What is Customer Retention? 5 Customer Retention Strategies Your Business Can Use


Repeat customers spend an average of 67% more than new customers. The right customer retention strategies can significantly impact your business’s revenue.

So much of marketing focuses on generating awareness and acquiring new customers. Yet, your existing customers actually offer some of the best value for your business.

Never forget these customers. Make sure you make the most of their entire lifecycle with your business.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to improve customer retention to help you generate more revenue.

  1. What is Customer Retention?
  2. Understanding Customer Retention Rate
  3. Why is Customer Retention Important?
  4. Customer Retention Strategies Your Business Should Use

What is Customer Retention?

Customer retention refers to the rate at which customers stay with a business over a period of time. It’s a vital strategy for businesses to boost their revenue and gain long-term success. 

A customer retention strategy focuses on getting customers to return to make repeat purchases. This maximizes the value of those customers.

Customer retention techniques help businesses improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. These tactics prevent customers from switching to a competitor.

The aim is to cultivate a strong, lasting relationship between the business and its customers.

Understanding Customer Retention Rate

You’ll need to understand your customer retention rate to improve customer retention. 

Customer retention rate measures the percentage of customers who continue to do business with a company over a period of time. It’s a crucial indicator of a company’s ability to hold onto its existing customers and keep them satisfied.

To calculate the customer retention rate, you can follow these steps:

  1. Determine the period of time you want to measure (e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually)
  2. Choose a starting point for the period and count the number of customers you had at that time (we’ll call this “C1”)
  3. At the end of the period, count the number of customers you still have (we’ll call this “C2”)
  4. Subtract the number of new customers you acquired during the period from the total number of customers at the end of the period (we’ll call this “N”)
  5. Calculate the retention rate using the formula: ((C2-N)/C1) x 100

For example, let’s say you start with 100 customers and acquire 20 new customers during the period. At the end of the period, you have 90 customers remaining. Using the formula above, the customer retention rate would be:

((90-20)/100) x 100 = 70%

This means that 70% of your original customers remained with you over the given period, while 30% either churned or were acquired during the period.

Why is Customer Retention Important?

It can cost five times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain your existing ones. 82% of companies also say retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one.

In fact, many companies state that 65% – 75% of their business comes from retained customers.

So, getting customer retention right can save your business a lot of marketing money.

Good customer retention rates help you maximize the value of each customer.

Instead of a single purchase from the customer, their lifetime value results in many purchases. This helps you make more revenue, and it helps you develop a more committed customer base.

Beyond revenue, customer retention is important in developing brand awareness. If you have a large base of long-term customers, they will help spread positive awareness around your brand. They might become potential brand advocates.

This could help generate more positive reviews, spread more word-of-mouth news about your business, and gain more referrals. All this helps you attract even more customers.

This is because customer retention is very closely linked with customer satisfaction. Generate more happy customers, and you should see an improvement in your customer retention rates. 

5 Essential Customer Retention Strategies Your Business Should Use

Good customer retention helps you generate more long-term value from your customer base.

Here are some of the best strategies to help you do this. 

1. Provide a Smooth Onboarding Experience

Providing a smooth onboarding experience is crucial for new customers. 

Your first impression on a customer sets the tone for your entire relationship with them. A poor onboarding experience can lead to frustration and, ultimately, churn.

Here are some tips on how to provide a smooth onboarding experience.

Communicate Clearly

Ensure your communication with new customers is clear, concise, and timely. Communicate what they should expect from your product or service. Provide a step-by-step guide on how to get started. Be available to answer any questions they may have during the onboarding process.

Personalize the Experience

Tailor your onboarding experience to each customer’s unique needs. Use personalized welcome emails, and offer a personalized demo of your product. Always customize your support interactions for a more personal experience.

Provide Value Upfront

Your customers are investing in your product or service, so you need to invest in them. Give them access to your best features and make sure they understand how they can benefit from your product or service.

Automate Where Possible

Automating parts of the onboarding experience can be a game-changer. It can help you scale your efforts and provide a consistent experience for all customers. This can be achieved through automated emails, in-app tutorials, and chatbots.

Follow Up

Follow up with your customers after the initial onboarding process. Make sure they’re satisfied and get the most out of your product or service. Achieve this through surveys, check-ins, and ongoing support.

A smooth onboarding experience sets the foundation for a long and successful customer relationship.

Remember, your goal is not just to acquire customers but to retain them and turn them into loyal advocates for your brand.

2. Create a Customer Feedback Loop

Customer feedback is crucial in understanding your customer’s needs and preferences. It helps you identify areas for improvement to keep customers satisfied.

Here are some tips on how to create a customer feedback loop.

Make Feedback Easy to Give

Provide multiple channels for customers to share their feedback. Some good options include online surveys, email, social media, or in-app feedback tools. Make it easy for customers to access these channels and provide feedback on their terms.

Act on Feedback

Customers want to feel heard and valued, so taking their feedback seriously and acting on it is important.

Respond to Feedback

Responding to customer feedback shows that you value your customers. It also reveals that you are committed to making improvements. Respond to feedback quickly, thanking customers for taking the time to share their thoughts.

Use Feedback to Improve Customer Experience

Use feedback to improve areas in your product, service, or customer experience. Take action to address issues, implement new features, or improve your customer service.

Ask for Follow-Up Feedback

After making changes, ask customers to provide follow-up feedback. This shows that you value their ongoing input.

Creating a customer feedback loop shows your customers that you value them and want to provide the best possible experience. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

Remember, feedback is a two-way conversation, so be sure to actively listen and respond to your customers’ needs

3. Keep in Contact With Your Customers

Keeping in touch with your customers is an essential strategy for customer retention. Staying top of mind and engaging with your customers helps build strong relationships. This keeps them coming back for more. 

Here are some tips on how to keep in contact with your customers.

Send Email Newsletters

Send out email newsletters with updates on your business, promotions, and content. Make sure your newsletters provide value to your customers.

Run Contests on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for engaging with customers. Running contests on social media is a fun and interactive way to keep your customers interested in your business. Make sure to offer enticing prizes that will excite your customers.

Produce High-Value Content

Creating high-value content like blogs, videos, and podcasts keeps your customers engaged. Make sure your content is well-researched, informative, and relevant to your customer’s interests.

Offer Personalized Outreach

Personalized outreach, such as sending a personalized message or making a phone call to your customers, helps you build strong relationships. It also shows your customers that you care about them. This can be especially effective for high-value customers.

Surveys and Feedback Requests

Surveys and feedback requests are excellent ways to keep in touch with your customers and gather valuable insights. Make sure to ask targeted questions that will help you improve your product or service.

By staying in touch with your customers, you can build strong relationships that lead to increased loyalty and retention.

Prioritize your efforts to stay in touch with your customers, and they will reward you with their loyalty.

4. Reward Loyal Customers

Rewarding loyal customers is a critical strategy for customer retention. You can build stronger relationships by recognizing and appreciating your customers’ loyalty. This increases your customers’ likelihood of continuing to do business with you.

Here are some tips on how to reward loyal customers.

Grandfathering-In Prices

Consider grandfathering-in prices for your long-time customers when rates increase. This is when you maintain your lower prices for existing customers. Doing so shows your appreciation for their loyalty and keeps them from seeking cheaper alternatives.

Bonuses and Surprises

Sending bonuses and surprises for certain milestones is a great way to show your appreciation. Consider sending free gifts or discount codes for future purchases.

Setting Up a Loyalty Program

Setting up a loyalty program is a more structured way to reward loyal customers. Consider offering points for purchases that customers can redeem for discounts or exclusive perks.

Thank You and Referral Discounts

Incorporate discounts and rewards directly within your survey feedback. This is an excellent way to say thank you and encourage promoters to refer their friends.

Milestone Bonuses

Consider sending bonus gifts at important intervals to recognize your customers’ loyalty. This is a personalized way of showing appreciation and keeping your customers engaged.

Remember, loyalty is a two-way street. Showing your customers that you value their loyalty can go a long way in building lasting relationships.

So, consider implementing these strategies to reward your loyal customers. It will keep them coming back for more.

5. Implement a Customer Education Program

Starting a customer education program is a great strategy for improving customer retention. Properly informing and educating customers empowers them to make more informed decisions. Doing so increases their satisfaction with your product and builds stronger relationships. 

Here are some tips on how to start a customer education program.

Identify What Your Customers Need to Know

Consider the most common questions and pain points that your customers have. Then create educational content that addresses them. This could include FAQs, how-to guides, video tutorials, or webinars.

Make it Easily Accessible

Ensure that your educational content is easily accessible to your customers. Create a dedicated section on your website. Send out regular email newsletters. Include links to educational resources in your product or service.

Personalize the Experience

Tailor your educational content to the specific needs and preferences of your customers. Try using customer data to create customized educational experiences. This could include personalized emails or recommendations.

Provide Ongoing Support

Customer education is an ongoing process. Make sure to provide ongoing support and resources. For example, you could create a knowledge base or community forum. This lets your customers ask questions and share information.

Measure Success

Finally, measure the success of your customer education program. This could involve tracking customer engagement and feedback. Of course, you’ll also need to watch customer retention rates.

Starting a customer education program is an effective way to improve customer retention. It helps you build stronger relationships and increase customer satisfaction. 

Final Thoughts

The right customer retention strategies can help your business unlock a lot more revenue. If you don’t focus on the entire customer journey, you will lose out on a lot of potential value!

The tips above should help you develop a well-rounded customer retention program. They’re easy to apply and will keep your customers coming back for more!

Looking for more marketing and business growth tips? Check out some of our guides below. 

Related Content