BlogProving Customer Experience’s Business Value: Customer Retention

Proving Customer Experience’s Business Value: Customer Retention

By Eric Smuda, CX Distinguished Practitioner in XI Strategy and Enablement

A brand hasn’t won the battle once it’s acquired new customers. Far from it. Once a company has convinced a customer to buy with it, that brand needs to continually meet or exceed customer expectations (while striving to further develop that relationship) if it hopes for repeat business. 

This, of course, is the science of customer retention, and it can be challenging during the best of times—not to mention times of crisis. Fortunately, customer experience (CX) programs can help. Here’s how brands can use customer experience to retain customers and prove the effectiveness at doing so:

Taking Care of Business

CX programs enable brands to listen for what customers want. Companies can use CX listening tools to identify and react to the trends that might entice new customers, but they can also utilize this same suite of functions to listen to what their current customers are saying.

Of course, customer retention isn’t about trend-chasing. It’s also about building long-term relationships, closing the loop, and harnessing the power of service recovery. 70 percent of customers for whom companies satisfactorily address a problem will stay with that brand, so it’s well worth organizations’ time to invest in retaining those individuals.

Retention in Action

The Coffee Club, Australia’s largest homegrown coffee chain, was able to leverage customer experience to both retain customers and improve the artisanal experience it provides across hundreds of locations.

TCC was able to identify several customer pain points using an experience intelligence platform. When customers were dissatisfied with the brand of eco-friendly paper straws the company was using, TCC was able to process that feedback and make corrections quickly.

Armed with richer data, the brand made insight-driven menu updates and identified more than 30 at-risk customers each month, resulting in greater customer retention.

Clean-Burning CX

There’s another piece to the CX-driven customer retention equation: creating more effective internal processes. After companies collect insights from current customers via these tools, it’s important to craft initiatives that can actually make something of all that feedback. 

The benefits here are many—internal processes can become more streamlined, weak points in customer journeys can be fixed, and customers will be left impressed by the brand’s dedication to resolving their problems. The number-one reason customers leave brands is because they feel unappreciated—taking action on their feedback is a great way to show that companies do, in fact, appreciate them.

The True Benefit of Retention

The number of stats out there about how much cheaper retaining customers is than acquiring new ones is staggering. Closing the loop and retaining customers is important, but it’s also much cheaper than focusing solely on attracting new business. 

Companies can take retention even further by both constantly addressing customer issues and working to improve what draws those brands back to begin with. Businesses that use CX tools to close the inner and outer loops (fixing individual customers’ issues while also redesigning a larger, customer-facing process, respectively), will retain far more customers than firms that can’t be bothered to tackle either challenge. CX practitioners can then point to improved retention, NPS, or a host of other factors to prove their customer retention effort’s ROI.

Want to learn about other economic pillars that can support a successful CX program (and business)? Check out our new infographic “The Four Pillars of CX ROI,” or read more from Eric in his article on business value here!

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