One of the leading ways to create sustainable revenue is in maximizing your post-purchase customer retention and repeat purchase.
This rings even more true in the modern 2024 landscape of B2B marketing, where the effort to garner attention and mindshare with net new buyers in your target market grows harder and more complex.
This blog delves into nine comprehensive, yet actionable strategies to boost customer retention, divided into three key categories:
Proactive customer support
Customer success milestones
1. Personalized onboarding
Personalization is a key requirement, not just for pre-sale marketing, but post-purchase as well. So here are three ways you can bring personalization into your new customer onboarding that will go FAR in rapidly rooting your product into your new customer’s operations.
One size does not fit all. Yes, you can create standardized structures to facilitate 80-90% of your onboarding process, but the best way to level up your onboarding experience is to enable ways for it to speak more to each customer’s unique needs.
EXAMPLE: Take what insights you know from the sales process on their business and integrate that into the tutorials. Consider incorporating tips that emphasize the functionality and they asked for most, or that weave in details of their business structure/operations.
Pro Tip: If you have your customer segmentation data in order, you can actually create standardized formats to enable these tailored efforts in an automated manner.
Two-way feedback in onboarding:
Actively seek and utilize customer feedback during the onboarding process. The key here is not just to ask for it, but make sure you put it to use.
EXAMPLE: Encourage customers to share their thoughts, concerns and needs at key touch points across the onboarding process. Then find ways to implement improvements or shifts in their onboarding based on their input.
In some cases, you may be able to implement that during their onboarding, and this demonstrates your commitment to their success with a very nice personal touch.
In other cases, the feedback may need time for you and the product/service teams to adjust. That’s ok too. Just make note of that, so when you DO make an improvement based on their feedback, you reach back out to let them know! Even if they are past onboarding at that stage, it’s those subtle, but frequent points of showing that they were heard that can add up to brand loyalty and advocacy over time.
Customized onboarding milestones:
Again, while much of the onboarding stages and general process may be the same across new users/customers, you can go a long way with creating customized milestones for the customer.
EXAMPLE: Use customer pain points from the sales process to inform what the priority of onboarding/implementation order looks like, and establish aligned key achievement points.
This can really create opportunities of early wins in bringing your solution on board that can resonate not just with your primary user, but up through to the decision makers that initially approved the purchase.
That level of validation early in the process is huge.
2. Proactive customer support
Beyond the first few months of a customer onboarding, here are three ways to instill a proactive, thoughtful customer support system that ensures the “warm fuzzies” of tailored onboarding continues into their continued use and adoption of your solution.
Predict the future (sort of):
Anticipate customer needs by leveraging past customer experience and data to proactively address potential customer needs.
EXAMPLE: If there’s a previously common point of confusion say in specific integration or stage of product adoption that you could easily provide extra resources and material to avoid a problem later, begin prepping that and finding the triggers in the customer journey that justify sharing it.
This may seem very manual at first, but again, having clean data tracking and integration across the whole of your customer journey can eventually lead to being able to automate trend analysis like this, as well as automate the delivery of developed resources based on those triggers.
All in all, reaching out with solutions before problems arise, continues to showcase your thoughtfulness to them and their unique needs, and dedication to their continued success with your solution.
Regular heart-to-heart check-ins:
Engage in genuine check-ins to understand customer experiences with your product.
I don’t just mean this as a formality though. Really plan each call as a chance to understand how they are doing and is there a roadblock you can remove or an opportunity/idea you can foster.
EXAMPLE: If you recall and track their progress against alleviating their point points from pre-purchase, align with them a layer deeper on understanding that product value to their business.
This migrates you from just being a tool, to being a partner and essential pillar in the smooth operations of their business.
Develop a comprehensive, easily accessible library of resources. So vast, and so encompassing that they feel like they have a support genie in their digital pocket!
EXAMPLE: Quiz your customers about common, REAL frequently asked questions (FAQs), find the areas you find sticky points during your check-ins to create specific guides, tutorials, and troubleshooting materials.
Even creating a guide to empower customers to find answers independently, enhances their self-sufficiency and overall experience, while also ensuring those check-ins stay business value and opportunity driven, rather than points of troubleshooting every time.
3. Customer success milestones
There’s more than just onboarding and renewal! Creating (and celebrating) milestones across the whole longevity of a subscription or retainer or (whatever format your engagements function in) can ensure constant momentum, value delivery, and prioritization of your solution in their business .
Here are three ways to do that.
Broadcast customer wins:
When they excel at something, spotlight them. With their approval, find ways to publicly acknowledge them.
EXAMPLE: Share a quick story about them on social media, turn them into a case study, do a mini video interview snippet, etc.
Two big points to make: (1) don’t overthink it and (2) don’t wait to do this!
When they are on a hot streak, let them shine. This not only recognizes their hard work, but also gets brand exposure to both them AND you.
Celebrate progress like it’s a party:
Something may be a small step forward for a user of your product/solution, but it may be a BIG leap forward for that customer in their internal operations or efforts to achieve their business goals. So celebrate even the small customer achievements.
EXAMPLE: If there’s a core number of uses tracked in the product, this can create simple but fun times to create in-product or email automated “congrats” moments.
Reminder that each milestone and small win that you recognize is also a step forward in the potential longevity of your relationship. Celebrating the positive points like this, especially more often than they may have struggles or challenges, can help secure that longevity.
Layer insights for better decision making:
Think bigger. If you can add insights, especially data-driven in context to their unique use, your value to their business will compound and your renewal will be a no brainer.
EXAMPLE: If you can show incremental improvements over the last say 6-months in their use of the system, report that back, and then pair that with recommendations. Especially if those recommendations can accelerate them to their next milestone.
Make their life easier. Optimize their use of your product. Make them thankful for you.
Retention isn’t a passive game.
Treat your customer journey post-purchase as thoughtfully and strategically as you do your new buyer funnel and you’ll find your path to more positive, sustainable recurring revenue is much smoother.
By implementing these strategies shared, you can create a more engaging, supportive, and rewarding experience for your customers, leading to increased retention and loyalty.
Growing customer lifetime value (LTV) is one of the core six Pivotal Points of Growth that I focus on exploiting with any of my clients.
If you're curious about how I might be able to help you do the same, let's hop on a quick call!