How to fix the kinks in your customer retention strategy

If your customer retention strategy has more kinks than a twisty super tube, you could be losing business. Let me explain. As a Capetonian growing up in South Africa, I spent many summers at the beach. Eating ice cream, catching some rays and flying down the super tube at breakneck speed.

But this super tube had a challenge: two extremely tight turns. This meant that when the super tubers (I made that up) were going down at a rapid pace, there was a strong possibility that they could fly over the edge. This kind of ruined the experience because sliding down the super tube is all about speed. This got me thinking about customer retention and where it goes wrong.

What is customer retention?

Customer retention strategies are the processes and initiatives businesses put in place to build customer loyalty and improve customer lifetime value. Customer retention is different from customer acquisition or lead generation. When customers continue to buy from you after their initial introduction to your business, your customer retention strategy is working.

Why customer retention goes wrong

Let’s go back to my super tube example. There was a start, where I paid for the experience, and an end, where I left the park to go home. Or in my case, to go surfing. Now think of this as your value chain, all the processes you put in place to deliver value to your customers.

If you have a few kinks in your value chain, much like the ridiculously tight bends in the super tube, the customer experience can be unpleasant. And there is a strong likelihood that they won’t stick around. Here are a few examples of kinks in a value chain:

  • Poor onboarding experience

Don’t assume customers know how to get the most out of your product. A clear guide on how to it should form part of the onboarding experience.

  • Untrained staff

Customers want consistency throughout the value chain – from the product you sell to the service you deliver. Your team plays a key role in meeting their expectations.

  • No communication

Whether the lack of communication is internal or external, your customers will pay the price.

How to fix it

The first thing to do is take a step back and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Be objective. All too often, businesses assume customers know how to get value out of their product or service. Businesses also assume that if customers don’t know how to use the product, they will use their precious time to find out. Look at your value chain through your customer’s eyes and you will see the kinks straightaway.

Ask yourself this: What do I want to experience when I’m first introduced to the business? And does this line up with my experience at the end of the value chain? When moving through the value chain, look out for anything that could be considered time consuming or annoying.

See where you can add more value. Get to know your customers by asking for and listening to their feedback. Identify what is important to them and fulfil this need.

And finally, make sure your product solves a problem. And then make sure your customers know how your product can help them.

How we help

In my experience, there’s no better way to straighten the kinks in your value chain than with a strategy session. We offer a one-hour workshop that can be run remotely with up to eight people. With different opinions in the room, you can look at your challenges from multiple angles. And the good news is the solution is often simpler than you think.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more we offer a 30 min discover call.

Based on the outcome, we problem-solve with you to create a way forward that empowers you and your staff.

Book the call and you’re one step closer to having your communication problem solved.

Get in touch with us any way you like.

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About Garth Jemmett

Garth Jemmett is the founder of We Explain Stuff. He helps business leaders escape complexity by making strategies, processes, products and services easy to understand.

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