The best customer retention strategies to implement in your business

happy customers

5 min read

Businesses with an amazing product, great service, and quality experiences don’t just attract new customers, they know how to keep them.

We’re going to walk you through why it’s important to monitor your customer retention, some benchmarks to consider for your industry, and some proven strategies you can use to increase your customer retention rate.

Why focus on retaining your customers?

Being mindful of customer retention matters, because it helps you understand how happy your customers are, how strong your customer service is, and if there is anything you need to improve to minimise customer churn.

It also costs less to keep existing customers, rather than acquiring new ones. Salesforce data says on average, it costs up to 7 x less than acquiring new customers.

And, increasing customer retention by 5% could lead to an increase in profits of 25-95%.

What is a good customer retention rate?

Obviously, the ideal customer retention rate is 100%, but this would mean you would never lose a single customer or client. Even the king of loyalty, Apple, doesn’t have a 100% retention rate.

You should keep in mind, the customer retention strategies you put into action will vary based on your business model, industry and type of customer.

But it’s always good to start with a benchmark. Here’s how six different industries compare on customer retention rates.


6 different industry retention rates

Maintaining an above-average customer retention rate for your industry will give you a push in the right direction. But where do you start?

Increase your customer retention rate with these industry-specific strategies

There’s plenty of information already out there talking about strategies you can implement to increase customer retention. We wanted to go a step further by highlighting one specific customer retention strategy for some of the industries we work closely with, with some tactics that will help you achieve them.

The industries we are going to highlight include childcare, real estate, health and fitness, allied health, and nonprofits.


Retention Strategy: Over-communicate

For many parents, the number one thing you can do is show that you genuinely care. Parents don’t want their children getting lost in the system and want to know they are getting looked after. Over-communication is all about providing parents with the right information, to reassure them their child is valued and prioritised in your centre.

There are many ways you can facilitate this message such as:

  • Daily photo updates
  • Weekly wrap-up emails
  • Finding ways to share the positives about a child’s learning, behaviour and experiences
  • Host an event or parents’ educational session every month, quarter, or year

Real estate

Retention strategy: Remember every single detail

Retention in real estate can get a little tricky, considering Australian homeowners are holding onto their houses for 11.3 years. That’s a pretty long time to maintain a relationship. Relationships are hard work and the best real estate client retention strategies begin before the customers become ‘former clients’.

Building rapport and trust is absolutely essential, and over-delivering wherever you can. Make a point of remembering the smaller details such as their family members’ names, the name of their pet, and what they do for a living. It lets them know you’re interested in them and care about the relationship.

Make it easy for yourself to remember these details by keeping them updated in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. So whenever you touch base, you can use these details to add a touch of personalisation to your communication.

Here are some touchpoints you could use to stay in touch:

  • Birthdays, anniversaries and holiday greetings
  • Homeowner tips
  • Seasonal home maintenance reminders
  • Quarterly or annual market updates

Ezidebit integrates with some of the most popular property management software companies to provide Real Estate professionals with a single platform to manage their business process.

Health and fitness

Retention strategy: Adapt and innovate your service

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 global pandemic, is that we can still turn to fitness even in times of social distancing and lockdown measures. Unfortunately, many gyms and fitness businesses have been affected by these restrictions. However, the gyms or fitness businesses who have been able to adapt continue to thrive.

Read more:

Finding ways to adapt during the COVID-19 lockdown enabled Kaizen Fitness to scale their business further

Whilst we could not have planned or expected a global pandemic to happen, the businesses who were able to retain their customers have been able to offer online programs, virtual classes and online coaching sessions.

Digital health and the adoption of fitness apps is definitely continuing to rise. Is this something your current clients are interested in? If you haven’t asked, you should. And while you’re at it, you should ask how they are finding your services and facilities to help steer your next move.

Read more:

How to flex your member retention muscle

Allied health

Retention strategy: Create an easy way to book and schedule appointments

There are multiple reasons why any practitioner should be watching their client retention rates. Firstly, new clients are more expensive to acquire and it’s easier to plan your time and forecast revenue if you know your average client retention rates. If you have a low client retention rate, this can mean your clients don’t feel committed to their treatment plan. Take the time to educate them about the benefits of what service you are providing and how it is helping them. But don’t just do this on the first appointment, keep them updated regularly via consistent and well-timed communication.

Your customer retention can also be impacted if you aren’t available enough, or it's tricky to schedule appointments. Most of the time, your clients need to juggle work commitments in order to make an appointment.

It can become tedious having to go back and forth changing appointments. Clients may resist making the phone call to reschedule, so they resort to cancelling via email or even worse, just not showing up. Implementing an easy online booking system can take the friction away from this experience and keep your return visits up.

Check out some of the specific allied health software integrations Ezidebit partners with.


Retention strategy: Make it easy to receive donations and be a great storyteller

It goes without saying, donor retention is an essential part of operating a nonprofit organisation. But repetitive requests for donations from multiple organisations can unfortunately turn donors off. So the best retention strategy here is two-fold.

First, you need to ensure you are set up to support diverse payments. In particular, you might want a payment solution that supports recurring donations such as direct debit, or a real time payments solution to facilitate crowdfunding and membership fees.

Of course, when you do receive a donation, you should be thanking your donors well and promptly. Having a communications calendar with specific dates and touchpoints outlined will help you communicate consistently.

The other vital part of your retention strategy should be to share the stories of how your donors are making a difference. Stories move people to act and they create connection, which is the perfect combination for a nonprofit wanting to build a relationship with donors and encourage ongoing donations.

Need to find a software partnership that integrates with Ezidebit? Here’s a list of the software partners we work with designed for Nonprofits.

Mix and match

Whilst we’ve provided customer retention strategies in an industry specific context, any of them can be used in your business no matter the industry.

Just make sure you:

  • Communicate often
  • Personalise the experience to build trust and rapport
  • Seek feedback and adapt
  • Make it easy to schedule and do business with you
  • Engage and create connection through storytelling

Happy relationship building!

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