The Definitive Guide to Retaining Customers in Your Sales Funnel
Keeping your current customers engaged and happy is important if you want your business to thrive. If you can acquire one new customer while reading this post, I’m sure you’d be delighted.
The truth is, there’s a certain allure that comes with onboarding new customers.
However, being able to convert and retain them will increase your ROI — 70% of companies say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire one.
Funny enough, your competitors are out there waiting to take over your customers when they leave your sales funnel. You don’t want to let that happen to you, right?
In this guide, I want to show you how to retain the customers who have entered your funnel.
Let’s get started.
Engagement with your customers
If you want to retain customers, you have to keep in touch and building a relationship with them through the different communication channels. You have to identify customers’ needs and values and take a deliberate effort to align with them.
In a recent study by the Harvard Business Reviews, “64% of consumers said they had a strong relationship with a brand primarily because of their shared values.”
Having a strong engagement with your customers at all stages of buying journey is also important because some of your premium customers will come from leads generated 3 months ago, or even later.
So how do you engage with customers in your sales funnel?
Creating high-quality content at all stages of your sales funnel to solve your customer’s challenges would make it easier for them to connect with and stick to your brand.
You can also engage customers on social media. The steps are simple:
- Create and establish a social media presence
- Create and share interesting content on social media
- Answer your customer’s questions
- Provide support
What about using a CRM (customer relationship management) software?
It’s arguably one of the best data-driven ways to build relationships with your leads; follow them up, qualify them, and convert them to customers.
With this, you stand a greater chance to retain your customers.
Personalize when possible
Personalisation is the best ways to treat your customers in a unique way, and not like some guy you just met in the streets.
Imagine watching a personalized video content that mentions your name and also educates you? Would you be interested in it?
Here’s a personalized video VidYard sent to Kyle Jepsen.
In the video, her name was mentioned and a few things about her was said which resonated a lot with her.
Who doesn’t want to see a video their name is mentioned in? Customers are more likely to listen to you when you talk to them specifically rather than being generalistic.
Here’s the truth you possibly know: Your customers don’t care about you. All they care about is you helping them solve their problems. Sadly, data from Infosys found that 74% of customers feel frustrated when your website’s content isn’t personalized.
Not just that, the majority of them will jump out of your sales funnel. Studies show that customers have several negative reactions to businesses who send them irrelevant information or product recommendation.
57% of consumers in the U.K. will unsubscribe. 44% will ignore communications from your company, and worst of all, 15% will stop buying from you.
So how do you give your customers a personalized customer experience?
In your email newsletters, call them by name. It could be their first name or full name.
Don’t make the mistake of addressing customers like this:
- Hello there
- Hello Dear
Among many others.
Study your customers through data from your different marketing channels. Use tools like a CRM software, Google Analytics, and heat maps to generate data and insights you could use to understand your customer’s behavior.
You could also send them surveys. By the way, looking into your customer’s persona or profile will also give you insights.
This gives customers a custom experience in your sales funnel — thus, making them happy and excited to move on. You increase their chances of becoming long-term customers who will, in turn, refer others to your business.
Give privileges to loyal customers
Loyal customers are hard to come by. If you find one, appreciate them. Give them priority and give them privileges. Afterall, selling is all about giving.
And you don’t have to break the bank to do this. You can do this totally within budget.
Customers in your sales funnel also deserve to get some privileges for staying. Give them exclusive discount privileges.
You could give customers exclusive access to new products, benefits, and promos.
Better yet, identify your loyal customer and feature their businesses on your website. HubSpot is a great example of a brand doing this. In fact, they have a page dedicated to featuring customer success stories.
You can dedicate a page to it or showcase the case study on your homepage. Your customers will be happy you did and it will generate more trust for your business. It’s a win-win game.
In the end, you’ll be grooming more devoted customers who will also continue to refer new customers to your business.
Remind customers of your product’s value
Don’t assume your customers know enough about your product. Yes, I repeat. Don’t.
It’s important that you let your customers know what makes your brand unique and how important buying your product is to them. So how then are you going to accomplish this?
Develop content to educate them — ebooks, social media campaigns, webinars, you name it.
You want to prove to your customers that sticking around your brand is the best choice for them.
“A customer might be hesitant to initially have you provide additional education, but this is key to establishing value. The cost of the educational session to you is minimal…the value the customer receives can be huge,” Mark Hunter, a sales expert, and author.
Another thing you could do is to use social proof to showcase customers that are already getting value from your product.
Unlike the conventional textual testimonials, you could make your best customers share their honest video testimonials about how your product is already helping them solve problems.
Seeing how your product is helping consumers already will naturally communicate how valuable your product is.
Keep sharing stories and earning trust from customers.
Perceive complaints as an opportunity
There is no doubt that customer service is an extremely important factor for developing a unique and trustworthy brand.
Customers complaints are a bunch of resources to help you improve your products and to boost your sales. Every successful business owner knows this — there are no perfect products out there without complaints from customers.
Apart from complaints sent to your email or through your contact form, visit review sites like Yelp and also use Google Alerts to track when your business is mentioned online. If it’s a review, find out what the challenge is all about.
Apologize to customers publicly and do your best to provide a solution for them as soon as possible. You’ll find customers coming back to your business.
They will have the feeling that you truly care about them — and they will likely continue to patronize your brand.
And now that the internet has made it easy for people to share their views, customers can simply log into their social media account and make any complaint. The way you respond to the complaint also matters and determines what your customers will tell their connections (i.e., social media fans).
In the past, studies show that an unhappy customer will tell 10 more people. But with the rapid usage of the internet, it’s easier than ever to tell 1,000 people.
In a nutshell, it’s vital that you see a customer’s complaint as an opportunity to improve your product.
Respond to their complaints to show that you care and take deliberate steps to resolve the issue. Address every question, eliminate objections, and be ready to establish an engaged dialog with your customers.
There you have it, the proven tactics to retain customers in your sales funnel.
Essentially, if you want to keep the customer for a long time, it’s important that you give them attention, let them feel heard!
You can bridge the communication gap by engaging with them via your marketing touch points, reward them for sticking with your brand (whether they have been with you for 2 months or 2 years), remind them about your product’s value, and respond to their complaints.
That’s how to build a “profitable sales funnel” that informs, educates, inspires, and nudges the customer to not only buy your product, but also stick to your brand.