Don’t forget about the customers you already have. Companies should be reciting this mantra regularly. The process of attracting repeat customers and keeping them from switching to a competitor is the basis of customer retention. Because retaining an existing customer costs 5-25X less than acquiring a new customer, offering better service and more benefits than your competitors can help you maintain your existing customer base and increase loyalty. With an average of 68% of sales coming from existing customers, the retention of existing customers is a vital strategy for any company.
This is especially pertinent as a new, young generation enters the customer market. For businesses, this means changing strategies to not only attract younger consumers but keep them around for a long time. Young consumers currently represent 40 percent of global consumers, specifically Gen Z, which characterizes anyone born in 1997 or later. Gen Z are digital natives, as they have grown up with easy access to technology at their fingertips and are particularly interested in making genuine connections with businesses through personalization and building community.
Though they have their place, traditional marketing strategies of the past will not always apply when looking to younger shoppers. So, how will you retain customers of the next generation?
Obtain Customer Feedback
Trying to determine how your customers feel about your business in order to improve it according to their needs? Try collecting customer feedback through a survey or a focus group. These will help you identify trends in customer behavior to help enhance user experience. Be sure to share relevant analytics with departments within your business to effectively address any criticism that is revealed.
Even if you're not receiving regular feedback from your customers, you should remain in close contact with them. A proactive approach to customer service helps customers to avoid problems before they occur. The use of newsletters, special offers, and knowledge bases that serve as self-service options for customers are also effective in retaining customers. This also includes maintaining open lines of communication regarding shipping updates and order tracking, inventory changes, and even customer service issues like apologizing for any mistakes that have been made.
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With customer retention, you must pay attention to the wants and needs of your intended market and how they interact with marketing channels. Brands that have content readily available, make it easy for technology-comfortable Gen Zers to interact with your brand. Most consumers, but younger ones, in particular, rely on their phones to make purchases, and with the rise of social commerce, this means social media is more important than ever. Remember, each social media site has a purpose of use, and businesses must establish their presence with the correct understanding of each site. For example, Instagram is all about sharing the potential and aspirational self, while Twitter is for news and the latest events. Most importantly, Gen Z has turned its attention to videos. On average, Gen Z watches 68 videos a day. Videos can be repurposed on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram and even further on your website and email marketing campaigns with additional video visuals. The convenience of technology and social media has driven e-commerce, and it is important that you use technology to your advantage.
Influencers are nothing new to the marketing world. In fact, the influencer marketing industry is projected to reach $16.4B in 2022. Influencers are considered to be more relatable than celebrities nowadays and compared to Millennials, Gen Z is almost twice as likely to make a purchase based on a recommendation from an influencer. However, brand authenticity is also trending among young consumers, meaning peers and micro-influencers (those with 1000-100k followers) are particularly influential. Not only are micro-influencers more cost-effective than their macro counterparts, they usually result in higher engagement and ROI.
Focus on Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is a huge interest of Gen Z. Authentic sustainability and environmental efforts from brands is a great way to connect with young consumers. If a brand aligns with these values, young consumers are more likely to align with the brand. 63% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to buy from a company that contributes to a social cause. Be authentic with your values and align them with your brand missions.
Gen Z wants to build relationships with brands directly, and customers, regardless of age, want the businesses they buy from to be reliable. Don't be afraid to pivot to match consumer needs. Customer retention will serve your business’ success in the long run. Are you prepared to adapt to young consumers entering the market?