Brands that have high-quality products and services, and top-notch service and user experiences don’t just attract new customers. They keep their existing customers. To learn how they do it (and how your brand can do it too), consider these 12 customer retention strategies and examples from top brands.
What Is Customers Retention and Why Does It Matter?
Before we dive into the list of customer retention examples, let’s look at the definition of customer retention and why this strategy is something that can’t be ignored.
Customer Retention Definition
Customer retention is the act of keeping existing customers engaged with a brand so that they return to do business with the brand again and again.
Retention marketing includes the tactics and customer retention strategies that brands use to build trust and customer loyalty, stand out from competitors, stay top of mind, and ultimately drive buyers back to their business again.
The Benefits of Customer Retention
The importance of customer retention cannot be overlooked. While many brands focus on customer acquisition (which is also essential), they cannot ignore the value of keeping existing customers.
In fact, selling to existing customers is easier and cheaper and often leads to higher-priced purchases.
- Brands have a 60% to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer versus only a 5% to 20% chance of selling to a new customer.
- It can cost up to 5X more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
- Existing customers may spend up to 67% more on their purchases than new customers.
Brands can spend less and sell more by using customer retention strategies to market smarter, not harder.
12 Customer Retention Examples
Now that you know why customer retention is so valuable, let’s look at 12 customer retention examples that can give you inspiration for your own customer retention strategies.
1. Share Your Mission and Brand Story (Bombas)
One way to get customers to return to your business is to make them fall in love with your brand. When customers feel a connection with your brand, vision, and mission, that contributes to a deeper sense of loyalty. Openly share your brand story and clearly communicate your values so customers can get to know and love you.
A brand that excels at sharing their story to build brand loyalty is Bombas. They openly share their philanthropic mission, which includes donating a pair of socks for every pair they sell.
2. Share Company Changes and News (Buffer)
Keeping customers in the loop is another way to build trust while bringing consumers closer to your brand. As your company makes changes, let customers know by publishing blog posts or sending newsletters that update them on company news.
Buffer, a social media marketing provider, is a prime example of this customer retention strategy. Their Inside Buffer blog discusses operations and changes within the organization to make customers feel closer to the the brand.
3. Educate and Help Customers (Canva)
For customers to form a deep bond with a brand, they need more than just good products and services. They need to see that the brand truly cares about helping them. One way a brand can offer this type of support is by creating and sharing evergreen content that educates customers and helps them grow.
Canva’s Design School is a great example of this. The school provides resources, how-to guides, and step-by-step videos that help customers use their product as well as hone their graphic design skills.
Recommended Reading: How to Use Content Mapping to Create Effective Content
4. Utilize Targeting and Personalization (CVS Pharmacy)
Consumers are more likely to respond to marketing messages when they feel that the content speaks directly to them. Create content that directly addresses your target market and uses personalization and hyper-targeting to share offers and messages that are specific for individual customers.
CVS Pharmacy is great at using personalization in their email marketing. They send customers who are signed up for their ExtraCare® rewards programs hyper-targeted emails that include offers and coupons for items that customers have recently purchased and are likely to purchase again.
Recommended Reading: The Importance of Targeting in Marketing (And How to Include It in Your Strategy)
5. Follow Up After a Purchase (Ring)
Remember that your work isn’t over once a consumer buys from you. To bring customers back into the sales funnel, follow up with them when they reach the post-purchase phase. Reconnect with shoppers after their purchase to thank them and offer additional help with getting the most out of your products or services.
Once a customer registers for a Ring security system account, the company sends follow-up emails to welcome customers and share information about how to set up the product and use all of its features.
Recommended Reading: Use This Customer Journey Mapping Template to Identify Marketing Gaps
6. Suggest Related Products (Amazon)
When a customer buys from your brand, you learn about their wants and needs. To boost customer retention, put that information to use. Use the insights to create a list of suggestions for other products the customer may be interested in based on their past shopping activity.
To see this customer retention example first hand, log into an Amazon account. On the welcome page, Amazon provides lists of suggested items and recommendations, driving customers to the products that they are most likely to want, need, and buy.
7. Offer a Great Rewards Program (Starbucks)
One of the most common customer retention examples is rewarding consumers for doing business with a brand. Rewards programs encourage customers to return by giving them discounts, exclusive access, or special offers.
Starbucks has one of the most popular and praised customer rewards programs. Their program helps customers earn free food and drinks, place and pay for their orders, and receive personalized offers.
8. Reward Referrals (Ellevest)
Rewards get customers to return to your brand, but they can also get customers to send new customers to your brand. Create a referral program that rewards customers when they spread the word about your brand and lead family and friends to your business. Make the program even more effective by giving rewards to both the referrer and referee.
To drive new customers to use their financial services and reward existing customers for referring them, Ellevest implemented a program that gives both parties a $50 credit in their account in exchange for a referral.
9. Offer Social Media Customer Service (Southwest Airlines)
It can take just one bad customer service experience to scare away customers. Prioritize customer service and provide a variety of ways for customers to get in touch with you if they have a question or issue. Use social media to offer quick help and assistance for customers who don’t want to wait on hold.
To see this customer retention example in action, look at Southwest Airlines’ Twitter page. Southwest quickly responds to and follows up with customers who have had a negative experience or looking for immediate assistance.
10. Create a Community on Social Media (Aerie Clothing)
Another way to use social media to support customer retention is by creating a social presence that is more like a community than a brand. Customers connect with brands that have a unique perspective and personality. Let that reflect in your social accounts by sharing content that your target audience cares about and that demonstrates how your brand is unique.
The Aerie clothing brand Instagram is a great example of how a brand can use its social media marketing strategy to create a sense of community. The brand uses its content to share stories and messages that empower their audience.
Recommended Reading: How to Use Instagram for Business: A Beginner’s Guide with Examples
11. Ask for Feedback (Expedia)
It’s important to know how customers feel about your brand. That way you understand what is working, what is not, and how you can improve. Whether through surveys or customer interviews, feedback is the best way to get insight into the things that customers like and dislike about your brand.
Expedia uses automation to collect feedback from customers once their trip has ended. Automating the feedback process helps it become a consistent and informative part of your business practices.
12. Thank and Reward Your Most Loyal Customers (LinkedIn)
When customers receive something unexpected or extra from a brand, it surprises and delights them. This can lead to a stronger connection with the brand. One way to accomplish this is to thank and reward your loyal customers by offering specials, add-ons, or surprise gifts or rewards.
To surprise and delight their customers, LinkedIn sends out boxes of goodies to their top users. The unexpected gift creates a lasting connection with the brand (while also encouraging users to share their fun experience on social media, which offers additional brand exposure).
Launch Your Own Customer Retention Strategy
Building a successful business isn’t only about attracting new customers. Retaining customers must also be a substantial part of your marketing strategy. Having a mature customer retention program will help you spend less, build lasting relationships with your customers, and improve customer lifetime value.
Use these customer retention examples to inspire your own retention marketing plans. Alexa’s Advanced plan can help you paint a clear picture of your target audience, understand their interests, and find topics and keywords that will help you stay connected with them. Sign up for a free trial of the Advanced plan today.