[Customer Retention Honors Society] Pillar II: Service

[Customer Retention Honors Society] Pillar II: Service
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Welcome back to the Customer Retention Honors Society!! 


It’s time to get into our next pillar: Service. Successful, retention-first brands put their customers at the center of everything. They’re constantly thinking about their customers and how they can better serve them.

And this starts with thinking through every step of the customer journey and making sure it keeps customers coming back.

Let’s review each step below:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Immediate Post-Purchase Engagement
  4. Sustained Engagement
  5. Customer Commitment


During the Awareness stage, potential customers are becoming aware of the brand and its offerings. You should focus on creating a strong first impression and building recognition through multiple channels like reviews, social media, influencer marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, and paid advertising.


Putting it into practice

  • Personalized messaging: Create customized messages that are relevant to the audience, whether it’s based on demographics, interests, or behavior.
  • Retargeting ads: Use retargeting ads to remind potential customers of your brand and its offerings to keep your brand top-of-mind.
  • Social media engagement: Encourage social media engagement through user-generated content campaigns or influencer partnerships.



During the Consideration stage, potential customers are evaluating you and your offerings against competitors. Focus on providing a seamless user experience and differentiating yourself from the competition through unique selling propositions and social proof.


Putting it into practice

  • Make reviews prominent: As a form of social proof, reviews can quickly establish trust and a rapport with new customers.
  • Offer a loyalty program: This not only differentiates you from competitors but also provides ongoing value to customers that encourage them to remain loyal to the brand.
  • Personalize, personalize, personalize: Offer tailored recommendations based on browsing and purchase history to encourage customers to explore new products or services.


Immediate Post-Purchase Engagement

This stage begins when the customer completes their purchase and ends when they receive their order. To improve retention in this stage, focus on providing a positive and personalized experience for the customer.


Putting it into practice

  • Collect email & SMS subscribers: Encourage customers to sign up for email and/or SMS through opt-in forms on your website, checkout page, and order confirmation page.
  • Message customers about their order: This can look like an SMS or email order confirmation, which provides details about the customer’s order: the products purchased, the order total, and the estimated delivery date. You can also include a personalized thank-you message to show the customer that you appreciate their business.




Sustained Engagement

Don’t bombard customers with messages, but do keep your brand top of mind with information relevant to your customers. This stage continues to build long-term loyalty and encourages customers to come back.


Putting it into practice

  • Loyalty, referrals, and subscription programs for the win: By offering rewards and incentives, you can motivate desirable customer behaviors. And subscription programs can offer exclusive content, early access to products, or other benefits.
  • Encourage social media follows: By regularly posting content and engaging with customers on social media platforms, keep your brand top of mind and encourage ongoing engagement. Social media can also be used to promote loyalty and referral programs, as well as to provide customer service and support.
  • Tailored recommendations: Through one-on-one communication channels like email and SMS, you can send customers curated product recommendations for a seamless path to purchase.



Customer Commitment

Customer Commitment is the final stage in the customer retention journey, and it happens when a customer has become loyal and repeatedly makes purchases from a brand.


Putting it into practice

  • Personalization: Using customer data, deliver targeted offers, product recommendations, and content that is relevant and interesting to the customer.
  • Excellent customer service: Through connected customer data, humanize your brand through this critical touch point and recognize your customers during high-impact interactions.
  • Loyalty programs: Incentivize customers to make repeat purchases by offering rewards, discounts, and exclusive perks.
  • Subscription programs: Subscriptions allow you to have a better sense of your future sales, revenue, and inventory. Customers “opt-in” to your service for a set duration, making it easier for you to predict the number of customers you have each month and what they will be purchasing.



(Download the Back to School Email & SMS Template above to use for your inspiration.)

  • Referral programs: An effective referral market strategy brings in new leads keen on spending with your brand, and they help you cut through the noise when it comes to competitors.
  • Consistent brand messaging: Ensure that your messaging is consistent across all channels, including social media, email, website, and advertising, to build brand recognition and trust.


Whew! That was a lot of info to cover. If you’re a visual learner, check out this ❗Path to Retentionwhich gives examples of each stage and recommendation listed above.

We are already halfway through the course! We’ll see you here to cover Pillar III: Leadership.

How do you currently approach your customers’ journeys?

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