By Jamie Montoya, Client Engagement Manager
Getting a new customer can be the single most expensive thing your business will do. Your customer list is also one of the most important assets your business has. Every customer represents future value to your organization, so it’s crucial to understand how your team can nurture current customers and develop lasting partnerships that enhance your bottom line.
What is a customer retention strategy?
A retention strategy is a plan or process designed to help retain customers after they decide to do business with you. According to Forrester, the average B2B customer retention rate in 2021 was between 76% and 81%. That is a huge chunk of business. The most successful B2B companies carefully optimize their customer retention and re-engagement strategies to focus on reducing churn and growing repeat business.
Here are three tips to help you drive revenue through customer retention:
Tip #1: Develop a customer retention mindset
Gaining repeat business is all about what you do throughout the entire customer experience. Before, during, and after the sale. Never just assume a customer will come back. You must treat retention as a campaign that needs systems, processes, and functional alignment to be successful.
Be adaptable to different services and offerings based on your customers’ needs. Tailoring your customer experience will go a long way in extending the customer lifecycle and reducing the risk of churn.
Tip #2: Leverage customer data
You can’t fix what you don’t understand. Tracking and analyzing reasons why customers decided to do business with you and reasons why some decided to leave will paint a nice picture of your company’s retention trends. Monitoring churn rate is a useful step to stay on top of this process. Intent data can also provide insights to identify if and when a customer is actively considering or looking to re-purchase your (or a competitor’s) products or solutions.
These types of qualitative and quantitative data will help your company better understand successful tactics that help maintain business and increase customer retention.
Tip #3: Prioritize Feedback and Communication
B2B customer retention is all about creating foundations for partnership. Do your customer-facing teams have an active plan to ensure that your customers are happy with your product or service? Maintaining close relationships or establishing a regular meeting cadence to continually engage with customers will help you be adaptable to their business needs. This will help solidify their trust in your partnership, productively solve problems as they emerge, and give opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
Optimizing your customer retention strategy is a long-term game of continuous improvement. Good companies generate new sales and drive new customers through the pipeline, but the best ones focus on collaborating with internal teams to keep those customers and extend the customer lifecycle to maximize revenue growth.