We all know it’s easier to hold on to your existing customers (and get them to spend more) than it is to attract new customers to your business – so what are the best customer retention strategies for keeping customers happy and stopping the churn?

1. Measure customer lifetime value

Who are your most important customers, and what are you doing to keep them happy? Calculating Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) helps you recognize different customer types – those that spend the most, the most often; those who could be encouraged to spend more; and those who need encouragement to keep on being customers.

Understanding these different personas helps you improve how you target your marketing and take a step towards personalizing publicity. It also lets you identify and then treat your most valuable customers as VIPs.

Offer them a preferential service, deeper discounts and access to better promotions. This in turn helps you promote your company and attract new customers as well as keeping existing customers happy. Your most engaged customers are the ones most likely to advocate for your brand, spreading the word on social media and recommending you directly to their immediate friends and family.

2. Identify churn, then stop it before it happens

Measuring and understanding customer churn rates is hugely valuable; however, it’s only truly effective if you have a full view of your customers. With access to data relating to demographics, preferences, order history, channel use and contact center transcripts you can identify customers who have churned and the reasons for churning – poor customer experience (CX), a sub-par product or the terms of a contract or particular service.

With this information at hand you can take the necessary steps towards your customer retention strategy and improve the elements of the business which are falling short. Furthermore, with a big enough dataset and access to predictive analytics, you’ll be able to take things one step further and be able to identify, in real time, when a customer is about to churn, enabling you to take proactive steps to stop that person from leaving.

3. Map your customer journeys

Knowing where you’re in sync with your customers and where you’re alienating them will help you understand which CX elements are working and where more investment is needed.

Customer journey maps let you see every interaction you’re having with your customers across every channel and at each point along the sales funnel from discovery to advocacy. They also let you assess the areas of your business that sit behind those interactions — where you’re able to see if those departments are operating for the customer and therefore making their experience better, or are operating for the business instead.

Mapping the customer journey helps you remove pain points, reduce friction and identify opportunities for targeted communication.

4. Make it personal

A golden rule of all customer retention strategies is that It’s cheaper and easier to market to your existing customers than to potential customers – they already know you and have bought into your brand. But by taking things further, using data to treat your customers as an “audience of one,” you’ll boost engagement and retention rates across all channels.

Understanding who and where your customers are makes it simple to build personal campaigns that have offers or promotions they’ll respond to and that are delivered via the channel they prefer.

5. Measure customer effort

On a scale of very easy to very difficult, how easy is it for customers to engage with your business? If you don’t know the answer, how can you take the steps necessary to improve products, services and CX to ensure that customers aren’t being forced to exert huge amounts of effort to resolve even simple issues?

The more effort a customer uses to find information, to make a purchase, to talk to an advisor or get the answers they need, the less loyal they are to your company. By using Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys you can find out how you measure up on each stage of the customer journey. Organizations with a high CES score have lower churn rates, higher advocacy and a lower cost to serve.

From customer retention strategies and customer journey mapping to data analysis and predictive insights, Sitel Group has over 30 years’ experience in helping brands discover more about and get closer to their customers through delivering differentiated CX.


Sitel Group