To ensure its long term growth, a business not only has to attract new customers – which is likely to help make profits in the short-term, but also needs to adopt strategies that ensure that customers’ loyalty is retained. A study by KPMG showed that customer retention was the most significant driver for revenue growth.

Online communication tools continue to be a game changer, playing a critical role in all aspects of business, with significant implications for customer retention. A Forester survey revealed that 42% of service agents were not able to resolve customer issues due to problems with old and disconnected systems; and unfortunately, 45% of American consumers were known to abandon a transaction if their questions or queries were not resolved quickly. When used and managed effectively, technological tools and software enable businesses to offer various services and experiences to satisfy their customers and ensure they remain loyal; and they in turn will help the businesses to achieve growth and other objectives.

Live customer engagement and support platforms

With customers increasingly doing business online and on mobile sites, businesses should not merely have online platforms but should optimize them for fast and user-friendly use on mobile devices. A CRM Magazine showed that 45% of businesses that provided online or mobile platforms reported an increase in site visits, increasing the likelihood of revenue generation. However, 83% of customers need some support when making online purchases, according to eConsultancy. It is therefore critical to customer acquisition and retention that immediate support is provided to online customers. Live chat is known to have the highest satisfaction level among customers, and can offer great opportunities for businesses to engage customers and to address their customers’ needs. This is likely to remain true as younger populations continue to shop online. A Narvar study found that live chat is the number one channel used by one in three millennials who need customer support.

Data Analytics and Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are also a good way for businesses to retain their existing customers and increase their revenues. This is because it’s much easier to sell to loyal customers- according to a survey by Marketing Metrics, it’s 50% easier to do so than to sell to new customers. In addition to enabling a live support environment for engaging with customers, online interactive tools and platforms can also provide behavioral data that supports customer retention strategies. By offering customers online and mobile capabilities for browsing, purchases, payments, live chats, customer queries and other business services, companies can now gather data and insights, and gain critical intelligence on customer preferences and behaviors. Having analysed the data and gained such insights, businesses can create targeted loyalty programs, offering loyal customers with discounts and offers, coupons, VIP treatment, free products, and other rewards based on their preferences.

Modern and emerging technologies are providing businesses with many opportunities to improve customer retention rates. They are enabling fast and effective interactions between business employees and their customers, and providing critical customer data and insights, thereby offering opportunities to retain their loyal customers, and supporting both short-term and long-term business growth.

 

-This post was written by Jennifer Dawson.