Retention is the new growth. Why? To begin with, acquiring customers is around 5 times more expensive than retaining customers. Moreover, data shows repeat purchases from only 8% of the customers can contribute up to 40% of your total sales. This means increased retention rates = an increase in Average Order Value and Customer Lifetime Value. Retained customers also buy more often and bring in new prospects through word-of-mouth referrals.
Now that makes increasing customer retention sound like a solution—but how do you achieve it? That’s what we are for today. Let us see how service delivery affects customer retention and the top strategies retail and e-Commerce brands can leverage to boost customer retention.
Customer Retention and Service Delivery in Retail and eCommerce
The first step to retaining customers is understanding and catering to the rising customer expectations. A PwC study found that more than 50% of customers will leave a brand they love after one bad experience, and 92% will do so after two to three. While 94%
of today’s consumers will buy more from a company after an excellent customer experience.
If you are not providing an exceptional customer experience, engaging your customers through the (multiple) right channels, at the right time, and with thorough speed—you’re hurting your customer retention. That’s how customer experience, service delivery, and retention are intertwined.
Sounds right—so we need to elevate the customer engagement and experience for increased retention. Where do we start? While we’ll be covering the best strategies in a while, it’s essential to understand the roots of the problem first.
Customers will stick to the brand that delivers a personalized and seamless experience across all touchpoints with minimum friction in this experience-driven world. And poor customer experience is one of the main reasons they leave. How can customer service teams be hyper-focussed, boost customer satisfaction, manage high conversation volumes, prevent customer dropouts, and beat burnout in such a scenario?
You start by being reachable and available on your customer’s most preferred messaging channels—24*7 availability, multi-channel messaging, omnichannel customer service, and personalized communication are the keys. When you meet customers where they are, you meet and exceed their expectations and increase the chances of them spending more. For an eCommerce brand, this will mean making sure your customers find what they are looking for, making it easy for agents to talk to customers, enabling customers to contact you via preferred channel while keeping an overview of all conversations, and providing personalized service.
Strategies to Boost Customer Retention for eCommerce businesses
High service delivery responsiveness, a multi-channel communication approach, leveraging customer data, delivering contextual support, and internal collaborations are some of the best ways to boost customer retention. Let’s dive deeper into them.
Improve employee engagement for a better customer experience
An improved employee engagement is a prerequisite for an enhanced customer experience. As the company grows, the customer base also expands, thus increasing the touchpoints and pressure on your employees to deliver more. And without proper employee engagement, it can become increasingly difficult for you to address your customer’s needs.
How do you improve employee engagement? The short answer is—by improving your systems, here’s the long answer.
Issuing tickets to resolve customers’ issues not only reduces customers to reference numbers—prioritising processes over people and compromising the customer experience but also encourages agents to cherry-pick questions leaving tough ones to attend to later.
Mobile Service Cloud, a next-generation conversational helpdesk system, replaces this impersonal way of treating customers and helps agents deliver relevant and personalised service experiences across all channels. MSC eliminates queues and not tickets while segmenting, prioritising, and assigning issues as they arise to ensure quick resolution.
Mobile Service Cloud makes this possible using -
1. Advanced routing -
Instead of going the conventional way where workloads were evenly distributed between available team members, resulting in slower and inefficient service, MSC gives the agent ownership of the conversation. Routing utilizes a combination of rule-based and skill-based elements.
- Rule-based routing passes queries to the agents only if pre-established criteria are met, moving unqualified conversations to Archive or Unwanted inbox without human intervention.
- Skill-based routing assigns conversations based on the agent’s skills and priorities. With MSC, these triggers work on all incoming conversations across all channels.
2. One agent inbox and smart inbox management -
MSC’s intuitive dashboard brings forth one agent inbox where agents have access to conversations with customers (across all channels), partners, and colleagues plus a 360-degree view of the customer’s profile on a single screen. Agents can then engage in every conversation regardless of the channel through one inbox. With smart inbox management, they can snooze, archive, or forward a conversation. This keeps their inbox clean, helps them focus on the next important conversation, saves costs, and improves service.
All of this ramps up response and resolution time skyrockets employee engagement and improves customer experience and retention.
Launch a loyalty program
Using a loyalty program is another excellent strategy to increase customer retention rates. The loyalty program rewards customers for their purchases and encourages repeat orders. To create an effective loyalty program, you need capable customer service software with access to customer data to handle multi-channel communications and keep customers updated about their rewards points. The basic Mobile Service Cloud that comes with an all-in-one agent inbox, scripted chatbot, and predefined response is what you need here.
However, using a dedicated loyalty program is not the only way to inspire loyalty in your customers. For example, My Jewellery, a Netherlands-based jewellery company, found that directly communicating with their customers was key to retaining their loyalty and building trust. The company started implementing dedicated personal omnichannel communication to maintain consistency and quality of communication—not only on social media but also on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and wherever their customers can be. They leveraged Mobile Service Cloud’s ability to communicate via all channels in one inbox. The result? All the conversations were streamlined with a significant increase in quality and efficiency. And 89% of their customers are happy with the outcome of the conversations.
Upsell and Cross-sell via leveraging customer data
Effective upselling and cross-selling will help you retain existing customers with an unforced, well-timed offer. Customer behaviour speaks volumes about customers’ intent and is critical in helping your agents guide customers to their desired outcome. By leveraging customer data provided by Customer Data Platform (CDP), your agents will be able to make offers that feel like a natural extension of your existing customer relationship. A win-win there.
CDP centralises customer data from multiple sources and shares this data with your existing systems. This helps you segment your customers better (at risk, high value, and more), get a complete view of customer behaviour, and understand customers in real-time. It unifies and organises the previously siloed data across various touchpoints thereby giving deeper insights into customer behaviour and driving relevant and personalised campaigns.
The right CDP recognises that customer journeys are dynamic and ensure that your offers can change when there’s a change in customer behaviour. With CDP, you will be able to deliver personalised customer experiences that gain trust and loyalty.
Improve customer support
Customer support is not just about being helpful and answering your customer’s queries. Excellent customer support requires you to be available for your customers on their terms, on their channels, and with the speed and efficiency, they expect. You need to provide service everywhere for improved customer support, especially on customers’ preferred messaging channels like Live Chat, WhatsApp, Apple Messages for Business, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Telegram, Twitter, and SMS. How do you achieve that?
Mobile Service Cloud’s one agent inbox to manage personal multi-channel conversations with customers, colleagues, and partners on a single interface with the ability to view or forward (share or assign) conversations is one way. Then there are features like a live chat web widget that customers can use to connect with agents immediately (using a name, logging in to chat live, or filling out an email form). Using internal live chat, teams can collaborate in real-time to improve customer issue and resolution time whereas external (email) collaboration involves external partners to support customer service conversations.
Add to that—the Mobile Service Cloud’s potential to connect with the systems of your choice, and you’ll be able to deliver faster and more personal service experiences. One of the first steps is to enable your agents to instantly access a 360-degree customer profile in one view. MSC makes this possible effortlessly. How does Mobile Service Cloud give agents the contextual data they need to deliver improved support?
- Access to insights right next to the conversations (regardless of the channel) on one screen.
- Integrates data with an eCommerce system, CRM, ERP, or wherever customer’s data (name, number, email, orders, history, delivery status) is stored.
All of this helps you achieve enhanced collaboration, faster resolution, and improved customer support.
Reward your most valuable customers
While loyalty programs focus more on exclusivity and additional perks, reward programs offer higher discount rates, free goodies, and other prizes. Having a good rewards program can accelerate the loyalty lifecycle of the customer. It also enables the company to pass on the benefits to the customers in proportion to the value that their loyalty creates for the company. However, it is essential that you continuously educate your customers about the program and promote the benefits.
CDP helps here too. When reward programs work in tandem with the power of CDP, you’ll be able to tap into untouched customer data and reward customers with a more well-rounded and personalised approach. That means recognising your customers for every action they take (captured via CDP) and rewarding them with omnichannel loyalty and reward programs. This will encourage your customers to spend more and more often, increase CLTV, and discourage them from going to your competitors.
What is the takeaway?
One of the more impressive stat is that just by increasing your customer retention rate by 5%, you can boost your revenue by a minimum of 25%. This stat alone and the comprehensive strategies listed above are enough never to let your customer retention rates stagnate.
However, knowing the strategies is one thing, but integrating them into your current systems, well, that’s where the overwhelm begins. Not with us.
You need tools that help you communicate with customers on their favourite channels, increase customer loyalty, and drive personalised experiences that delight customers.
Mobile Service Cloud recognises that speed, convenience, expert advice, and friendly service are the essential elements of a positive customer experience. It thus enables you to deliver frictionless experiences anytime, anywhere.
With Mobile Service Cloud, you’ll have access to -
- Live chat with customers,
- View of multi-channel customer conversations on a single interface,
- Internal and external collaboration on one agent inbox,
- Skill-based query routing,
- 360-degree customer profile,
- 24*7 availability on all customer-preferred channels,
- Personal and contextual conversations backed by data,
- Automated conversations at scale, and much more.
The result? Exactly what you want—increased customer satisfaction, experience, and retention.