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6 Customer Retention Tools (& Why CRM Should Be One of Them)

Did you know that by increasing customer retention, you can dramatically increase revenue, too?
Customer retention is the strategy of getting more of your customers to stay loyal to your brand or business. And a successful retention strategy turns one-time customers into loyal, repeat customers who spend more, make transactions more frequently, and refer friends more often than your other customers.

In this guide, we'll review some tools and strategies you can implement to retain customers and to keep them coming back.

Let's unpack six common customer retention tools you can use for your business.

1. Customer Loyalty Programs

A customer loyalty program is an easy way to boost customer retention. When a customer is given additional value — by way of a points system or a VIP rewards program, for example — for playing some games, it becomes much more difficult to choose a competitor for their next transactions.

What's more, loyalty programs allow you to reward more than just loyalty. You can reward customers for fulfilling other profitable actions like writing reviews, sending referrals to friends, and social sharing. These are just a few of many ways you can activate your customers and reward them for helping you grow your business.

2. Gamification

The application of game mechanics is not just for mobile apps and video games anymore. You can get the power of gamification working for your customer experience and purchase process. With gamification, you can encourage users and customers to complete actions by making it more enjoyable and adding a sense of competition.

Sites that incorporate gamification often have leaderboards, statuses, and badges so users can showcase where they stand relative to others. This customer retention tool is also effective because it can be incorporated into other things — like promotions and even loyalty programs.

3. Personalization

Personalization allows you to increase customer retention through more relevant and tailored experiences with the brand. Personalization requires you to collect data about your customers that you can later use to make recommendations and tailor promotions to each customers individual needs.

A simple way to use personalization to increase customer retention is through email. When a lead or customer is addressed by name with content they care about, they will be much more loyal to you and your brand. And if that personalized email offers a reward or benefit for your customer, so much the better.

4. CRM

A CRM is a tool used to increase satisfaction by keeping track of a customer's entire journey. They can be used in tandem with other tools on this list to provide a total customer retention strategy. You can use your CRM to track which customers have received which badges with your gamification tactics — or which customers have earned points in your loyalty program, for example.

A CRM has many operational benefits, but it also can help with customer retention. When all customer information and interactions are stored in one place, it becomes much easier to provide a cohesive and positive customer experience.

Of all the systems listed in this post, CRMs are one of the most powerful customer retention tools.
In fact, they can improve retention rates by up to 27% if they're used collaboratively between marketing and customer service teams.

5. Customer Support

Support systems are any tools added to your site to improve customer service and satisfaction. These systems could be help desk software or live chat software, for example. All of these support systems allow you to resolve customer issues and conflicts quickly and efficiently, which provide a few key benefits.

The first benefit of support systems? They provide a one-on-one experience. You can easily address customer issues and quickly get things resolved — which can create a lifelong customer. Second, live chat software allows you to engage with customers in real-time. Customers don't want to wait, and live chat is a direct and real-time connection to your customer to give them the help they need, the way they want to get help.

6. Customer Feedback Collection

Customer feedback is more than just a way to survey your customers. It's an opportunity to start a conversation with people who have a strong opinion of your business. And, this can help you prevent churn with customers who've recently had a negative experience with your company. After all, if they've gone through the effort of leaving a review, they'll likely be interested in hearing from your customer service team.

Even positive reviews present timely opportunities to delight customers. If a customer leaves positive feedback, you can reach back out with a thank you letter. This is a great way to go above-and-beyond for your customers and show them you really care about their business.

Customer Retention Is the Key to Growth

Customer retention is the future of business growth. It's not enough to attract leads with compelling content or to close new customers with a great deal. Now, to stand out against in increasingly competitive verticals, businesses need to retain customers by helping them be so successful that they refer their friends and become brand evangelists.

These are just a few ways to keep your customers happy and coming back to purchase more or upgrade — and, eventually, refer their friends.

Source: HubSpot