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Posts about Customer Retention

How to Use Online Activity Data to Know If a Customer Might Leave You (Without Hearing It From Them)

Written by Julie Dietz on May 6, 2016 at 8:30 AM

There are at least two things we know for sure about customer retention:

  1. Keeping the customers you already have is crucial to the success of your business.
  2. Customers are harder to keep today than ever before.

According to recent research from Accenture, 46% of customers in the United States say they're more likely to switch providers now than they were 10 years ago. That's likely because customers today have more accessible information and options, meaning they are constantly aware of their choices.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Retention, Online Community

The Importance of Marketing to Your Current Customers

Written by Julie Dietz on April 14, 2016 at 8:30 AM

We've seen a surge of articles talking about a pervasive problem with marketing strategies: overemphasis on acquisition and lack of focus on current customers. But is it true? Are marketers really overlooking current customers?

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Advocacy, Marketing Automation, Online Community

The Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Launch Branded Online Communities (and Why Some Succeed) [Research]

Written by Julie Dietz on March 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM

According to a recent study from leading social and community business researchers Leader Networks and CMX, the marketplace is seeing a revolutionizing shift in both business and marketing behavior. Instead of focusing on traditional advertising and cost reduction businesses and associations are focusing on their relationships with customers to improve satisfaction and add value for existing and potential customers.

That means companies are increasingly looking to their customers as the source of their success and looking for more feedback on products, services, and practices.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Retention, Customer Support, Online Community

What is Retention Marketing? Plus Three Tips for Doing It Well

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 1, 2015 at 8:35 AM

Not very long ago all marketing was marketing and all sales were sales. As technology has enabled businesses to efficiently segment their messages in infinite ways, such as prospects, partners, opportunities, and current customers, traditional business development functions have become more  granular as well.

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Topics: Communications, Customer Retention, Customer Success, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What Startups Know About Building Community That Many Bigger Businesses Are Just Finding Out

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 10, 2015 at 9:20 AM

The significant increase in online community management blogs, resources, and services over the past couple of years suggests that online community strategies are rapidly moving into main stream business strategy discussions. However, for some corners of the business landscape, it's already there. As usual, tech startups are leading the way in making effective use of this emerging approach to marketing and customer management.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Retention, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

8 Questions in Customers' Heads That Impact Customer Retention

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM

By now, you know how important customer retention can be to the future of your business. You know that acquiring new customers costs five times as much as retaining the customers you currently have. You've probably seen research suggesting that improving your customer churn by just 5% can produce a profit increase anywhere from 25-125%. Do you also know that 80% of your future revenue is likely to come from just 20% of your current customers?

The problem with customer retention is that it isn't as simple as "are my customers satisfied with my product?" Just as there are lots of reasons people buy from you, there are also lots of reasons people remain your customers.

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Topics: Customer Retention, Online Community

How to Accurately Calculate Your Customer or Member Retention Rate

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Where do you spend more of your time "” discussing how to get more customers or members "” or how to keep the customers or members that you have?

According to Google over the past decade, we, as a society, clearly spend more of our time looking for ways to grow our organizations than we do trying to keep our current customers or members.

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Topics: Member Retention, Customer Retention, Online Community

3 New Year's Resolutions That Will Increase Customer Retention [Customer Community Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

How close are your customers to switching to a competitor? One screw-up? One disregarded request to your support team? One tone-deaf message from customer marketing? Or maybe the next frustrating experience with your product?

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Topics: Customer Retention, Online Community

6 Social Business Strategies to Improve Customer Retention Within 6 Months

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 14, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Customer retention holds a special place in most organizations' strategic plans. While companies devote hours of staff time and reams of paper to business development, customer retention is rarely discussed until there is a crisis.

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Topics: Customer Retention, Online Community

Why Every Company Who Cares About Customer Retention Needs a Community [Data]

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I am willing to bet that the question, "how can we find ways to grow?" is echoed through the halls of corporations and membership organizations over 10x more than a call for ideas to keep current customers.

One may be surprised by the impact that losing a customer can have on a business's performance. Not only do the strategy, marketing, and sales hours it took to get that customer to give you their money go down the drain, but there are many other long term consequences of weak customer retention.

This makes customer retention job #1 at any organization. Companies and associations must strive to meet and exceed the expectations of both individuals or business customers. It doesn't generally require large overalls or massive expenditures to engage and retain these customers, but holding onto customers or members is vital towards the stability of any membership organization and corporation. As the statistics below show, going after new customers is much more expensive than investing in holding onto current clients.

4 Important Reasons that Marketing and Customer Care Execs Must Focus On Customer Retention

Reason #1) It costs organizations 5 to 8 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain a current customer.

The revenue that come in from customers is a result of an organization's business development investment. Most often this takes the form of outgoing cash flow focused on sales and marketing. The payday on the investment is only recognized if the customer remains a customer. Sometimes, it can take over a year to reach a break even point.

This means that holding onto every customer or member is vital for the longevity of any company. The cost savings resulting from holding onto customers, rather than having to increase your investment in attracting new customers, affords an organization additional funds to invest elsewhere. (Stat source: Lee Resources, Inc.)

Reason #2) A 2% increase in customer retention is the same as cutting expenses of the organization by 10%.

Profitability and sustainability are top-of-mind for most executive teams. Why not boost profitability in a way that won't kill morale and productivity? Businesses and member organizations can use the extra cash flow from their customer retention strategy to invest in new customer acquisition, expand into new markets, or upgrade current customer engagement systems to further improve the relationship between the company and its customers. (Stat source: Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy)

Reason #3) 73% of customers leave a company because they are not happy with the customer serviced provided.

With the advent of simple social networks, real time support, and easily researchable alternatives, customers' customer service expectations of companies have spiked over the last decade.Companies and membership organizations are turning to online tools to keep customers engaged so they can catch at risk customers sooner and provide a much higher ratio of positive customer experiences to cushion the blow of the occasional frustration that all customers face.

Along with building stronger, more collaborative relationships with customers or members, many organizations are also utilizng social business tools to encourage peer-to-peer support in order to control customer service costs and focus their effort of higher-priority customers. (State source: Harris Interactive)

Reason #4) 91% of customers don't ever return to a company after leaving.

Compound all of the stats above and the fact is, once you lose a customer, they will most likely never do business with you again. This is why maintaining a high level of customer engagement and satisfaction is paramount to the wellbeing of any business or membership organization. (Stat source: Lee Resources, Inc.)

BONUS FACT: In some industries, as a customer or member stays with a given organization, the value of the customer actually increases.

The longer a customer stays with your company, the more likely they are to invest additional time and money with your organization. Customers or members who are just starting off with your company or association are generally more timid. They often only spend the minimum in order to check out the organization and see if it is worthwhile. This makes both engaging new customers and retaining long time customers extremely valuable and must be a top priority for any company and association.

Online Community Takeaway

Online communities and private social networks provide companies and associations with a platform to keep customers or members engaged. Some companies (usually B2C) are comfortable using public social networks as the center of the customer retention efforts, while other organizations choose to launch private online customer communities.

The flexibility of online customer community software allows organizations to reach diverse customer segments and shape their engagement strategy around the social tools and information that are relevant to each customer.

Customer retention relies on your customers finding success with your products and services. From peer-to-peer discussion groups to searchable file libraries to proactive customer service tools, there is no other format that can have a greater impact of your customers finding the answers, people, and advice they need to get results.

Download your free guide to buying and implementing a customer portal.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Retention, Online Community

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