An existing customer is far more valuable than a new prospect and retaining them is definitely more beneficial than acquiring a new one. This is proven with data so there is no point in discussing this any further.
What needs to be discussed, identified and understood is the way to do so. How does one retain the customer? How does one plan for it? What strategies to employ? What tools to use?
Well, there is no switch on/off button to engage the customers and retain them. Customer Engagement and Retention is a process. And to activate this process, a strategy needs to be formulated.
Depending on the nature and stage of business, an enterprise can employ a single tool or a mix of tools in its engagement and retention strategy. Few such tools are:
The most common and widely used tool for Customer Engagement (CE) is the Marketing Automation software. This software defines the customer journey and guides the customer through the company’s app or website. There are many such software available in the market but the latest on the block is Let’sCooee.
Allowing users to play games on a non-gaming app or website is one of the most employed strategies for user engagement. An even better way is to add gamification to the core offering and give a gamified experience to the users. The gaming industry is growing rapidly and after mobile gaming, the next wave will be experienced in Cloud Gaming. A very unique experience is offered by AirConsole.
Nothing could be more exciting than a free goody. Offering incentives in the form of gratification could be a good engagement strategy. Usually, this strategy goes hand in hand with gamification. A gamified experience with gratification is the best incentivisation tool. Most of the e-commerce and payment apps are offering this.
Offering loyalty benefits to users is one of the best ways to bring users back to using the service. Loyalty programs were initially offered by Airlines and Credit Card companies but today almost every large enterprise in every industry is offering it. The key is to provide a seamless experience across all storefronts and one such solution in the market is provided by Kangaroo Rewards.
Deals and Discounts
There are dedicated service providers like Groupon, Nearbuy, etc. that offer deals and discount coupons on their apps and website. Providing a plugin for one of these services on the app or website is a good hook to bring users back and not lose them to competition.
Customer Feedback is one of the most underrated tools. However, it is one of the most effective tools. A customer feedback tool connects with the user at an emotional level. It is a subtle way of telling the user that you care about the customer’s opinions and requirements. There are companies that make software for Feedback Mechanism as well and one such company is Palzin Feedback.
Embedded Finance is similar to gaming whereby a non-finance organisation can offer financial services on its app or website. It is as simple as integrating a Payment Gateway service but more personalised as it is white labelled and the user is not shown any third-party branding on the app or website. This increases customer trust. There are very few companies in this space and two good names here are Vopy and Reltime.
Chatbots have been around for a while and could be a good engagement tool. However, the problem with the chatbots is that without a good AI they can be irritant. One needs to invest well in AI before signing up for this tool.
Blogs are around for a very long time and could be considered one of the oldest engagement tools. These are one of the best ways of engaging with users who are interested in reading. Blogs are used for acquisition as well as they help in generating organic traffic on the site. Let’s take this page for example.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more but these are some of the most effective and widely used tools. Any enterprise looking to keep its users engaged could employ one or more of these tools to improve engagement and increase retention.