Instead of thinking about all the ways you can reduce your churn rate, flip the narrative.
“Focus on retention. Sure, it’s part of the same journey—poor retention equals higher churn. For me, it’s the mentality: do you see the glass half full (keeping customers) or half empty (reducing the number who leave),” said Kiersten Hanly, COO and President of skincare brand Scrub Inspired.
Why should you be focused on retention? According to SEMRush…
- Companies lose on average 20-30% of their customers each year from a lack of loyalty. 🤯
- Your existing customers are 31% more likely to have a higher AOV. 🤑
- Only 18% of businesses make customer retention a priority, and this is your chance to be one of them! 😉
Here are a few trends in 2022 that will impact your retention rate.
💬 Brands will spend more time talking to customers
No more guessing what your customers want and care about.
You have to talk to your audience frequently to know if you’re:
- Marketing to them in the best way
- Innovating the right products
- Offering the best shopping experience
Not every conversation has to be a virtual call.
DTC brands we love use every available channel to have “real talk” with customers. This means email, Instagram DM’s, TikTok comments, and more. Huron, the men’s hygiene brand, took it a step further and created a Slack group for their best customers so they always have a sounding board when they need one. 👂
“If you have a business that’s seen a lot of growth, ask yourself when the last time you spoke to a customer was. With our world adapting so heavily to digital communication, the community is more important than ever. If you can create that with your customers and actually listen, I believe loyalty comes naturally,” said Kiersten.
👩🏫 Deeper customer education will help brands stand apart
In a world where there are so many competitors in every niche, customers aren’t sure who to trust. 👀
So it’s key to make sure customers know why your products are worthwhile and educate them on usage to see the best results.
According to Kiersten, education and trust are tied together.
“So much of what we do is about awareness in skincare; do people know what they’re putting on their skin? Do they understand what they’re made of and how they’re made sustainably? To do that effectively, we have to keep trust with our customers high,” she said.
This year, more brands should invest in blog content, educational email flows, and more education on social media (instead of just the standard salesy content).
🏆 Customer experience becomes a priority (finally)
Historically, customer service has been outsourced with cheap budgets, or companies hire small teams and expect them to manage hundreds of customer service tickets in a short time period.
It’s never been prioritized—until recently.
“Let’s be real, shit happens. Things can break, something doesn't get delivered on time—regardless of what happens, as a brand owner, I always put my customers first. Even if they’re disappointed at the time of the first email they send, by the end of the process I’m ensuring there’s a smile on their face,” said Jessica Fried, Founder of the affordable jewelry brand Dainty Diamond.
Now, founders are noticing the impact CS has on their retention when they can put time into helping customers and go above and beyond with their shopping experience.
There’s a reason 86% of buyers will pay for a better customer experience (SmartKarrot).
“I’ve noticed a direct correlation between those I’ve dealt with for customer service reasons who have purchased more than once or made a point to influence their friends and family to purchase because of our customer service,” explained Jessica.
🪞 Customers will expect more personalization
Jessica believes a big driver of customer retention comes from building relationships with customers and ensuring they’re well taken care of.
Because of this, she’s spending more time segmenting customers based on information like purchase history to send special deals, educational blog content, tips and tricks, and more.
This kind of personalization is a must for brands today, and it’s something Kiersten is spending more time with as well this year:
“Really effective email marketing is something we want to step up this year for Scrub Inspired. If an email is timed properly and addresses me as an existing customer—rather than something generic, which includes 10% off my first order (oh great, glad I made my first order last week!)—then I’m more likely to engage.”
🤑 Founders will invest in adding trust builders across their eCom site
It’s clear that 2022 is the year of trust. But everyone knows trust is earned, not given.
That’s why, this year, there will be a bigger focus on adding trust builders across various pages on eCommerce websites.
To build trust with audiences, brands need to:
- Add more reviews and UGC to PDPs and emails ✅
- Share the brand’s benefits (e.g., excellent customer service) ✅
- Share product benefits ✅
- Explain the story and mission behind the brand ✅
- Prove that you have good customer service by making it easy to contact the brand ✅
“When customers shop online, they have to trust the brand they’re purchasing from (especially if that brand doesn’t have a brick and mortar store). So, you have to make sure your product quality and price are reasonable and always take care of your customers,” said Jessica.
To summarize, if you want to stay ahead of the curve on retention this year it’s time to prioritize your customers. Talk to them, educate them, understand them, and make an effort to personalize your comms.
How are you showing your customers you hear them this year? Reply to this email and let us know! 👂