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Srinivas Gurram
Srinivas Gurram February 13, 2024

Though it is 2024 or beyond, one concept remains timeless in the business landscape: customer retention. It’s the lifeblood that sustains the company’s growth and prosperity. But what exactly are customer retention strategies, and why does it matter?

Customer retention strategies aren’t just about keeping customers around for the sake of it. It’s the art of turning a one-time buyer into a brand advocate, someone who not only returns but also recommends your business to others.

In this blog, we look into the depths of customer retention, exploring its importance, strategies, and metrics that define success in today’s competitive landscape. 

What is Customer Retention?

Customer retention helps you understand the potential of a business to retain its customers over a specified period. It involves nurturing relationships with customers, ensuring their satisfaction, and encouraging repeat purchases or continued engagement with the brand. Essentially, it’s about building loyalty and trust to keep customers coming back for more.

how to calculate customer retention

Why is Customer Retention Important?

Customer retention is an important factor for businesses that have long-term vision. 

Here are a few reasons why it’s crucial:

  • Revenue Stability: Repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers and will likely try new products or services. This stable revenue stream is vital for long-term sustainability. Almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers.

  • Cost Efficiency: Acquiring a new customer will cost 5 times more than retaining an existing one. A 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by up to 75%. Businesses can optimize their marketing efforts toward retention to improve profitability.

  • Brand Advocacy: Loyal customers are likely to recommend your brand to others, acting as valuable brand advocates and helping to attract new customers through word-of-mouth marketing. Over 80% of loyal customers recommend the brand to their friends, colleagues, and family.

Effective Customer Retention Strategies for 2024

1. Provide Interactive Customer Onboarding

Customer onboarding is one of the essential customer retention strategies in 2024. The onboarding process plays a vital role in retaining customers. It is the first impression customers have of your app or product and sets the tone for their entire experience. 

Customers may abandon your app in this initial stage if your onboarding is complicated or confusing. Out of 8 in 10, customers say they have deleted an app because they didn’t understand how to use it.

How to Implement Effective Customer Onboarding

  • First Impressions Matter: Make the onboarding process smooth, informative, and personalized. A welcome email and a valuable resource like an e-book or a guide can be a great starting point.

  • Guide Customers: Explain features using visual elements like interactive walkthroughs, videos, or tooltips. 97% of customers think video is an effective tool to welcome and educate new customers. Video tutorials or screen tips will help customers understand the initial value of the app.

Asana takes users on a guided tour of its features through interactive walkthroughs integrated directly into the platform. These walkthroughs highlight key functionalities such as creating tasks, setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and collaborating with team members. 

2. Personalize the Customer Experience

Personalization has become an important customer retention strategy for some time now. Increased online business is one of the main reasons customers expect a personalized experience.

According to a study by McKinsey, 71% of customers expect brands to deliver personalized experiences from the moment they start using your app. 60% of customers say they’ll become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience. 

How to personalize your customer experience

  • Understand Your Customers: Segment your customers based on demographics, preferences, and purchase history. Analyze each segment to tailor messaging, offers, and product recommendations.

  • Personalized Campaigns: Leverage data to send targeted emails, push notifications, and offers relevant to their needs and interests. Over 80% of marketers see a positive ROI when they use personalization in their campaigns. 

Netflix leverages algorithms to personalize content recommendations for each user. By analyzing viewing habits, ratings, and genre preferences, Netflix curates a unique selection of TV shows and movies, enhancing user engagement and retention.

Netflix personalization

3. Leverage Push Notifications 

Push notifications have been a staple in mobile app retention strategies for years, but their effectiveness has only increased with advancements in personalization and automation. In 2024, You can leverage push notifications more sophisticatedly to deliver timely, relevant, personalized messages that resonate with users. 

The market size of push notifications is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.81% and is anticipated to reach around USD 31,920 million by 2025.

How to Leverage Push Notifications?

  • Personalized Notifications:  Push notification personalization improves reaction rates – by 400%. Businesses can significantly increase retention rates by delivering personalized content, such as product recommendations, exclusive offers, or reminders tailored to individual user interests.

  • Behavioral Triggers: Trigger-based push notifications help you send messages based on specific user actions or inaction within the app. For example, when customers abandon a shopping cart, you can deliver a trigger-based notification to retain them.

  • Rich Media and Interactivity: With advancements in mobile technology, push notifications now support rich media content, including images, videos, and interactive elements, increasing users’ reaction rates by 25%. In 2024, you can leverage these capabilities to create visually compelling and interactive push notifications to retain customers.

  • Location-based Notifications:  Geolocation-based notifications can be used to send user messages based on location. This is an excellent way for businesses to deliver hyper-target messages, such as nearby deals and event reminders, that are relevant and helpful to users based on real-time or past location data.

Uber sends location-based notifications to customers to retain them for bookings and update them on discounts. These notifications are highly relevant and time-sensitive, helping users stay informed and plan their transportation effectively.

4. Utilize In-App Messages

In-app messages complement push notifications by allowing businesses to communicate with users while actively engaged within the app. In 2024, in-app messages are becoming increasingly sophisticated and integrated into the user experience to enhance retention. 

How to Leverage In-App Messages

  • Onboarding and Tutorials: In-app messages are instrumental in guiding new users through the onboarding process and providing them with interactive tutorials or tips to help them understand the app’s features and functionalities better. By facilitating a smooth onboarding experience, businesses can reduce churn and increase user retention.

  • Product Updates and Announcements: You can use in-app messages to inform users about new product updates, features, or promotions directly within the app. 

  • Surveys and Feedback: In-app messages provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to gather user feedback and insights through surveys or feedback forms. By soliciting user input within the app, companies can use the collected feedback to improve the app experience and drive retention.

The meditation and mindfulness app Headspace uses in-app messages to deliver relevant content, such as mindfulness exercises, meditation tips, and inspirational quotes. These messages not only keep users engaged with the app but also provide valuable support in their mindfulness journey.

Headspace retains customers through in-app messages

5. Create an Omnichannel Experience for Customers

According to Salesforce, 76% of customers expect seamless interactions across various channels—online, mobile, social media, and in-person. Omnichannel experience is a key retention strategy in 2024. Maintain a consistent brand presence across channels and ensure smooth transitions between them to enhance the overall customer experience.

How to Implement Omnichannel Experience

  • Be Where Your Customers Are: Provide seamless support across all platforms – website, mobile app, social media, and live chat. Ensure consistent messaging and quick response times. Businesses that have invested in omnichannel customer experience have seen a 30% growth in customer lifetime value (CLTV). 

  • Omnichannel Marketing Campaigns: Deliver personalized omnichannel marketing campaigns tailored to different platforms and customer segments to retain customers effectively. Integrate your customer data across various channels for a holistic view of each customer’s journey and preferences.

  • Integrated Communication Channels: Integrate all communication channels to enable smooth transitions between them. For example, if a customer starts a conversation on social media, provide them with options to seamlessly continue it via application or website without losing context.

Starbucks’ omnichannel approach encompasses its mobile app, loyalty program, drive-thru locations, and physical stores. Customers can order ahead, pay, and earn rewards through the mobile app while also enjoying a personalized in-store experience that reflects their preferences and past purchases.

Starbucks customer retention in 2024

6. Implement Gamification

With their long-standing influence on human behavior, games hold immense potential to impact our lives. Gamification is an effective strategy to retain customers in 2024 and beyond. Incorporate game-like elements into your app to create a sense of fun, competition, and achievement. It can be done by rewarding customers for completing desired actions, offering loyalty points or badges, or organizing contests and challenges. 

How to Use Gamification

  • Reward Customers: Implement reward programs, points systems, and gamified experiences to incentivize repeat purchases and engagement. In 2023, research indicates that businesses with gamified programs experienced a 22% boost in customer retention.

  • Use of Spin Wheel & Trivia: Integrate spin wheel feature where customers can spin for prizes, discounts, or exclusive offers. Trivia games related to your product or industry within the app. Users can earn rewards or points for correctly answering questions, fostering both entertainment and learning. Trivia games also encourage users to spend more time on your app, increasing retention.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program allows members to spin a virtual wheel on their website or mobile app to win rewards such as discounts, samples, or exclusive products. This gamified experience incentivizes customer retention and promotes brand loyalty.

Sephora uses gamification to boost customer retention in 2024

7. Introduce Loyalty Programs 

Loyalty programs are a classic customer retention strategy that still holds immense value in 2024. By offering incentives, discounts, or exclusive perks to repeat customers, you can encourage customers to continue choosing your brand over competitors. 84% of consumers are more willing to stick with a brand that offers a loyalty program.

How to use Loyalty Programs

  • Define Clear Objectives: Clearly outline the objectives of your loyalty program. Determine what specific behaviors or actions you want to incentivize, such as repeat purchases, referrals, or engagement with your brand.

  • Choose the Right Rewards: Select enticing and meaningful rewards for your target customers. This could include discounts on future purchases, free products or services, and exclusive access to events or content.

  • Simplicity and Transparency: Keep your loyalty program simple and easy to understand. Avoid complex point systems or redemption processes that may confuse customers. Be transparent about how customers can earn and redeem rewards.

Lululemon’s Sweat Collective program rewards fitness instructors and professionals with exclusive discounts and perks. Members receive access to special events, early product releases, and personalized support. The program builds a community of brand advocates who promote Lululemon products to their friends and family.

Lululemon uses a customer loyalty program

8. Ask for Customer Feedback and Act on it

Customer feedback is an undeniable customer retention strategy in 2024. Listening to your customers always helps you improve your product and customer experience. Implement a robust feedback system that allows customers to share their opinions, suggestions, and concerns. Take time to analyze customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and take swift action.

How to Collect Customer Feedback

  • Establish Feedback Channels: Provide multiple avenues for customers to share their feedback, including surveys, opinion polls, feedback forms on your website or app, email inquiries, social media channels, and customer service interactions. Make sure these channels are easily accessible and user-friendly.

  • Incentivize Participation: Encourage customers to provide feedback by offering discounts or loyalty points. This can increase participation rates and provide customers with an additional benefit for sharing their opinions.

  • Listen Actively: Pay close attention to what customers are saying, whether it’s positive feedback, constructive criticism, or suggestions for improvement. Act on the collected data to let your customers know you value their feedback.

Airbnb actively solicits feedback from both hosts and guests through post-stay surveys, ratings, and reviews. The platform uses this feedback to identify areas for improvement, address any issues promptly, and enhance the overall booking experience for users.

Airbnb uses customer feedback to boost retention

9. Track Key Metrics with the help of Analytics

Data analytics is a powerful strategy for customer retention in 2024. Leverage data analytics to track customer behavior and measure the effectiveness of your retention strategies. Use the collected data to identify potential churn risks, personalize marketing campaigns, and optimize the customer experience.

How to Track Key Metrics

  • Data Collection and Integration: Gather data from various sources, including website interactions, mobile app usage, purchase history, and customer feedback. Integrate this data into a centralized system to create a comprehensive view of each customer’s journey.

  • Define Key Metrics: Identify key metrics directly impacting customer retention, such as customer churn rate, customer lifetime value (CLTV), repeat purchase rate, and Net Promoter Score (NPS). These metrics serve as benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of retention strategies.

  • Predictive Analytics: Utilize predictive analytics techniques to forecast future customer behavior and identify potential churn risks. Businesses can proactively intervene to prevent customer attrition by analyzing historical data and patterns.

As one of the world’s largest retailers, Walmart leverages analytics to optimize customer engagement and retention strategies. The company analyzes sales data, customer trends, and market demand to forecast product demand and analyzes customer behavior to maximize profitability. Walmart’s data-driven approach enables it to maintain its competitive edge in the retail sector.

3 Must-track Customer Retention Metrics in 2024

1. Customer Churn Rate

Churn rate is a vital metric that measures the percentage of customers who stopped doing business with a company over a specified period. A high churn rate indicates dissatisfaction or disengagement, highlighting areas for improvement in customer retention efforts.

calculate churn rate

2. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

CLV estimates the total revenue you can expect from a customer throughout their relationship with your company. Understanding CLV helps prioritize resources and tailor retention strategies for high-value customers.

calculate customer lifetime value

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS measures customer loyalty and satisfaction by asking how likely customers are to recommend the company to others. A high NPS signifies a strong base of loyal customers likely to advocate for the brand, contributing to retention efforts.

calculate NPS

How can Upshot.ai help you with Customer retention? 

At this point, you might be wondering, “These strategies sound incredible, but how do I implement them?” That’s where Upshot.ai comes into the picture.

  1. Personalization at Scale: With our intelligent customer segmentation and personalization tools, Upshot.ai enables you to create hyper-personalized experiences. It’s like having a one-on-one conversation with each of your customers, no matter how big your audience is.
  2. User Experience Mastery: Our seamless integration and user-friendly interfaces mean that providing a smooth user experience is no longer a mountainous task. You can design and tweak customer journeys that feel natural, enjoyable, and effortless.
  3. Gamification Unleashed: Looking to turn engagement into a fun game? Upshot.ai’s gamification tools allow you to design engaging challenges, badges, and rewards that keep customers coming back for more.
  4. Omnichannel Communication Hub: Be everywhere your customers are with our robust omnichannel communication platform. Keep the conversation flowing seamlessly across platforms, ensuring a consistent and engaging brand voice.
  5. Onboarding Brilliance: From the first hello to the successful conversion, Upshot.ai’s onboarding tools guide your users through the process with ease and style, all while keeping it personalized and engaging.
  6. Rewards & Incentives Reinvented: Tailor-made reward systems, easy-to-implement referral programs, and incentives that resonate with your brand – Upshot.ai’s reward and loyalty tools has it all covered.
  7. Analytics and Insights: Monitor, analyze, and adapt with real-time analytics and insights. Understand what wows your customers and continuously evolve your strategies with Upshot.ai’s powerful analytical tools.

Upshot.ai isn’t just a platform; it’s a partner in your quest to redefine the customer experience. With our comprehensive suite of tools, seasoned expertise, and customer-first approach, we stand with you in your mission to boost your customer retention in 2024 and beyond.

Ready to take the plunge? Let’s turn the ordinary into the extraordinary together. Book a demo, and let’s get started! 🚀

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Retention

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