Blog A Guide to Customer Retention on WhatsApp

Sonakshi Deb Roy

What is customer retention?

Customer retention refers to the ability of a company to retain its existing customers over time. It is an important metric for businesses because it can have a significant impact on the company's profitability. When a business is able to retain its customers, it is able to generate a stable stream of revenue, which can be used to invest in growth and development. On the other hand, if a company is unable to retain its customers, it may struggle to grow and maintain its market share.

There are many strategies that businesses can use to improve customer retention, including providing high-quality products and services, offering excellent customer service, and implementing loyalty programs. By consistently meeting the needs and expectations of its customers, a business can build strong relationships and encourage repeat business. 

How is customer retention measured?

Customer retention is typically measured through a metric called the customer retention rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of customers who remain with a company over a given period of time by the total number of customers at the beginning of that period. This rate can be expressed as a percentage and is an important indicator of a company's success in retaining its customer base.

There are several ways that companies can track and measure their customer retention rate, including:

Customer surveys: Companies can conduct surveys or focus groups to gather feedback from customers about their experience with the company. This can help the company identify any areas where customers are unhappy or dissatisfied, and make changes to improve the customer experience.

Customer loyalty programs: Many companies offer loyalty programs to reward customers for their continued patronage. By tracking the number of customers who participate in these programs, companies can gauge their retention rates and identify any areas where they may be losing customers.

Customer lifetime value: This metric measures the total amount of money that a customer is expected to spend with a company over the course of their relationship. Companies can use this information to determine the value of each customer, and to identify any areas where they may be losing customers due to poor customer service or other factors.

Net promoter score: This metric measures the likelihood that a customer will recommend a company to others. By tracking this score over time, companies can gauge their customer retention rates and identify any areas where they may be losing customers due to poor customer service or other factors.

Customer retention vs. customer acquisition

Customer retention refers to the practice of keeping existing customers coming back to a business or service, while customer acquisition refers to the practice of attracting new customers. Both are important for the success of a business, but the focus on one or the other may vary depending on the stage of the business and its goals.

Customer retention is generally more cost-effective than customer acquisition, as it costs less to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Retaining customers can also lead to increased customer loyalty and advocacy, as well as increased profitability over time. Some strategies for customer retention include offering excellent customer service, providing high-quality products or services, and offering incentives such as loyalty programs or discounts.

On the other hand, customer acquisition is important for businesses looking to expand their customer base and generate new revenue streams. This can be especially important for businesses that are just starting out or that are in a highly competitive market. Some strategies for customer acquisition include advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimisation.

Here are some key differences between customer retention and customer acquisition:

Cost: Customer retention tends to be less expensive than customer acquisition. It costs more to attract new customers through marketing and advertising efforts than it does to keep existing customers happy and engaged.

Time: Customer acquisition can take a lot of time and effort, as it involves building brand awareness and persuading potential customers to try your product or service. Customer retention, on the other hand, typically requires less time and effort, as you are working with customers who are already familiar with your brand.

Value: Retaining customers is generally more valuable to a business in the long term, as loyal customers tend to spend more money and refer others to your business. New customers, on the other hand, may not be as valuable initially, as they may not have the same level of loyalty or commitment to your company.

As a business owner or marketer, you likely understand the importance of attracting new customers. After all, if you're not bringing in new business, your company's growth will likely plateau. However, it's just as important to focus on customer retention - keeping the customers you already have. Here's why:

First, it's typically more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Think about all the resources you put into marketing and advertising to attract new customers - it takes time and money to create campaigns, run ads, and track results. In contrast, keeping current customers requires much less effort, as they're already familiar with your brand and products.

Second, loyal customers are more likely to spend more money with your business. According to a study by Invesp, it's 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to sell to an existing one. Loyal customers are also more likely to refer their friends and family, bringing in even more business.

Here are a few key benefits of customer retention:

Increased profits: The longer a customer stays with your business, the more they are likely to spend. This leads to an increase in the overall value of that customer to your business.

Cost-effective: It's cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones. Acquiring new customers can be a costly and time-consuming process. Marketing efforts must be undertaken to attract new customers, which can be expensive. In contrast, retaining existing customers requires minimal marketing efforts, as they are already familiar with the business and its offerings. This leads to reduced marketing costs and a more efficient use of resources.

Improved customer satisfaction: By retaining customers, you can better understand their needs and preferences and tailor your products or services to meet those needs, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.

Enhanced brand reputation: When a customer has a positive experience with your business, they are more likely to leave positive reviews and ratings online. This helps to improve your reputation and can attract more potential customers. On the other hand, losing customers can lead to negative reviews and damage your reputation.

Opportunities for upselling: Retaining customers gives you the opportunity to sell additional products or services to them, further increasing profits. A customer who has been with your business for a long time is likely to spend more money with you than a new customer. They have already proven their loyalty and trust in your company, and are likely to buy more from you.

Greater customer loyalty: Happy customers are likely to tell their friends and family about your business, leading to more potential customers. This type of marketing is often more effective than traditional advertising because it's a personal recommendation from someone the potential customer trusts.

Higher retention rates: Businesses with high retention rates are more likely to experience long-term success. This is because they have a steady customer base that is loyal to the business and continuously supports its growth. High retention rates can also lead to increased profitability and reduced marketing costs, as mentioned earlier.

So, how do you focus on customer retention? Here are a few strategies to try:

Offer excellent customer service. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to consistently provide top-notch service to your customers. This can include responding promptly to inquiries, solving problems efficiently, and going above and beyond to exceed their expectations.

Foster a sense of community. Encourage customers to engage with your brand online, whether it's through social media or online reviews. By creating a sense of community, customers will feel more connected to your business and be more likely to continue doing business with you.

Offer loyalty rewards. Consider implementing a loyalty program that rewards customers for their repeat business. This could be as simple as a points system that can be redeemed for discounts or special perks.

Keep in touch. Stay in touch with your customers through newsletters, email marketing, or even direct mail. By keeping your brand top-of-mind, customers will be more likely to think of you when they need products or services.

By focusing on keeping your current customers happy and engaged, you'll save money and increase revenue over time. So don't neglect your existing customer base - make sure to prioritise retention just as much as you do acquisition.

How to use WhatsApp to facilitate customer retention?

In today's digital age, it's no surprise that businesses are turning to messaging apps like WhatsApp to communicate with their customers. With over 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp has become a go-to platform for businesses to connect with their customers in real-time and provide excellent customer service. Hence, one effective way to retain customers is by leveraging the power of messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. Here are a few ways you can use WhatsApp to retain your customers:

Provide prompt customer service: WhatsApp allows you to quickly and easily communicate with your customers, which is especially important in times of crisis or when there are issues with orders. By providing prompt customer service, you show your customers that you value them and are willing to go the extra mile to solve their problems.

Personalise your messaging: WhatsApp allows you to send personalised messages to your customers. This is especially useful when it comes to thanking them for their business, or sending them special offers or discounts. By sending personalised messages, you show your customers that you value what they care about.

Offer exclusive deals and promotions: WhatsApp is a great platform to share exclusive deals and promotions with your customers. By offering these types of incentives, you can encourage customers to continue doing business with you and show them that you value their loyalty.

New product launch and updates: Use WhatsApp to keep your customers informed about new products, updates, and any other relevant information. This helps keep them engaged with your brand and increases the chances of them returning for more.

Collect feedback: WhatsApp is a great tool for collecting customer feedback. You can send out surveys or polls to your customers, asking them for their opinions on your products or services. This helps you to understand what your customers like and dislike, and allows you to make improvements based on their feedback.

It’s evident now that customer retention is a vital aspect of any business that uses WhatsApp m as a communication and customer service channel. By following the tips outlined in this guide, businesses can effectively retain their customers and build long-lasting relationships with them.

First and foremost, it's important to prioritise customer satisfaction and make it the focus of your customer service efforts. This means responding promptly to customer inquiries, offering personalised assistance, and going above and beyond to resolve any issues or concerns that may arise.

Another key factor in customer retention is to keep the lines of communication open and be available to customers as much as possible. This means being responsive and available on WhatsApp during business hours, as well as offering other channels of communication such as email or phone for after-hours support.

Additionally, businesses should strive to build a sense of community and engagement with their customers on WhatsApp. This can be achieved through the use of group chats, promotional campaigns, and even fun interactive activities. By engaging with customers on a personal level, businesses can build trust and loyalty, which is essential for customer retention.

Finally, it's important to track and analyse customer data and feedback to continually improve the customer experience and retain customers over the long term. By regularly soliciting customer feedback and using it to make informed decisions, businesses can ensure that they are meeting the needs and expectations of their customers.

Overall, customer retention on WhatsApp requires a combination of excellent customer service, open communication, community building, and data analysis. By following these strategies, businesses can effectively retain their customers and build long-lasting relationships with them on this popular messaging platform.