Today, it costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one and a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25-95%. Yet time and again, we see retailers focus their digital revenue goals solely on new customer acquisition. Why? Because it’s easier to measure an anonymous, newly acquired cookie than it is to identify and track an existing customer through touch points, pain points, positive moments and moments of new product needs throughout their life cycle.
Fortunately, eCRM has created an opportunity for brands to truly take advantage of and properly measure a customer’s journey online. In order to retain, up-sell, and increase the LTV of existing customers, retailers must utilize eCRM technology to focus on four key Existing Customer Phases: On-boarding, Advocacy, Retention and Up-Selling.
Just because a consumer purchases your products, doesn’t mean they will continue engaging with and purchasing from your brand. On-boarding should provide a simple, informative and positive experience at the point of conversion to capture consumer interests for longer than one purchase. Create a new customer survey to identify what brand and product information is unclear upon first engagement. Identify at what rate new customers download your apps, log into your site and engage with your social pages. Then, create a 30 day on-boarding experience that welcomes the consumer to the brand family. Provide links to the most important or unclear information via brand search, drive the consumer to engage with your social content and apps via email, and serve personalized on-boarding landing pages to those directly navigating to the site.
Example Measurements: number of logins, signups, app downloads, app usage and site engagement
Existing customers can provide value beyond direct revenue by driving their own networks to also become customers. After on-boarding, reiterate your shared values with the customer and drive them to share positive sentiments with their networks. Ensure that social sharing options are prominent on your website. Utilize email and site personalization to ask customers to share their experiences across third-party review sites. Also, create valuable and engaging social posts beyond special deals to drive “viral” sharing. Create surveys to identify customer passion points, and find ways to connect those passion points to your brand via social posts.
Example Measurements: number of customers driven into new levels of advocacy, number of high LTV consumers that engage with advocacy focused campaigns, social sentiment shifts
Consumers tend to only remember the negative, and retention marketing can remind them of why they engaged with you in the first place. Connect CRM and Digital Data to create a behavior-based risk model that identifies when customers are at risk of churning or decreasing spend. Internal indicators of risk could include: visiting the help and support section of your site multiple times, having a negative experience with your call center or leaving a bad review on your site. External factors could include: viewing third party content or searching for competitive products. Utilize social listening tools to understand how pain points are changing over time and create site information that clears up these pain points. If you are able to connect your digital customers to real time service center calls, feed real time onsite help and support behavior to the service center to get the consumer’s questions answered quickly. Email them with an apology for the inconvenience and provide them a custom offer.
If your brand can identify an existing customer has actually churned, consider using them as an opportunity to decrease future customer churn. Build an exit survey strategy asking for feedback that can ultimately help increase customer service and product features. It can also help get their frustrations out in a closed environment instead of on social networks or third party sites.
Example Measurements: Decrease in Churn, Additional Purchases, site visits or logins after the consumer is added to the Churn Risk Model.
Retailers easily fall into the traps of either ignoring their opportunity to up-sell existing customers, or bombarding them with deals and up-sell messaging. The later brands need to learn that more is not always best. It’s about creating the right experience at the right time. Identify triggers that indicate a customer may be in need of another product or service. For example, if an existing customer is now identified in a third party ”new family” audience, you can suggest relevant products before they identify their own need.
Use data to understand the length of time and specific triggers that indicate an opportunity to up-sell. It is also important to identify the right platform to convert consumers. Maybe the consumer is more comfortable converting via phone, interacts more comfortably with social than display, or directly navigates to the site and ignores paid media. This data can provide insight for building up-sell strategies across separate audiences with unique needs, eliminating wasted spend.
Example Measurements: Conversions, Conversion Value, Increase in LTV due to Conversion