Boost Loyalty & Retention Using Customer Communities
Is your marketing directed towards acquisition over retention, or do you have an equal focus on both? In either case, you’re in the majority.
According to Econsultancy/Responsys, only 16% of companies reported being more focused on keeping existing customers as opposed to getting new ones. But just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t make it the ideal strategy. The fact is that retaining existing customers helps you reduce costs and realize faster ROI. Check out these stats:
- Acquiring a new customer is 6-7 times more costly than keeping an existing one, reports Bain & Company.
- According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%; whereas the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.
- In some industries, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profit by more than 25%.
So how do you intensify your focus on building loyal customer relationships? Start by placing your website at the center of your digital strategy. One of the strongest ways to improve customer satisfaction and retention is to build and nurture an online customer community. By transforming your website into a social destination where you host the conversation, you’ll reap the rewards of deeper relationships, resulting in increased sales, reduction in customer service costs, and accelerated innovation.
Ready to shift your focus to retention with a customer community? Here are 10 features of thriving communities to include and 10 common mistakes to avoid.
Top 10 Features of a Successful Customer Community
- Create a venue where brand enthusiasts can connect with each other and product experts on discussions forums.
- Provide webinars that offer customers another way to learn about and experience your company’s products.
- Use gamification as a way to reward and celebrate your customers.
- Crowdsource innovation by inviting ideas, opinions, and feedback on your next generation of products.
- Enlist your superfans to increase sales conversion rates and reduce calls to your contact center by answering questions from peers.
- Encourage users to share their experiences through attention-grabbing photos and videos.
- Increase engagement with your customers by running social video, photo, or story contests.
- Measure the impact of your community with simple survey questions.
- Allow your customers to help keep your knowledge base organized and current.
- Engage customers through compelling content, either from your brand, top experts, or users.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%; whereas the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.
Top 10 Practices that Could Cause Your Customer Community to Fail
- Running your customer community as a pilot project instead of broadly promoting.
- Using it primarily as an acquisition tool.
- Making users register to see the community. People are unlikely to register for something if they can't see what it is.
- Keeping it under the radar for the first few months.
- Not putting a priority on who will be your administrator/community manager before you select a technology.
- Thinking networking is the primary reason people are going to use the community.
- Starting with such a broad structure that, no matter how much activity you generate, the community will always feel abandoned.
- Making people pay to participate.
- Making to your conversations marketing-centric, not customer-centric.
- Targeting too small of an audience.