Ways to Improve Customer Retention With Automation

2022.08.14 05:00 PM By Joshua Taddeo, Principal Consultant

Business growth and flourishing depend on customer loyalty. Maintaining customers is more efficient and simpler than acquiring new ones. You should be vigilant in solving your customers' pain points as a business. You are more likely to generate brand loyalty if your customers are satisfied with your products, services, and customer care. A new business's churn rate is like cancer that plays a major role in its doom.

Engagement and retention of customers are worth every penny. Besides being cheaper than acquiring new customers, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) also make most of their sales to this loyal audience. The process could become overwhelming and challenging with expansion and growth. More customers mean more questions and concerns. 

Furthermore, according to market standards, people want their questions answered immediately. Customers have more options for one product or service due to digitalization. In such a competitive environment, you don't want to lag behind your competitors. Hence, customer retention automation could improve your brand's customer journey and create a better user experience.

Why Customer Retention is Important

Retaining customers is more valuable than acquiring new ones. In many ways, customer retention is easier and cheaper than customer acquisition. 

Using customer retention automation, you converse with your existing customers regularly without having to do any manual work. Automated tools are available to trigger a call-to-action or email your audience regularly. Your customers can be remarketed and re-engaged once you understand their journey and mapping. If you value your customers and put them in the mainstream, then there is a tremendous prospect for you to generate brand loyalty. Your brand's success depends on brand loyalty. By automating customer retention, you will also improve customer service, which could be your brand's differentiator.

Best Automated Customer Retention Strategies

Providing good customer service or selling a quality product is only half the equation when it comes to customer retention. Building a meaningful relationship with customers is also important for gaining their trust. In the modern world of cutthroat marketing, this requires a lot of effort. If you want to stand out from your competitors, you must be outstanding and consistent. Retention efforts must be meaningful and personalized. Automating your customer retention strategy is one way to maximize it. 

Automation ensures consistency and personalization. Building and maintaining customer relationships requires these ingredients. These are the best-automated customer retention strategies you will find useful.

Send Cross-Sell and Upsell Campaigns

Upselling and cross-selling can be automated based on existing customers' purchases and interests. Targeted upsell and cross-sell campaigns encourage your customers to buy additional products or upgrade their membership - and help you generate more revenue. How does cross-selling differ from upselling? 

  • An existing customer is cross-sold additional products after they've made a purchase. When a customer buys a pair of shoes, you send them an email showing a matching purse.
  • An upsell is the sale of add-ons, more expensive items, and upgrades. Upselling aims to increase a customer's spending. When a customer buys a pair of shoes, they are shown add-on products like shoe care kits or colorful shoelace accessories.

Repeat business can be generated through cross-selling and upsell email campaigns. Cross-sell and upsell campaigns that are most successful use personalization to show shoppers the products they are most likely to buy. Track your customers' interactions with your site and products using automation, and segment them accordingly. You can use customer purchase and product interest data in your cross-sell and upsell campaigns if you sell on an eCommerce platform. You can use dynamic content to send each customer exactly what they want - a product, upgrade, or feature they can't live without.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Product and service designs can be improved with customer feedback. It is impossible for a company to improve its offerings if it does not know how its customers feel. You can get that information from your customers through emails. Tracking emails allows companies to know who opened them. By using email, companies can get immediate feedback, allowing them to create easy processes for resolving problems. Automating emails makes it quick, easy, and feasible. Companies need customer feedback to improve their products and services.

Win Back Lapsed Customers

You send win-back emails to customers who haven't engaged with your content or purchased from you in a while. Re-engagement campaigns are designed to get your contacts to interact with your email content and buy from your online store again. If you use engagement and purchase tracking, you can trigger win-back email automation when a customer reaches a certain point of disengagement - like six months since their last purchase or three months since they clicked through one of your emails. 

An example of how to schedule a win-back email campaign:

  1. Send your first email about three months after your last interaction with your customer. Keep track of how they respond to the email. Are they likely to open the email, click the link, or (hopefully) make a purchase?
  2. Send follow-up emails in a drip campaign that's spread equally between your first and last email - usually every 1-2 months.
  3. When inactive customers have historically become completely disengaged, send your last email. You have six months from your first email to win them back if they have been inactive for nine months. Remove them from your email list once they pass the cut-off point.

If you want to win back your lapsed customers, consider the following:

  1. Choose which email lists your customers want to be a part of
  2. Don't ask them to buy from you again until you've warmed them up. You can send them content such as: value adds, updates, and newsletters.

Be concise. It's great for existing, engaged customers but not so much for previous customers. Get feedback from others. If they've just decided to switch companies, you can still bring them back - but only if you talk to them. A feedback request can be critical: If they respond, they may still interested and just need additional support.

Personalized Loyalty Rewards

It is a great idea to reward these top customers with loyalty programs. Additionally, they are excellent for acquiring and retaining customers. You might find it difficult and time-consuming to build a loyalty program from scratch. Using automation, you can set up a loyalty program that tracks your customers' engagement and purchase behavior and rewards them accordingly. 

An automated or tiered loyalty program can even be built using contact scoring and automation. Depending on the level of membership, a tiered loyalty program offers customers different benefits and perks. The number of purchases or amounts spent by a customer determines levels (aka tiers). Rewards are more valuable (and exclusive) at higher tiers. To reach the next tier, loyalty program members need to pass a measurable milestone, like dollars spent or purchases made. You can segment loyalty program tiers based on customers' point-based scores - and send the right rewards to the right customers - with automation and lead scoring.

Collect Feedback

One of the most important customer service strategies is collecting feedback. If you don't know what your customers want, your marketing efforts may be a total waste of resources. Your strategies are designed around the needs of your customers by taking feedback from them and analyzing their data. Converting them into loyal customers and even winning new ones is crucial. 

Automation of customer feedback collection across various communication channels and contact points can benefit your business greatly. Your customers will be more engaged with your brand if you automate their feedback. Additionally, you will be able to modify and optimize your business model to suit the needs of your customer base.

Automate Follow-Ups

Making customers feel important is a great way to keep them loyal. A customer may receive a "thank you" email after purchasing a product from you, along with a request for feedback. You're likely to make them feel more satisfied and impressed with your service. Your follow-up service might make an impression even if your initial service did not. 

In addition, automated follow-ups can be set up to contact customers again after a specified period of time. Keeping your business in their minds will ensure they patronize you again when the need arises. Shopping cart reminders can also be used to close purchases that would otherwise remain uncompleted.

Chatbots to Automate Conversations

Customer queries and basic questions can be answered by chatbots as communication tools. Automating communication with your customers is one of the most important ways to maintain a relationship. Chatbots can be the first point of contact between you and your customers, ensuring that they always receive a response. This helps your customer retention strategy by providing valuable and quick responses to any issues your customer might have during this crucial testing period.

The use of AI chatbots takes this to the next level. There's more to them than a curated list of frequently asked questions or automated responses. Using machine learning algorithms and natural language processing, advanced chatbots like Ideta understand conversations in context. As a result, they are able to respond as accurately as possible. You can add a layer of personalization to automated conversations that your customers will appreciate.

And what's more? A conversational marketing bot can be programmed to gather the information that will help you better understand your customers. Using the chatbot, you can collect valuable data points from user queries and analyze them to discover marketing patterns. Your customer's first contact with your company occurs during the onboarding process. Customers may be more likely to return for another purchase if this stage of the customer journey is seamless. In order to provide the best customer onboarding experience, the process should be completed as quickly as possible. In addition, it should deliver as much value as possible within a short period of time. You can automate these processes while also reducing the amount of manual work your marketing team has to do.

‍‍Wrapping It Up

Retaining customers is an essential part of running a business. In order to grow your business, you need to keep your existing customers while acquiring new ones. As a result, automation can play a crucial role. Customers often wait until a big promotion or marketing campaign is planned before they return to a business. The simple automated marketing effort will have a greater impact.

However, by using advanced AI chatbots, automated reward systems, and feedback channels, you can significantly improve customer relations. Automation can benefit your customer retention efforts if you're already utilizing it in other aspects of your business. The automation process relieves you of administrative and recurring tasks. That way, you can maintain a high-level customer experience that keeps your customers coming back—and have more time to grow your business.

If you need help implementing an automated customer retention process for your business, Universal Creative Solutions can help. We'll help implement systems to grow brand loyalty and improve customer lifetime value. Schedule a consultation with us today!