How Does Your Customer Retention Strategy Stack Up?

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Aug 28, 2020

Some days, attempting to stem the tide of customer churn may feel as daunting as trying to save a sinking ship. Can you toss out life preservers—in this case, winback campaigns, lapsing user messages, and other outreach—fast enough? But that’s the thing: Your customer retention strategy doesn’t have to be reactive. Done right, it should be an ongoing practice, like learning to swim and making sure to do a few laps every day to keep things up.

The right retention strategy can be the difference between steadily increasing churn and long-term growth

But how do you get there? The first step is to take a hard look at where your retention strategy is today, in order to see if there are opportunities to optimize it further.

Self-Assessment Quiz on Customer Retention Practices

Here are the six questions you need to answer in order to assess whether your company’s customer retention strategy is built to effectively save lapsing individuals—or if you’re missing the boat.

Are you collecting the right data?

You’ll know you are if…

  • You’ve defined your goals for data collection based on your industry and your company’s unique business needs.
  • The information you’re asking for and tracking is actionable (and ties back directly to your goals).
  • You’re gathering the three main types of customer data:
    • Demographics and personal details
    • Interests
    • Behaviors and events

If you’re collecting the right data, are you democratizing it?

You'll know you are if…

  • Consumers only have to share key personal information once (and NOT multiple times across various apps, websites, email newsletters, in-person accounts, etc.).
  • You're using live customer profiles to make sure that important customer attributes and updates are available across all customer-facing systems—in real time.

Are you set up to keep customers informed at every step of the process?

You'll know you are if…

Are you thinking about—and executing on—cross-channel outreach?

You'll know you are if…

  • You offer cross-channel support for the channels that matter the most (and have the greatest impact) for your business model, potentially including:

When it comes to messaging channels, companies that take a single-channel approach risk alienating those who aren’t fans of that particular channel—or failing to reach people who engage in multiple channels when and where they’re active. By embracing cross-channel, you can avoid that fate and provide a better, more thoughtful messaging experience to all of your customers, giving them more reasons to stick around.

Are you using tools aimed at curbing churn?

You'll know you’re getting it right if you're using key customer engagement tools that help ensure your outreach is more relevant, valuable, and effective, including...

  • Personalization: You call your customers by name, and remember what really matters to them, like what membership status they’ve earned, what topics they’re passionate about, what items they’ve browsed online, and more.
  • Multivariate testing: You put together winning combos of the best copy, color scheme, and calls to action by testing them out and refining them over time.
  • Send-time and channel optimization: Each message arrives at the ideal time—and in the right channel—for engagement for each individual.
  • Delivery method: How messages are timed and delivered can do a lot to boost the impact of your campaigns—and Braze research has found that action-based and API-triggered messages tend outperform basic time-based delivery.
  • Deep linking: You guide people to the exact right spot within your app or website, and avoid losing them in a potential hunt-and-peck journey through your app or website.

Is your content relevant, fresh, and meaningful?

You'll know it is if…

  • Your messaging is dynamically updated, leveraging Connected Content (also known as dynamic content) to be contextually relevant in the moment
  • Your messages contain the latest information based on real-time data (not data that's been processed with delays that could potentially render the information obsolete)
  • Your team uses dynamic segmentation to tailor campaigns to groups of individuals based on shared traits and behaviors that update in real time

How to Improve Customer Retention

The secret to getting customers to stick around comes down to understanding individuals and meeting their unique needs. Time and again. It's about delivering outreach and experiences that are relevant, meaningful, and human.

In our latest guide, we walk through seven key retention strategies that work, 10 winning retention campaigns, and the exact steps brands need to take to see a noticeable lift in retention. Check out Modern Customer Retention: What You Need to Know and get started optimizing your retention strategy today.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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