As a small business owner, it is imperative to retain the customers you have as attracting new customers costs nearly seven times the amount it does to retain an existing one. In addition, your existing customers are fourteen times more likely to buy from you than a new customer.
Here are the facts:
- 86 percent of consumers say loyalty is primarily driven by likability and 83 percent of consumers say trust. (Rare)
- 47 percent of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service. (CMO Council)
- The estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion. (Accenture)
- 60 percent of mobile coupon users say they will “gladly switch brands to use a coupon” (GfK)
- 27 percent of small business owners estimate that 11-20 percent of first time customers don’t return to their business (Belly)
- 32 percent of executives say retaining existing customers is a priority (Forbes)
- 66 percent of companies that saw a decrease in customer loyalty over the past year do not have a mobile app (Apptentive)
Business is a numbers game. So how do you get and keep more customers at lower costs? The trick is to focus less on advertising and more on customer retention, leveraging your existing customers to bring in new ones. Mobile apps can be one of the best investments you can make when it comes to customer loyalty and retention.
Surveys show that 73 percent of satisfied customers will recommend your service to others, and positive testimonials from existing customers are far more likely to influence people than a brand’s own marketing messaging. In other words, your existing customers are a goldmine. They require less investment, they buy more, and they bring new customers with them. With a mobile app, you can even ask for reviews from customers and what is so great about this strategy is that customers who download your app will generally write a positive review since they are loyal customers.
Why You Should Be Using Apps to Build Customer Loyalty
Here are a few more mobile app tips for customer retention:
Use a Mobile App Retention Tool
Apps help you keep a pulse on your customers through advanced analytics. Track in-app activity to see the type of content that’s drawing users most. View demographic info that helps you refine your sales and marketing efforts. And most of all, use features like geofenced push notifications, mobile newsletters and loyalty programs to keep your customer base thriving.
Adapt or Die
Don’t sit on your data — adapt and evolve according to the trends you uncover. Do you know why Richard Branson, the billionaire owner of Virgin Atlantic Inc., lost to the venture capitalists in the Silicon Valley when he tried to go head-to-head with Uber? One simple reason: Uber was backed by an algorithm, by data. Analytics turned Google from good to great and Uber from an audacious venture to the peer-driven giant in transportation. The companies introduced their service, gathered the data, then used it to refine based on customers’ needs.
Long story short, don’t fall behind your competitors when it comes to your investments in new technology such as building a mobile app for your small business. Data shows that customers want to download and use mobile apps from their favorite small businesses. Don’t ignore the data that is right in front of you!
Focus on Customer Service
Ninety-seven percent of customers see customer service as the most important factor when choosing a brand. And after signing up, customer service weighs most heavily on customer satisfaction and net promoter score — or the likelihood that they’ll recommend your brand to someone else. On average, a user contacts customer service about 65 times per year, and 62 percent would leave their provider because of poor customer service. Companies can avoid that fate by making their customer service experience overly simple. Apps with quick contact buttons and sites with digestible help centers reduce customer effort, reflecting positively on your brand as a whole.
A mobile app is a great way for customers to be in touch with your business 24/7. Whether that’s for general business information or to ask you a question about your business. In addition, great customer service can come as a surprise. For example, mobile apps give you the ability to offer in-app only sales and updates on events which customers really appreciate.
Does Retaining Customers Matter in the App Industry?
Absolutely. If you create a mobile app, you may wonder how beneficial user retention really is to your bottom line. After all, deleting an app is easier than installing one — it requires little to no effort to part ways. But as it turns out, app users are far more likely to return back to your business if the right features and incentives are in place. In some ways, it’s a winner-takes-all market, and you need to stay ahead of the curve with your competition. With a mobile app you give your customers an outlet to share their experiences across Facebook, Twitter, and with their friends. Also, you just can’t ignore the facts anymore regarding how mobile apps can help grow a small business.
The more you up your retention, the wider your potential user base grows.
Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Customer Satisfaction
Some great insights shared here, Andrew. Enticing a customer to download your App is a big step but only the initial one. You’re suggestion to offer more value, such as deals and increased access to customer service are good considerations.
Encouraging businesses to create a community of App users, i.e. offering a modern-style forum for chats, or interactive content, i.e.playing a game that ties in visits to your website or physical location are examples of bonding with customers.
Thanks for commenting Keri! Small business owners need to understand that if they create a mobile app — they have to sell it to their customers as well. They have to give them a compelling reason to download the app, and a loyalty program with a great offer is a good incentive to get anyone to download their app!
So mobile apps are essential for customer loyalty. I thought that you have to give the customer a good reason to download your app but it seems that they may just download it as long as they like your brand.
Mobile apps are one of the best ways to foster customer loyalty and retention IMO, which is the lifeblood for most small businesses these days. Creating a mobile app for a small business can really help encourage customers to come in and spend more often!