3 Customer Retention Lessons Learned from Tumblr, Amazon, and Nike

We spend so much time trying to get prospects on the phone that we forget what comes months later: making sure your new customers actually stick around.   

Customer retention requires a continuous, long-term investment. You must think about everything from the first time a prospect sees your homepage to how you handle complaints. And along the way, customers may leave for a variety of reasons: low quality products, high price points, or lack of feeling appreciated.

To help you reduce churn, we’re sharing three customer retention best practices from top brands:

Make Everything Super Simple for Customers

Everything from signing up to requesting a return should be dead simple for customers. Don’t fall into the trap of frustrating your customers with cleverly designed, hidden buttons. It should be glaringly obvious what customers need to do on your site to accomplish their needs, especially during the onboarding process.

If a user gets annoyed with the initial sign-up process, she probably won’t be inclined to return to your site and experience more frustration. On the other hand, you can easily wow a new customer with a quick, easy first experience.

Tumblr customer retention

Look at Tumblr’s intuitive, simple sign-up process. Users just have to enter their email, password, and username, and they’re done. In fact, that’s all they really can do on the homepage. Tumblr doesn’t overwhelm customers with a million options; you can just choose between “Search Tumblr,” Get Started,” and “Log In.”

Create a Valuable Loyalty Program

How many times have you joined a loyalty program, only to be sorely disappointed by the perks? Something like buy $500 worth of athletic clothes and get a free pair of sunglasses isn’t enough to motivate customers to keep returning.

When executed correctly, a loyalty program can make customers feel special and can increase spending. However, it can be very difficult for companies to incent customers without losing money.

Amazon customer retention

Amazon Prime offers one of the best loyalty programs while still generating revenue. With Amazon Prime, customers purchase a yearly membership for free, two-day shipping, instant access to video streaming, unlimited music, and more. What’s especially genius about this loyalty program is that it created a flywheel effect on its own: customers who purchase Amazon Prime end up buying even more items on Amazon. And the more items they get every year, the more likely they are to keep renewing the membership to get the free, two-day shipping.

Be Where Your Customers Are

Don’t try to force your customers to go to a certain page or join a forum to get the help they need. You shouldn’t try to change customer behavior (you will inevitably fail); you should adapt your own strategy to meet your customers’ needs.

The more your customer has to work to ask a question and find answers, the more likely they will be to leave and never come back. Customer retention is about making your whole user experience as seamless as possible, not adding an extra burden to customers.

Nike customer retention

Nike understands where its customers are and has created a Twitter account solely dedicated to listening to customer questions, concerns, and complaints. With 169,000 followers and more than 466,000 tweets, Nike has created the opportunity to communicate one-on-one with customers in their own environment.

10 Customer Retention Strategies

Customer retention can be a costly, time-consuming endeavor, but it’s always worth it in the end. Happy customers equal more money: the Harvard Business School found that increasing customer satisfaction by even 5% can increase profits between 25-95%.

Want more tips to increase customer retention? Read our top 10 data-driven customer retention strategies.

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