Is it better to focus your efforts on gaining new customers or retaining the ones you already have?
The answer is the latter; in fact, it costs five to 25 times more money to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing one. When your customers are happy, they’ll buy more products or services from you; moreover, they’ll recommend you to others.
By learning to nurture your customers with highly personalised positive experiences, they'll have a more positive experience with your brand, making it easier to retain them.
Here are some best practices to help you improve personalised nurturing efforts and keep the customers you already have.
What Is Customer Nurturing, Anyway?
There are two ways of thinking about how you do business with your customers: it’s either a one-and-done transaction, or you’re building a relationship. In a one-and-done transaction, you’re only focused on signing the deal and getting a nice, fat cheque in the bank. That kind of thinking doesn’t jibe with retaining customers.
Building a relationship, on the other hand, is at the core of customer retention. That’s where customer nurturing comes into play. It’s about putting your customer’s needs ahead of yours so that you show you’re trustworthy. We don’t form relationships with people we don’t trust, and the same holds true in business. One of the ways you can nurture your customers is by providing them with personalised content to demonstrate that you understand them and their needs.
Best Practices for Effectively Nurturing Your Customers
Here are a few tips about providing customers with personalised content that we’ve learned along the way:
- Understand who your customers are.
- Know who your most important customers are.
- Personalise content correctly.
- Put the right tools in place.
Understand Who Your Customers Are
Understanding who your customers are is all about knowing what they need. To know what they need, you have to be able to answer questions like, “Where are they located?” “What’s their position in the company?” and “What are their pain points?”
That information is actually easy to come by. You’re most likely collecting it already; every time someone likes a post on Facebook, shares one of your articles on LinkedIn, or places an order on their mobile device, that action gives you further insight into that customer. Your job is to make sense of that data with analytics.
Know Who Your Most Important Customers Are
There’s a distinction between knowing who your customers are and being aware of which ones matter the most. Let’s face it, not all of your customers are worth your time and energy; there are those who are determined not to pay full price, those who do nothing but complain, and those who don’t see your products or services as valuable.
You want to find their opposite. Again, this is where analytics come into play. You have to segment, select, and prioritise customer groups by examining data on how that individual has interacted with your company (as well as how much they’ve purchased).
Personalise Content Correctly
We’ve all had this happen: we receive a marketing message that isn’t personalised properly. Incorrect personalisation is a turnoff. It’s frustrating, and it makes you not want to do business with a company. Why should you reward them with your hard-earned cash if they aren't putting in an effort to meet your needs?
There are four rules to personalising content the right way:
- Being authentic, not invasive or “salesy”
- Being confident that you’re personalising content accurately
- Knowing the personalised content is relevant to the user
- Identifying the right time to deliver personalised content
We’ll go back to our point about building trust between you and the customer. You trust someone when that person is genuine as well as confident. Moreover, a customer feels as though you’re credible when you share information they need. Timely information is always more welcome than something that comes too early or too late.
Put the Right Tools in Place
It’s much easier to put best practices into place when you’ve got the right tools. Sitecore is a customer experience platform that enables you to nurture customers through personalised content. With Sitecore, you can send relevant, timely, accurate content to your customers when they need it to improve their customer experience.
Sitecore works with four data types to personalise content effectively:
- Implicit data
- Explicit data
- Structured data
- Unstructured data
Implicit data is information culled from customer behaviour, such as what they clicked on or which sites they’ve visited. Explicit data, on the other hand, is information that they’ve actually provided, such as what they enter into forms. Structured data refers to information that’s been organised in a database so it can be searched and analysed, while unstructured information (video, text, images, and audio) is difficult to search and analyse.
Sitecore stores this information and makes it available within a single platform. You no longer have to waste time searching for data that’s stuck in silos across the company. Once you have that information, you can deliver tailored content that makes your customer experience delightful.
One of the benefits of Sitecore is that it’s automated, so you can configure the customer experience platform to serve up personalised content to customers when they take a particular action (for instance, downloading a gated resource). Automation saves you time and money because it lets you personalise at scale allowing you to still customise content without spending a great deal of time on it.
Enlighten: Helping You Implement Sitecore
Enlighten is a proud Sitecore Gold Partner. We have over 20 years of experience delivering an outstanding customer experience to everyone with whom we’ve worked. To learn more about how you can nurture customers effectively, contact us.