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In 2021, COVID-19 has destroyed customers’ willingness to try out new products or spend money on luxury items or non-essentials. With so much uncertainty worldwide, customers are still avoiding visiting stores. Social distancing and restrictions have changed consumer behavior, impacting the holiday season 2021.
In this post, we will talk about the importance of customer retention and 7 ways to retain customers during COVID-19 for the holiday season 2021.
Let’s get started!
Why Customer Retention Is So Important During the COVID-19 Pandemic and in the Future
With all the uncertainty and economic state, more and more brick and mortar stores are going digital, and eCommerce is becoming a houseful battleground of customers and competition. In this competition, acquiring new customers is hard. Plus, with fewer walk-in customers this year, it’s getting more intense.
However, this doesn’t mean you stop hunting for new customers. The point is that you can get more revenue during the holiday season 2021 by nurturing existing customers with effective communication and active promotions. According to Retention Science, investing 5% in customer retention could boost your sales by 25-95%, and existing customers spend 67% more than new customers.
Here are the top benefits of customer retention:
- It’s easier to convince existing customers to buy your products or service
- Customer retention increases sales and revenue
- Requires lower marketing cost
- Motivates staff for the efforts and work
- Dealing with returning customers motivates employees, especially salespeople
- The chances of cross-selling or upselling increases
- Recurring customers provide better feedback
- Customer retention builds brand loyalty and reputation
- Loyal customers are willing to pay more and buy more
While most companies understand the importance of customer retention, they don’t know how to retain customers during the COVID-19 pandemic for the holiday season 2021.
Here are 10 ways to retain customers during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Create a Win-Back Campaign Strategy
Your new customer acquisition efforts have little value if the customer doesn’t return, even if they spent thousands of dollars the first time. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s a fact. This year has been blighted by COVID-19, and despite the digital surge in eCommerce stores, most retailers can’t retain customers due to a lack of willingness.
Since these customers have purchased from you before, convincing them to make more purchases becomes easier. Create a win-back strategy by using customer data like name, email, number, social media account, etc. Send them an email, bribe them with incentives, or simply ask for feedback. The idea is to trigger a response by letting them know you still exist.
2. Improve Customer Experience
Customers are humans, not targets, and that’s how they expect businesses to treat them even more so during COVID-19. The biggest benefit of improving customer experience is gaining trust and loyalty, which brings customers back for more. To revamp your customer experience, you should:
• Improve the quality of your staff, i.e., hire sales experts or offer customer service training to your staff
• Give personalized product recommendations using customer data
• Engage with exclusive customer regularly during the holiday season 2020
• Optimize your website with smoother navigation, video reviews, Chatbots, and updated information
3. Personalized Customer Engagement
Marketers are now using an omnichannel approach to engage with customers. Gone are the days when calls and emails were the only ways to reach customers. Now, we’ve got social media, SMS marketing, instant messaging, and video conferencing as well. No matter which channel you use, try to avoid generic engagement. Nobody likes “dear customer” anymore.
4. Offer Coupons, Discounts, and Rewards
With the pandemic looming, customers either have little to spend or are afraid to spend until everything returns to normal. This is an ideal time to go all-out on holiday season 2020 offers, coupons, and loyalty discounts. You can:
• Offer free delivery or shipping to first-time customers.
• Offer region or branch-based coupons if you’re running a brick-and-mortar store.
• Reward your customers for adding positive reviews on your social media platforms.
• Offer exclusive deals to customers who lost their jobs or live on a low income due to COVID-19.
5. Try Contacting Customers Through Calls
Emails and text campaigns are great. However, you can connect with them more through phone calls. Call inactive customers, solve their problems, and ask for feedback. During the call, bring them up-to-date with your business and offerings. However, don’t annoy customers by calling continuously.
If you have customers who shopped from you during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, call them first since they made more recent purchases.
6. Create Urgency for Your Products and Services
One of the best ways to increase customer retention and boost holiday sales is by creating urgency. By telling customers your products are scarce, you’re triggering faster responses and purchase decisions. This also builds brand awareness. You can create scarcity through emails, social ads, TV advertising, or limited-time campaigns.
7. Create a Customer Loyalty Program and Ask for Referrals
If you’re wondering how customer loyalty programs will do your business any good during COVID-19, consider these two statistics – 70% of consumers recommend brands with the best loyalty schemes, and 77% of consumers said that loyalty programs are the reason they stay with brands.
Secondly, referral marketing is an effective strategy to help you kill two birds with one stone. By offering existing customers an incentive for bringing others onboard your business, you can score two sales in one go. Think of it this way – potential customers are more likely to trust their friends and colleagues than marketers, so connecting new audiences through your existing one is a sound strategy.
Happy Holiday Season 2021
With 2021 just around the corner, we at Percento Technologies would like to wish businesses and customers a happy holiday season 2021. While it’s been a difficult year for most industries, the show must go on – generating new leads, converting them into sales, and then retargeting them to purchase again.
No matter how bad the pandemic has hit your business, try to make it a jolly season for your customers so they come back for more.