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Oct 25, 2023
6 minutes read

Decoding the Struggles of Acquisition and Retention

In life, they say percentages don't matter, but in marketing, they are everything. The customer journey, spanning from acquisition to retention, is a path filled with potential incremental drop-offs at every touchpoint. A confusing experience here, an ill-timed communication there, and suddenly, your conversion rate is plummeting.

Marleen van Dam
Marleen van Dam,
Content Marketer

Today's customer journey is more complex than ever, with numerous interaction points, which also means increased risks. Every missed opportunity to address an issue, every unprepared customer interaction, presents the possibility of losing an existing customer or a hot prospect venturing elsewhere. The challenges are clear, but fortunately, there are many opportunities to retain your customers and enhance the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Let's delve into them.

The key: A connected narrative across channels

Your potential customers are scrolling through social media, visiting your website, and reaching out for more information. They're clicking links on laptops, tablets, and phones, skimming through emails from countless companies, and engaging with chatbots, all while expecting seamless responses. All of these interactions generate data, but this data often gets lost in the crowd, scattered across channels and devices, disconnected and fragmented.

Nevertheless, these interactions must be seen as part of a connected storyline, an ongoing narrative aimed at understanding each customer's personality and preferences. By concentrating on converting a larger proportion of marketing prospects into lifelong customers while reducing churn and drop-offs at each stage of the journey.

Let's start acquisition first, then retention, and ultimately bring them together for the key goal: maximised Customer Lifetime Value.

CLV Customer Lifetime Value data in personalization

Getting acquisition right from the start

First and foremost, with the ever-expanding array of media choices available today, you must understand that your ideal customers might not even be aware of your existence. With hundreds of ads bombarding their screens daily, consumers often tune out, switch off, and skip. Mass advertising can indeed build brand recognition, but it comes at a substantial cost, especially with Click-Through Rates (CTRs) declining while Cost-Per-Mille (CPMs) rise, making the initial acquisition a formidable challenge.

Personalise early, personalise often

To stand out in this crowded environment, the key is to make every touchpoint in the customer journey, every piece of content, and every offer, deeply relevant. This significantly increases the chances of engaging prospects and encouraging them to choose your product or keep your brand in mind when the intention to purchase arises. Personalisation relies heavily on data, going far beyond basic recommendations like "People who bought X also bought Y." Instead, it considers the source of the click, the alignment of behaviour with target personas, and the content that resonates most with individuals.

Connect all the dots

Personalised communications should extend to personalised customer service. For instance, if your email campaign is successful and 10% of recipients call your sales line, the marketing communication should be readily accessible to the customer service agent handling the call. Lack of visibility can lead to confusion and a poor customer experience.

Even in the early stages of the customer journey, consumers expect you to have all relevant information available at every touchpoint. Making customer data accessible to all authorised personnel can significantly boost conversion rates.

Sort and analyse data for insights

Connecting data points offers another advantage: it allows for in-depth analysis and insights. What channels do customers prefer? Does this preference change with the time of day? Do they seek customer service exclusively on Sundays? And how does this customer profile compare to your existing customer base?

This is where a Customer Data Platform (CDP) comes into play. It integrates different datasets, enabling thorough interrogation and analysis. For instance, if a customer's initial question pertains to your delivery times, you can analyse how many others have asked the same question and how many of them placed an order within two weeks. This information can help optimise processes and improve efficiency, leading to more effective acquisition strategies.

Customer Data Platform with all data

Maintaining the gains: Retention

Winning the initial order is just the beginning. The real story unfolds as that new customer transforms into a repeat client. You must be where your customer wants you to be. Customers have diverse preferences when it comes to communication channels. Some prefer WhatsApp, while others avoid it. Some like email but dislike newsletters, while others still prefer direct human interaction. Understanding these preferences and adapting to them can lead to incremental improvements in customer retention.

Communicate at the right moments

Early personalisation efforts in mobile marketing suffered from information overload. Consumers learned that providing their details often resulted in more, but not necessarily more valuable, communications. To maintain a healthy customer relationship, avoid overwhelming your customers' inboxes.

One well-timed email a month or a targeted discount at the end of a quarter can yield better results than a daily barrage of random offers. Personalising not only the communication but also the offer based on the customer's ordering history and preferences can further enhance the effectiveness of your retention strategy. As customers place more orders and their relationship with your brand deepens, retention becomes increasingly important. Treating a customer who has made twenty orders this year the same as you did last year is a missed opportunity.

Take Personalisation to the Next Level

As you gain more insights into a customer's buying patterns and channel preferences, it's essential to customise your entire communications plan accordingly. This includes understanding their preferred times for contact, the topics they engage with most, and their preference for automated chatbots versus human interaction. As 64% of the consumers look for a customer service set-up that allows them to solve it themselves.*

scripted chatbot message richt media

Continuously adapting to your customer's evolving preferences is the ultimate goal when addressing acquisition and retention challenges. It's how you maximise Customer Lifetime Value, making the most of every sales opportunity and keeping customers engaged for the long term.

From Acquisition and Retention to Conversational Marketing

At CM.com, we are excited about the concept of true conversational marketing. This approach integrates all your customer interactions across channels into a unified dataset, ensuring that every sale, upsell, and cross-sell feels tailored to the individual. This level of personalisation enhances the customer experience, and every channel choice becomes a strategic advantage.

If you're grappling with the challenges of acquisition and retention, consider viewing your marketing efforts as conversations. Start by engaging in a conversation with us, and let's explore how CM.com can help you navigate these challenges effectively.

Curious to learn more on how to retain you customers?

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Marleen van Dam
Marleen van Dam,
Content Marketer
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