25 Free and Low-Cost Ways To Thank Your Customers and Increase Customer Retention

Acquiring new customers is costly, that’s why it’s wiser to ensure that you retain your current customers. As a rule of thumb, “happy customers bring more customers.” The benefits of retaining existing customers compound over time and sometimes in surprising ways.

The effects of having lifelong loyal customers is long-term profit and immense company growth, so here are 25 excellent customer retention strategies you can begin to apply in your business.

#1. Use Endearing Words

All words are not equal in terms of the effect they have on your customers.

Some words encourage potential customers to spend more, while others make them skeptical.

When customers hear words like new, free and instant, they know that the offer promises rewards that they haven’t seen before.

Instinctively, they enjoy such purchases and are more likely to keep doing business with you.

#2. Reduce Friction

You are going to encounter several types of customers.

For example, at least a third of your customers will be frugal. If you’re ever going to get these type of customers to purchase from you and retain them, you have to offer them packages.

Or recommend bundles that makes them feel like they’re getting a special deal.

#3. Educate Your Customers

A lot of people focus on sales over marketing. To increase customer retention, you have to educate your customers about your products and address their concerns.

After they’ve purchased your goods and services, you should not leave them to fend for themselves. Offer ongoing training and dedicated live chat, so that anyone using your product can have the best experience possible. 

#4. Share The Company’s Momentum

Ensure that you keep your customers, as well as the general public, aware of the progress you’re making in your business. When there are new features or new products, don’t just keep the momentum to the in-house team.

Ensure that your customers share in the excitement of the things you’ve accomplished.

#5. Don’t Overspend on Marketing 

In your bid to delight and attract customers, you should not overspend. There are few things in business that are worse than an empty chest.

If you want to keep the company afloat and useful to existing customers, you have to have a moderate budget for your marketing.

#6. Appreciate Your Customers Lavishly

It’s an innate human desire to be appreciated, so never underestimate the impact of simple words like, “Thank You.” These words can mean the difference between having happy customers who bring in referrals and having a poor brand, which leads to a loss of customers.

#7. Personalize Your Services

Customers do not want to be treated as another set of data points or buying machines.

When you treat them as humans, you make it irresistible for them to forget about you.

#8. Speed Is Secondary

Unless you’re in a business where time could determine life or death, customers prefer having quality services over speedy deliveries.

Several consumer research has shown that customers prefer brands that are “helpful, courteous, and willing” over “speedy.” 

#9. Choose The Right Media Platform

If you are in a business that is highly visual, you may want to consider Instagram for lead generation. A great way to improve your customer retention is to ensure that you are using the social media platforms that your customers prefer. 

#10. Reward Loyal Customers

When you build a culture that celebrates loyalty, you create a ripple effect of brand awareness.

This prompts other customers to want to identify and do more business with your brand.

There are several ways you can reward loyal customers. For instance, if you see someone recommending your brand on social media, you can say “thanks.”

This shows that you are paying attention to them and appreciate them.

#11. Use Positive Social Proof

People want to associate with brands that have positive testimonials and are making positive raves on the internet. As much as possible, ensure that you cleanse all bad press, post positive customer testimonials and run motivational campaigns.

#12. Inspire With A Mission

When you stand for a positive mantra, people will want to associate with you.

Sometimes, the factors that inspire loyalty are not found in statistics and systems; they are embedded in what the brand stands for.

#13. Ensure That Your Customers’ Convenience Is Your Priority

This can mean making your services available on mobile or having your products in local stores.

This could be the most important innovative customer retention move you can make. 

#14. Speak To Your Customers

Encourage your customers to express themselves and share their concerns.

This will allow them to feel like they are part of the company. You can solidify your brand’s relationship with your customers with rapid response times and customer satisfaction surveys. 

#15. Use Gamification and Referral Programs

When you encourage customers to refer a friend from the moment they make a purchase by rewarding them with discounts, you are creating an effective client retention system.

Don’t forget to empower, encourage and incentivize your existing customers to become advocates for your brand, products and services.

#16. Be Distinct

To effectively retain customers, you have to create a divide between you and your competitors.

Customers want to see you as the obvious choice over your competitors. Find a cause to fight for, put some fire behind your story and don’t be afraid to be a little bit bold in your marketing.

#17. Enable Subscription Services

You don’t need to offer your core products and services on a subscription basis.

However, by providing exclusive content such as the behind-the-scenes activities of the company as well as industry insights, you are providing value to your customers.

This makes them know that you care and understand their desires, needs and concerns.

#18. Use Experiences To Light Up Your Marketing

Find positive hype that you can tap into.

For instance, if you are in the food business, you can tap into the positive hype around an event by providing delightful customer experiences that reaches beyond the point-of-sale. 

#19. Capitalize On Trends

Develop your marketing plan in such a way that you are able to attract new customers during festivals and sporting events like the FIFA world cup.

These events are also an amazing medium of retaining existing clients because it shows your customers that you share in their passions.

#20. Over-Deliver On Your Promises

We all appreciate that one person that goes the extra mile for us.

As a brand, make big promises, and much better, deliver more than you promised.

Impress your customers like you would impress a date.

Customers can be aggressive when disappointed. If you make a promise, over deliver.

#21. Learn from Customer Feedbacks

You do not have to hate that hurtful, unsatisfied customer.

Listen to their grievances and explore their constructive criticisms.

The feedbacks you take from your customer complaints could be a great source of marketing gems as well as innovativeness.

#22. Leverage Community Programs 

One easy way of enhancing your customer retention power is to create a discussion board or online forum on your website. This enhances advocacy and community building.

Customers feel appreciated when they are in the midst of other customers.

This would inspire more active customer participation, and as a result, this will boost customers’ confidence in the brand.

#23. Offer Customer Service “Surprises”

If you have the biodata of your customers, don’t forget to send them a birthday wish or gift.

Surprise packages or offers don’t have to cost you a fortune, if done correctly.

But whenever you surprise your customers, they will value your brand more.

#24. Set Customer Expectations

Beyond satisfying the basic needs of your customers, get to know them personally. When you know your customers intimately, you will be able to set and meet their expectations.

One of the ways to achieve this is, to be honest when making a promise.

#25. Build Trust Through Relationships

Successful relationships are built on the foundation of trust.

The moment customers find you untrustworthy, they no longer trust you with their resources.

It is therefore important to ensure that your trustworthiness is intact.

The commitment of your customers will be firm when trust increases.

Go ahead, apply these customer retention strategies in your business

Whether you have a huge list of customers or you are just getting started, these 25 tips will ensure that you attract and retain your customers, who are the lifeline of your business.

No matter how valuable your offers are, if you don’t have customers who are continuously demanding them, you won’t stay in business for a long time.

So make sure you apply these customer retention strategies so that you can stop losing customers to your competitors.




Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.