50 Customer Retention Resources!

Looking for help retaining customers? Creating loyal customers? Who isn't? Here's a collection of 50 favorite reads on the subject from Help Scout Customer Champion Gregory Ciotti. The list is divided into three categories: Customer Loyalty and Happiness, Retention and Onboarding, and Churn and Customer Success. While Ciotti says this collection is biased toward online business, particularly SaaS and e-commerce, there have to be some useful insights and tips in there for franchise consumer marketing professionals. It's worth a look! At the very least, you'll discover a rich set of digital marketing resources you may not have known about.

(Bonus: He also includes a link to 75 customer loyalty facts, quotes, and statistics on why customer retention matters.)

Here's are three selections from each of the three categories, with comments from Ciotti:

  • Customer Loyalty and Happiness (21)

#7 - How to Measure Customer Satisfaction. In this Qualmetrics article, Scott Smith explains how companies can use four different measurements (and example questions) to get a sense of customers' overall satisfaction.

#10 - Creating Customer Loyalty Programs that Stick. Loyalty programs aren't for everyone, but if they are a fit for your industry, you need to see this research from Professors Dreze and Nunes on the "endowed progress effect."

#17 - Earn Customer Loyalty Without Losing Your Shirt. Simply giving support reps a "spending limit" to delight customers is missing the point. This piece in the Harvard Business Review details why guidelines and coaching are more important to educating service reps than hard limits and robotic scripts.

  • Retention and Onboarding (15)

#5 - 10 Tactics for Increasing Customer Lifetime Value. Your CLV is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. Mike Bal of Single Grain examines the how and why of stepping away from acquisition to focus on increasing this highly important metric.

#6 - 15 Customer Retention Strategies that Work. My penchant for and background in academic research is apparent here. I think you'll enjoy these 15 studies on human behavior that offer up some inspiration on tactics you can use to surprise and "wow" current customers.

#12 - A Follow-up Email that Actually Works. This is a quick, concise article that I believe highlights the concept of G.L.U.E (giving little unexpected extras). The best part: it's written by a customer who was totally won over by this company's exceptional intro-email.

  • Churn and Customer Success (14)

#2 - Manage Customer Success To Reduce Churn. It's your job to ensure that customers succeed with your product. Customer success is thus one of the most important "non-glamorous" jobs at your company. This article offers one of the better overviews of how a smart customer success strategy increases overall happiness.

#4 - 15 Tactics To Reduce Customer Churn. Ross Beard of Client Heartbeat takes a look at common causes of customer churn (different expectations, competition, etc.) and outlines how companies can keep customers around by communicating their value clearly.

#13 - Talking to Customers Is Killing Your Company. Provocative title, but a very important reminder that when you're talking to customers, you probably aren't listening closely enough. "The purpose of customer interviews is to extract insights from the minds of your customers. Talking can't achieve this; only listening can."

Gregory Ciotti is customer champion at Boston-based Help Scout, which provides help desk software that enables teams to deliver personalized customer service at scale. To learn more, call 855-435-7726 or visit helpscout.net.

Published: May 13th, 2014

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