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How to Improve "Retention"
How to Improve "Retention"

Actionable advice on how to iterate and improve your "Retention" performance - one of the 7 strategies for growth.

Jessica Nash avatar
Written by Jessica Nash
Updated over a week ago

💡 Get an introduction to the Growth Engine and the full glossary of terms here.

What is the "Retention" Growth Strategy?

Retention is the final growth strategy in the Growth Model.

Your "Retention" Performance

The “Retention” growth strategy is all about keeping your customers for as long as possible. Attracting new customers is great, but retaining them is key. One without the other can look like you’re winning, but won’t actually deliver long-term sales growth. Understand the average customer lifetime value of your customer base in the Growth Engine.

How is "Retention" performance calculated?

Your "Retention" performance is based on the average length of time you hold onto a customer for, measured in units of years. The calculation for this graph analyses the rate at which customers are becoming inactive or no longer placing orders with you - also known as customer churn.

To represent your data as a comparable trend over time, we've used trailing twelve months (TTM) (a period consisting of data for twelve consecutive months), so that every period is comparable and contains an instance of every month. This is done to reduce effects of seasonality in the metrics. TTM analysis is the clearest way to see true trends in velocity accounting for seasonal variances in December, summer vs. winter, bank holidays etc. It clearly illustrates whether you're successfully accelerating the velocity - are you generating more Enquiries in a period, or is your velocity static or even falling?

Whether you need to reverse a falling trend, bump up a static trend, or accelerate an already upward trending velocity, keep reading for great strategies, advice, hints & tips.

Ways to improve your "Retention" performance

Increasing customer retention (just one element of CLTV) by just 5% can increase profits by an incredible 25-95%. So, fixing that leaky bucket is a top priority – whether your ability to "Attract" new customers is proving effective or not.

Understand the importance of customer retention

For a service-based business, one-off sales might be perfectly normal. But if you’re selling physical products, getting your customers to regularly come back and repurchase again is absolutely essential for ongoing, profitable success. So, in some businesses, a “transactional” buyer is ideal, but for B2B product sellers, you need to turn these into “relational” customers who keep coming back.

Action: Learn more about the difference between transactional and relational customers, and why relational customers are key to increasing your CLTV.

Identify & chase missing orders

No matter how good your marketing, quoting and order-taking processes are, some customers will at some point look elsewhere for other products and suppliers. Spotting that is hard, and yet doing so quickly is essential for customer retention. Prospect CRM’s Missing Order Alerts automatically identifies at-risk customers, allowing you to act early and avoid customer churn.

Action: Use the Missing Orders tile on the Account Manager Dashboard to chase missing orders from existing customers.

Implement formal problem/issue tracking to identify common reasons for churn & improve customer service

When selling products, it's inevitable that issues will arise. Whether it be a damaged pallet on delivery or a complaint about an item being faulty, it's important to log all interactions about the issue to ensure it's resolved as quickly and professionally as possible.

Whilst product businesses don’t need complex or dedicated support ticketing software, they do need to deal with delivery issues, product returns and sometimes complaints.

In the CRM, you can record your customer's issue as a CRM ticket and pass it in real-time to your customer service, warehousing or accounts team. You can even add notes to a Problem, set Tasks to other CRM users, progress them through specified Statuses, and even create and add Documents for full transparency of the issue. From there, using detailed accounts and sales data, you can resolve issues at the source, so you can better manage your products or service, turning every problem into an amazing customer experience.

Action: Set up Problem Pipelines and Statuses, then configure your Problem Types and Sources to make Problems more easily reportable. You can then make use of all the pre-created Service Reports in the CRM.

Integrate to marketing automation tools to run campaigns

Win back your churning customers

Use the RFM Analysis to identify your Lost and Closed customers. Review these accounts to understand the reasons for churn and how you might win them back. Leverage your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) to send relevant information to churning customers, reviving their interest and recreating your brand value. Again, your RFM Segments will automatically sync to Mailchimp/Klaviyo so you can easily identity and target these customers via a Mailchimp/Klaviyo campaign. For Spotler users, you could add these Contacts from this Report into a Campaign Activity to target them in a win-back campaign.

Re-engage and educate churn-risk RFM segments

To help increase order frequency and improve your customer retention, use your Churn-risk RFM Segments to send engaging and targeted messaging. Your Churn-risk Segments would include the following:

  • Needs Attention

  • At Risk

  • Hibernating

  • Don't Lose Them

Your customer's RFM Segments will automatically sync with Mailchimp/Klaviyo so you can filter target audiences within Mailchimp/Klaviyo to include your Churn-risk RFM customers. Here are some ideas of what type of content you could be sending to your Churn-risk segments:

  • Make limited time offers

  • Recommend products to them based on past purchases

  • Share valuable resources

  • Recommend popular products at discount

  • Send emails from Account Managers to appear like personal 1-1 emails

  • Recreate brand value

Action: Integrate your CRM to your preferred email marketing system, then set up and regularly send the marketing campaigns listed above to drive retention.

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