Businesses work hard to attract customers, and keeping them around takes just as much effort. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report, half of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one negative experience—that number grows to more than 80 percent after multiple bad experiences.
A “bad experience” can happen at any touchpoint in the customer’s journey, from their first interaction all the way to final sale and beyond. It’s up to every department to provide consistently great experiences that get customers in the door and keep them coming back.
When it comes to minimizing poor experiences and increasing customer retention, customer retention software can come in handy. This type of technology helps team members across departments provide positive service experiences—no matter how a customer interacts with your business—reducing the chance that a customer will leave.
When it comes to minimizing poor experiences and increasing retention, customer retention software can come in handy.
Customer retention software takes scattered, siloed efforts and transforms them into a unified, cross-functional effort to collect customer data at every touchpoint. You can use that valuable information to consistently provide a delightful, personalized experience for customers.
How customer retention software harnesses data to help businesses
Customer retention software can help your company by improving communication and providing valuable data about your customers and internal processes. That information leads to better customer service and reduces the churn rate.
With customer retention software, businesses can:
Flag and respond to at-risk customers
Identify and reward loyal customers
Improve internal communications and processes
You can’t fix something if you don’t know what’s wrong. Customer retention software gathers key insights about customers’ pain points so your team can act quickly to address them.
By using software to track customer data and customer satisfaction metrics, you can determine what’s going well and replicate those tactics in future customer interactions. You can also proactively jump in to woo customers with exceptional service experiences.
For example, Smiles discovered that customers used and preferred Facebook Messenger over other channels for contacting customer service. So, the travel loyalty program company partnered with Zendesk to scale support on Messenger. In the one-month pilot program alone, Messenger conversations jumped from 100 to 1,000 contacts on average—plus, 50 percent of customers who used Messenger that first month stayed with Smiles.
Customer retention software can also help you track which customers are loyal to your brand. This empowers you to reward that loyalty so they keep coming back (and bring in new customers as well).
Consumers love rewards for their patronage—and those benefits keep them engaged. According to the Bond Loyalty Report 2020, 72 percent of customers are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs. Meanwhile, 78 percent said a rewards program encourages them to continue doing business with a company.
Customer retention software allows you to manage these customer loyalty programs and track relevant data like your Net Promoter Score (NPS). It also makes it easy to engage with long-term customers to ensure they’re happy and continue to stick around.
Teams can use customer retention software to identify areas of improvement. Understanding where you’re lacking allows you to refine training materials and products to exceed customer expectations.
Customer retention strategies start with your team. As noted, customers are quick to leave after just one negative interaction, whether that's a frustrating phone call with a support agent or conflicting information coming from different departments. (Just look at any one-star review on Amazon.) The solution? Identify sources of customer frustration and adjust training and processes to resolve it.
Use the information you learn from your customer retention software to guide training for your team and put new policies in place. This will lead to an even better customer service experience that will wow new customers as well as your existing customer base.
3 types of customer retention software to reduce churn
Customer retention software allows you to provide exceptional service at every touchpoint, from the customer's first interaction to long after their purchase. But different types of software vary in features that can help you learn more about your customers and improve various aspects of your business to meet retention goals. So, you’ll need to pick the right one based on your goals and current struggles.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Quality assurance (QA) software
- Customer feedback software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software builds customer profiles to track and manage customer interactions at every touchpoint along the customer journey. These details enable all departments to work together and have a shared understanding of the customer, which allows them to optimize the customer experience and, in turn, boost retention.
According to Zendesk research, 70 percent of customers expect companies to collaborate on their behalf. They also expect that collaboration—and the responses—to be quick, with 30 percent of customers expecting a response within 15 minutes. CRMs can help your teams meet those demands.
Seventy percent of customers expect companies to collaborate on their behalf. CRMs can help your teams meet those demands.
Features like workflow automation, lead tracking, communication tools, integrations, and reporting capabilities make it easy to do everything—calls, emails, social, messaging, scheduling, and more—from one place. Sales representatives have the info they need to reach out about upsells and new products. Your marketing team has the details needed to craft personalized ads and content. And your support team is armed with valuable interaction history.
Consider this scenario. Your CRM showed that a customer visited your company website after seeing an advertisement. They read a few blog posts, signed up for your newsletter, and then contacted your sales team—awesome! But engagement dropped off after the sale. Now what?
With the help of a CRM, your team can jump in and offer personalized content, support, or upsell opportunities that keep the customer engaged. Each department is empowered to work together to provide a great experience at every touchpoint in order to bring the customer back.
Quality assurance (QA) software provides real-time feedback on support agents' performance, encouraging your agents to provide high-quality customer service experiences time after time.
More specifically, QA software gives you coaching dashboards, scorecards, screen capture, performance reports, and more to take the guesswork out of how your team can provide a better user experience.
Take Tails.com. The dog food subscription company integrated MaestroQA with Zendesk to help agents identify where they could reduce response time. Using screen capture and other features, they were able to see where they were struggling and find solutions.
Tails.com improved training and onboarding and designed new processes to help agents work more efficiently. The changes drastically cut average handle times (AHT), allowing agents to assist more customers and provide a more efficient service experience.
Customer feedback software gives customers the chance to share their opinions about your product or service, which makes them feel heard and more connected to your business. Your teams can use those insights to gauge how well you currently meet expectations and improve future customer interactions.
There are various types of customer feedback software—from software that can send surveys or run in-app surveys to software that records heat maps and visitor behavior. A company using software that tracks customer behavior, for instance, may use that information to create an appealing, accessible, and user-friendly website. A business may also use feedback to fix bugs within the product or streamline the path to purchase so customers want to come back.
Gathering feedback from customers can help you see trends, understand what people want, and find ways to improve your product or service. Plus, people like to feel heard, so simply providing opportunities for them to share their thoughts can contribute to retention.
Is customer retention software worth it?
Yes, customer retention software is worth the investment. In today’s world, understanding the role everyone plays in customer retention is critical—customer retention software can help your team fill that gap. This is critical, especially when you consider that companies manage 3x as much data as they did five years ago. Your business needs the right tools to collect, manage, and analyze that data to provide the best experience at every touchpoint.