the reasons that reviews need to be a crucial part of your customer retention strategies.

The power of customer feedback 

Building a better business goes beyond simply selling products or services. As Bill Gates stated, “Your unhappiest customers are your greatest source of learning.” We at Trustpilot wholeheartedly agree that all customer feedback, both positive and negative, serves as a valuable resource for continuous improvement. 

Evri, a European delivery company, is a prime example. Seeking deeper insights into customer sentiment around their app’s user experience (UX), they turned to Trustpilot’s Review Insights tool and unearthed valuable patterns in customer feedback. This analysis enabled Evri’s team to comprehend customer experiences in detail and identify areas of improvement. 

Building upon prior feedback, Evri implemented various solutions along the customer journey. These efforts translated into a noticeable boost in customer sentiment, further proving the power of customer feedback and a quick and strategic response. 

Listening to your customers is paramount for retention and reducing customer churn. Consider this: 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers, emphasizing the importance of actively engaging with them. When you do a customer retention strategies audit, how much of those strategies are built around listening to your customers?

A survey by Smile.io revealed that longer customer engagement leads to increased average order value, demonstrating the potential lifetime value of customer loyalty. In the beauty and cosmetics industry, customers spend 30% more per order after shopping with a company for six months and 45% more after three years.  

The positive impact of customer feedback extends beyond anecdotal evidence. LoveBook, a personalized gift book company, used customer insights to gauge feelings about product updates.

When they piloted a new feature allowing rapid customer book creation, they tracked user feedback through Review Insights. The analysis revealed a remarkable 33% increase in their sentiment score, showcasing the direct impact of listening to customers and acting on their feedback. 

Building customer feedback into your customer retention strategies isn’t just an option; it's a driving force for business growth and retention. You can create a loyal customer base by actively listening to your customers, implementing their insights, and demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement. 

Learning from the best: how to maintain growth and customer loyalty through long-term retention

Once you've established a strong feedback loop and effectively leveraged customer input, how do you keep a customer happy over the long term?

Studies reveal that 72% of global customers hold loyalty towards at least one brand, highlighting the value of fostering strong customer relationships. Interestingly, the insurance industry boasts the highest average retention rate at 84%, likely due to the necessity of their products. 

Yet, companies like Amazon and Apple, whose products are only sometimes essential purchases, achieve remarkably high customer loyalty and retention rates.

Amazon's success stems mainly from its Prime membership program, which attracts 46% of its members weekly. This program, which is not necessarily a rewards program, fosters both program loyalty and emotional loyalty by offering tangible benefits like free one-day shipping, exclusive deals, and access to streaming services.

*A note on customer rewards programs*

Customer rewards programs transcend simple discounts and are often synonymous with customer satisfaction and retention. They build emotional connections with customers by communicating that their business is valued. Think beyond just transactions - these programs foster community and belonging.

One of the most well-known rewards programs in the world is the airline industry's frequent flyer programs, a mainstay since the 1980s. These programs reward loyalty with redeemable miles, turning frequent fliers into brand advocates.

Take Delta Airlines’ Sky Miles program, which, as of 2023, is the most valuable airline loyalty program worldwide, enjoying a nearly 28 billion U.S. dollars valuation. Meanwhile, over in Europe, Lufthansa has brought in almost 8 billion. This is a prime example of how rewards programs, when done right, are a lucrative source of customer retention. 

Additionally, Amazon utilizes sophisticated customer behavior analysis, considering factors like buying habits, purchase history, and frequency to personalize product recommendations and address individual needs. Their focus on convenience is evident in services like next-day delivery, which addresses pain points and builds customer trust.

While Apple's products are not essential purchases in a traditional sense, despite over 1.46 billion active iPhone users globally, they have become synonymous with necessity, seamless user experience and consistent innovation. 

Apple excels at omnichannel marketing, ensuring a smooth journey across all touchpoints. They are also known for listening to customer feedback and considering the consumer buying process, adapting their product offerings to meet the evolving needs of their user base. The regular product refresh cycle might deter some, but it aligns with the rapidly changing digital landscape for many.

What valuable conclusions can we glean from these giants? Customer retention boils down to building a customer-centric culture. This starts with fostering open communication through feedback channels and actively listening to your customers' opinions. By demonstrating that their voices are heard and valued, you can cultivate loyalty and build long-term relationships with your customers.

Key Takeaways

  • A customer retention strategies audit must include listening to your customers in every way that you can: Their real-world experience and feedback can guide product and service improvement, increasing customer loyalty (83% feel more loyal to brands than address complaints). 

  • Listening to customers reduces churn: By actively engaging with customer feedback, businesses can identify and address pain points, ultimately leading to higher customer retention. 

  • Customer feedback drives growth: Implementing customer insights can increase average order value and unlock a business’s full potential. 

  • Emotional connection is key: Customer loyalty is driven by product quality and building trust and positive emotional connections throughout the customer journey. 

  • Focus on a customer-centric culture when building customer retention strategies: Actively listen to customer feedback, demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement, and foster open communication to cultivate long-term customer relationships. 

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