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Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom

A frontline retail employee talking to a customer

While gaining new customers is vital to an organisation’s growth, it’s retaining existing customers that can help keep organisations in business. These brand loyal customers will stick with you through the lean times and create powerful data to identify trends and make improvements that will keep organisations relevant as times change.

Another huge benefit of customer retention is that it is much less costly than acquisition. In fact, according a study cited by the Harvard Business Review, Bain & Company found that ‘it costs seven times more to attract new customers than it does to keep them.’ Additionally, the same study showed that by just increasing the customer retention rates by 5 percent, it increases the profits by 25 percent.

Take a look below for some tips on how to take a customer-centric approach and grow your business.

Stay in touch

Photo of two workers collaborating on a Microsoft SurfaceAccording to the Microsoft 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 68 percent of UK customers expect sales representatives to know their contact, product and sales history. This makes customer relationship management systems, such as Dynamics 365, highly important. CRM allows your team to have all the information they need to connect with customers and understand their needs quickly and seamlessly. What’s more, Dynamics learns from every interaction, allowing it to guide staff to optimal outcomes, offer personalised views, and capitalise on opportunities.

Rewards schemes

Any modern retailer knows that a great way to keep customers is to offer a rewards scheme. 77% of Brits are in customer loyalty schemes, and 72% believe they’re a good way to reward customers. But it’s not just for supermarkets, it’s a great idea for any customer-based organisation. After all – those who have these cards are 47% more likely to spend with that brand, whilst four in ten are more likely to recommend that brand to others, showing not only is it a great way to maintain retention but it also offers a nice stream into your acquisition too.

Respond to customers

customer service representative talking on the phone

Microsoft 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report found a direct correlation between superior customer service and brand loyalty. 96% of customers globally agree customer service plays a big role in their choice. Dynamics 365 makes it easy to action conversation and feedback. Other apps, such as Outlook Customer Manager, track our customer relationships right within Outlook.

Connect with customers

Another simple way to deliver what customers want from you is to ask. Gather feedback from social media, email, surveys, contact forms, and person to person. Respond to both negative and positive feedback, touch base to make sure customers remain happy with their experiences, and show you’re truly listening and actioning feedback. It will show you’re paying attention to their needs, care about your customers, and are willing to grow and change in the marketplace. After all, 77% of customers have a more favourable view of brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.

As you develop your retention plan, make sure you keep your employees involved via training and feedback. This way, your team will understand exactly how to execute the plan, be empowered to make quick decisions, and recognise when to escalate issues to the next level. Not only will it allow your staff to resolve problems as they arise, but it will help them deliver a better overall experience for the customer.

Find out more

Managing a growing customer demand

Use data to stay ahead of the competition

Top 5 retail marketing trends