We cannot argue with the fact that customer retention is more important than new customer acquisition at all stages of a business. Retention boosts acquisition. Retention creates brand ambassadors who bring in new customers. So the question is how to retain customers when all competitors, existing as well new entrants, are competing for customers’ attention and share of the wallet.
You certainly have to get the basics right.
- Continuously strive to deliver excellence in customer experience at all touch points
- Ensure that customers can easily voice their concerns and feedback
- Ensure that concerns are addressed and issues resolved
- You also need to ensure customers are engaged on all channels – online and offline.
While you get these basics right, keep in mind that customer needs are constantly evolving. These changes in customer needs are both organic and forced. Organic as with constant use of any product or service segment, customers want more value. Forced because competition introduces a new feature or benefit that changes how customers perceive a product or service.
How do you keep up with these organic and forced changes to retain customers?
Like all leading brands, you need to constantly innovate.
- Think of Apple continuously working on new features and innovations for their range of products.
- McDonald’s testing and introducing new flavors and fast food combinations.
- Swiggy using witty communication strategies on social media for better engagement.
- Top athletes such as Virat Kohli or Roger Federer improvising on their skills and adding new dimensions to their game.
Innovate or perish.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.Steve Jobs
The equation for how to retain customers is pretty simple. The rate of innovation should exceed the rate of increase in customer expectations.
If you do not innovate, competitors sooner than later will catch up. Their share in the pie keeps increasing. Soon enough, there is no pie left for you.
The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.Ginni Rometty