Digital Tools to Retain New Customers

Acquire, covert and retain is a key strategy for businesses whether online or offline. Econsultancy’s 2009 model, shown here, illustrates the full cycle. Our last articles, Digital Tools to Acquire New Customers and  Digital Tools to Convert New Customersfocus on customer acquisition and conversion. This article looks at retention.

So you have gone out there and acquired them, reeled them in and converted them into customers. Now comes the hard part, retaining them. Simply offering a quality service or product is not enough to retain customers.

Customer Service

The way a customer is treated throughout the buying process and often after care service is what defines your brand as much as the quality of product you provide. For example, if I visited a restaurant and the food was 5 star, absolutely beautiful, I simply would not return if the waiter serving me was rude and not attentive at all – unless this was a core part of their offer, like Won Kei’s in London. The same can be said across all industries about customer service, especially when dealing with complaints, as people like to feel like more than just a number in your annual sales forecast.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to remind people you are still there and keep that brand to customer relationship fresh. It doesn’t always have to be an email to push sales either. People like to hear what a brand has been up to, so even just an email to say ‘how’s it going? Just wanted to update you on X, Y and Z’ or sending out a regular e-newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your customers.

Choice and Convenience

Giving customers a large choice and all at their convenience is always going to win you business in today’s fast paced and over saturated society. People are used to having everything they want and need at the click of a button, delivered where and when they want it down to the minute, so don’t give them any reason to need to look elsewhere.

Loyalty Programmes

Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage, Nectar Points. Giving people something back for their continuous return custom is a great way to keep them coming, because if they spend the same money with you that they would with a competitor, but with you they get something back for that money, it works out as a win win situation for all involved.

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is the latest pricing strategy that involves analysing the buying behaviours of customers and changing the prices, dropping or rising, in real time according to the data. This can be a great way to entice new and old customers back in to the business and optimise the times when you hold a ‘sale’.


Everyone feels special having something tailored for them or directed at them personally, whether it simply be their name at the top of an email or letter from a company, or offers based on their previous buying history. This both keeps the customer happy because they feel valued and also encourages return customer because you aren’t just sending out generic emails with offers that have nothing to do with their wants and needs, these offers actually correlate with things they have shown previous interest in or based on market research you can assume they would have an interest in.

Community Referrals

There is nothing better than receiving a referral, and companies often use this retain customers as well as acquiring new ones. A common strategy is to offer rewards for referrals, such as ‘recommend a friend and you will both receive 20% off!’, thus giving both the new customer and returning customer a good reason to use your products or services.

Social Media

Social media is a great way to build an online community and ensure all your customers, old and new, are happy. In the digital age, social media has become a part of everyday life, and people will shout about a great new product or service they tried, ‘just been to X bar and grill, it was amazing!’. But just as often, if not more so, they will complain about something that annoyed them, ‘the new top I just bought from Y clothing store is terrible quality, its already fraying!’.

So being on high alert to all mentions of your brand, both good and bad, both inside and outside of your created communities on social media, is a great way to demonstrate your brand’s excellent customer service and engage your customers so they see the personality of the brand.