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For most businesses, a primary goal is sustainable growth to increase revenue and ROI. As a result, significant resources go towards new client acquisition strategies. However, converting new leads into buyers requires far more resources than retaining existing clients.
The probability of selling to an existing client is 60-70%, while the chance of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%. This disparity highlights the paramount importance of client retention as a business strategy.Invesp
As a result, significant resources should go towards developing and implementing effective client retention strategies. This article will define client retention, a combination of actions to encourage existing clients to keep coming back. It will also outline four foundational client retention strategies to start rethinking client relationships and systematically improving retention rates. With some focus on fundamentals like customer service, unexpected gifts to show appreciation, consistent communication, and personalization powered by client data, brands can nurture the loyalty that sustains long-term success.
By clarifying why retention matters so critically and introducing core tactics, this piece will spur thinking on how to evaluate current efforts and construct an improved, retention-centric strategy. The rewards for valuing current clients go beyond the initial sale to fuel repeat business and referrals. Now is the time for marketers to embrace a back-to-basics focus on keeping existing buyers happy and engaged for the long run.
What is Client Retention?
Client retention is the combination of actions your company takes to encourage existing clients to keep coming back. In other words, this will boil down to the level of trust and loyalty you build with a client that will deter them from sourcing the products or services from another agency or brand.
Let’s take a look at a few benefits of implementing a successful retention strategy:
Loyalty: Providing your clients with a good experience with your agency or brand is a great way to increase client loyalty. A loyal and happy client will always want to recommend and promote your brand. This is especially important for industries that rely on word-of-mouth marketing, such as digital marketing agencies.
Data: Data collected from new and existing clients can provide insights that companies can use to generate more effective strategies and increase their overall profit. Returning clients will help build a more complete profile with every interaction. This will give you a better understanding of who they are, what products they tend to buy the most, specific patterns to their behaviors, and more. All this data can then be used to help provide a more personalized experience for your clients.
Increase Profits: As briefly mentioned above, you will be more successful convincing a returning client to buy from you again. This type of repeat business consists of a large part of a company’s profits. One study showed that by a client’s fifth purchase they had spent 40% than their original purchase. This means that the more purchases a returning client makes, the more likely they are to spend more money on each interaction.
4 Client Retention Strategies
The retention strategy you pick should directly reflect your business goals. For example, if you are focusing on increasing loyalty, the strategies you pick should revolve around building trust and appreciation between the brand and the client.
Common goals to keep in mind:
- Increase client engagement on social media
- Increase brand awareness
- Encourage clients to complete purchases
- Encourage a sense of community
Now that we have briefly looked into some of the benefits of focusing on client relations let’s go over a few simple strategies that can make all the difference in your business’s success.
1. Customer Service
Providing an incredible client experience drives loyalty and retention. Yet most companies overlook major gaps between their actual versus perceived service quality. By surveying clients and proactively gathering feedback, you can measure satisfaction more accurately while identifying areas to improve.
Make excellence the standard across every team interaction. Consistency builds trust and reinforces value. Coordinate channels and information flows so that service feels personalized yet unified. Clients will reward enduring, positive experiences with increased loyalty over time.
Refine Your Service Approach
Implement more advanced capabilities to exceed expectations:
|Make it effortless for clients to engage wherever convenient by expanding self-service and live support options across web, mobile apps, chat, email, text/SMS, social media, and voice.
|Skill-Based Expert Routing
|Leverage AI to analyze client issues and automatically route cases to the rep best suited to help based on expertise. For more complex requests, have specialized team members provide white-glove service.
|Identify usage changes tied to churn risks allowing outreach to assist and improve experiences before clients contact you.
Continuously Gather and Act on Client Insights
Taking a systematic approach, leverage a mix of proactive feedback channels to understand the full client journey. Connect insights to concrete improvements at scale. Core methods include:
|Send quarterly satisfaction surveys to a sample of clients asking about their overall experience and what drives it. Use data to showcase areas you excel in and identify priority weak points to fix.
|Look at data patterns across communication channels to pinpoint steps that frequently cause clients difficulties or frustration. Redesign those interactions for simplicity.
|Use AI techniques for processing unstructured text data from open survey responses, online reviews, support cases. Identify common themes and issues raised by analyzing exact client sentiments and vocabulary.
|Gather Client Ideas and Input
|Establish ongoing channels for clients to contribute insights and suggestions.
Embed insights gathering and response across the organization. Continuously listening and collaboratively improving will retain more clients through consistently positive, evolving experiences over time.
2. Unexpected Gifts
Surprising clients helps show value beyond transactions, with thoughtful tokens cultivating emotional bonds that retain. Tailor and personalize gifts aligned to behaviors and loyalty tiers. Some ideas:
Spotlight milestones with escalating rewards over the client lifecycle:
- Anniversary Offers – Send a gift card, small memento, or discount off future purchase that month.
- Special Status & Badging – Create program levels like “VIP” or “Insider” to make loyal buyers feel distinguished. Provide associated perks.
- Accelerating Rewards – Increase the size of surprise gifts with each successive year to reflect the growing relationship.
Offer Relevant Incentives
Appeal to specific user needs with discounts towards:
- Frequently purchased items and associated products
- Complementary categories they may like based on purchases
- Items in season or tied to major holidays
Spark organic brand promotion with gifts rewarding referrals and social shares:
- Referral Bonuses – Provide account credits, special coupons, or status upgrades to happy clients who refer friends.
- Social Promotion Perks – Gift small mementos or points to fans who actively promote your content across their social channels.
The more delightful and unexpected the gesture, the greater its impact. What creative ways might you surprise and appreciate loyal clients?
Consistent, value-added outreach sustains awareness while conveying purpose beyond transactions. Segment audiences to deliver tailored content that informs, educates, or entertains based on interests. Some best practices include:
Foster Loyalty Through Nurturing Campaigns
Guide clients through key journeys with relevant touchpoints:
|New User Onboarding
|Accelerate adoption showing how to extract full value from recent purchases
|Reconnect with tips to rediscover benefits of past purchases
|Improve literacy on best practices with how-tos
|User Community Building
|Facilitate peer sharing by segmenting and introducing clients with common use cases
Keep Your Brand Top of Mind
Maintain an active yet unobtrusive presence through:
|Insider Early Access
|Provide previews and VIP entry to new arrivals, events, services etc.
|Retargeted Ad Content
|Remind those who previously visited your site of temporary promotions before they expire
|Print Direct Mail
|Make tactile impressions with complementary partner samples, gifts, or special discount codes
The goal of well-orchestrated communications is an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship – not one-sided selling. Identify listener needs and determine the best mix of channels, formats, and topics to reliably engage each audience with what resonates.
Today’s buyers expect personally tailored experiences reflecting their unique contexts and needs. Harness data to understand historical interactions and predict desired next-best actions in real time.
Leverage Client Data Strategically
Unify transactional records with communication and usage activity into master profiles revealing holistic histories. Maintain rigorous data stewardship to build client trust as the foundation.
Segment Audiences Granularly
Move beyond basic groupings like demographics. Correlate behavioral signals and machine learning clusters to define microsegments receptive to specific messages.
Deliver Relevance Across Channels
Put insights to work guiding every next interaction:
- Web Experiences – Prioritize preferred content and offers based on interests
- Messaging – Reflect buying stage, time since last purchase, seasonal relevance
- Support – Route inquiries according to past issues and product familiarity
- Loyalty & Promotions – Extend tiered offers aligned to value
Make It Effortless
Reduce client effort by anticipating needs proactively:
- Recommendations – Suggest new solutions tailored to usage patterns
- Alerts & Notifications – Prompt users about key milestones specific to them
- Predictive Issue Identification – Detect emerging support needs before clients realize and self-serve
Personalization demonstrates you understand each client as an individual. Segment wisely, listen closely, and act thoughtfully on their behalf.
The Building Blocks for a Successful Retention Strategy
Client retention must become a strategic priority to reduce churn and fuel growth through greater lifetime value. This begins with a mindset shift – pursuing client relationships beyond transactions by continuously earning trust and loyalty.
A roadmap to get started:
👉 Measure and improve customer service with advanced capabilities for convenience alongside rigorous satisfaction tracking to close perception gaps
🎁 Surprise and delight loyal clients with relevant appreciation gifts tailored to behaviors
✉️ Nurture ongoing communications appropriate to audience interests and lifecycle stage
🎯 Personalize proactively with segmentation and predictions to provide effortless, relevant experiences
🤝 Innovate experiences collaboratively by embedding Voice of Clients insights across operations
👥 Foster brand advocacy by cultivating happy client referrals and organic sharing
For additional best practices on elevating client relationships or help planning your retention initiatives, leverage Oviond’s expertise. Our digital analytics and conversion specialists partner with agencies to supercharge agency growth and client satisfaction. Now is the time to future-proof your agency with lasting client bonds!
More on Client Retention for Digital Marketing Agencies
Why is client retention crucial for businesses?
Client retention is vital because it’s more cost-effective to retain existing clients than to acquire new ones. Retaining clients increases profit, as they tend to spend more over time, and boosts brand advocacy through word-of-mouth marketing.
What are some key benefits of a successful client retention strategy?
Benefits include increased client loyalty, valuable data collection for personalized marketing strategies, and higher profits due to the likelihood of repeated purchases by returning clients.
How can customer service contribute to client retention?
Excellent customer service drives loyalty and retention by filling gaps between actual and perceived service quality, ensuring consistent and personalized support across various channels.
What are some advanced customer service strategies to enhance client retention?
Strategies include offering omnichannel support, implementing skill-based expert routing for complex issues, and proactive monitoring to address potential problems before clients notice them.
How can unexpected gifts be used as a client retention strategy?
Unexpected gifts show clients they’re valued beyond transactions, fostering emotional bonds. Personalizing these gifts to align with client behavior and loyalty tiers can significantly boost retention.
What role does effective communication play in retaining clients?
Effective communication keeps the brand top-of-mind, conveys value beyond transactions, and nurtures client relationships through tailored content that informs, educates, or entertains.
Can you give examples of communication strategies that enhance client retention?
Strategies include guiding clients with relevant touchpoints through nurturing campaigns, offering insider access and previews, and using retargeted ads and direct mail to maintain a presence.
How does personalization impact client retention?
Personalization tailors experiences to individual needs and preferences, demonstrating that the brand understands and values each client, which significantly enhances retention.
What are some methods to leverage client data for personalization?
Methods include creating unified client profiles, segmenting audiences granularly, delivering tailored web and messaging experiences, and making proactive efforts to anticipate client needs.
What are the building blocks for a successful client retention strategy?
The building blocks include improving customer service, surprising clients with gifts, nurturing communication, personalizing experiences, embedding client insights across operations, and fostering brand advocacy.
How do the probability percentages of selling to existing clients versus new prospects highlight the importance of client retention?
The higher probability (60-70%) of selling to existing clients compared to new prospects (5-20%) underscores the efficiency and profitability of focusing on client retention strategies.
Why is it important for retention strategies to reflect business goals?
Aligning retention strategies with business goals ensures that the methods used effectively contribute to the overall objectives, such as increasing engagement, brand awareness, or community sense.
How does client retention contribute to a company’s data insights?
Client retention contributes to data insights by providing a comprehensive client profile through repeated interactions, helping brands understand client preferences and behaviors for better personalization.
In what ways can unexpected gifts encourage client loyalty and retention?
Unexpected gifts can trigger positive emotional responses, making clients feel valued and appreciated, thus fostering loyalty and encouraging them to continue choosing the brand over competitors.
How does a focus on personalization in client retention strategies benefit both the client and the brand?
Personalization benefits the client by providing tailored experiences, making interactions more convenient and relevant. For the brand, it leads to higher satisfaction rates, increased loyalty, and potentially more referrals and positive reviews, contributing to a stronger reputation and increased profitability.