Customer Retention – Why Is It Important To Keep Hold Of Your Online Customers

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So far, getting more and more unique visitors has been the holy grail of Internet Marketing (or Search Engine Optimization to be more precise). The number of unique visitors has been the venerable benchmark for gauging the worth of any given website, be it some store, blog, or any other kind of online business. In the early days of Internet, the websites didn’t really have to bother much about other aspects of marketing, as long as they were getting a continuous stream of unique visitors coming from search engines, especially Google, which means that they don’t really need to care about customer retention (because they were getting new visitors coming anyway). Seemingly, the honeymoon period is over, for the reason that users are getting much smarter and also because they have got many different options to choose from.

customer retention

Learning from the example of TV Channels:

No matter what the nature of your online business, chances are that there will be many different businesses serving almost similar type of content or services on web. Just like it was the case with the Television, in its very early stages, back then, we don’t have many channels, and the viewers didn’t have many choices, so they were bound to stick with the one or two channels that they had. But that was only a matter of time before the competition jumped in and now these channels have to battle very hard to retain each and every viewer.

Importance in the wake of Panda Update:

Customer retention has become even more important, thanks to those ever changing algorithms, ranking criterion, search engine results getting shuffled more often than before. Which means that even if your website is ranking on the top position for some heavily searched keyword, and you are getting a good number of unique visitors, doesn’t mean you can put your feet up and not bother about retaining those visitors. As we’ve seen in the latest update (Panda), a sudden change in ranking algorithms can push your website way down in the SERP, which means your business will suddenly collapse in the wake of an update that negatively impacts your ranking, especially if you don’t have any repeat customers.

Relying solely on the unique visitors coming from search engines or any other resource is quite dicey, because you never know when and why your website will suddenly stop getting those visitors. Moral of the story? You’ve got to spend your time and money on customer retention, so that you will be able to survive and fight back in case of a setback.

And it’s not only about unique visitors:

Customer retention is a worthy marketing goal that pays back in many different ways. Customer retention strategies focus on exceeding the expectation of the customers, and when you manage to exceed their expectations, which means, they will be sharing their good experiences with their friends and contacts on social networks, so not only you’ll get repeat customers but a lot of new referrals as well. Also, a customer retention strategy requires the feedback and some form of customer interaction, not to mention that implementing customer retention strategies will eventually improve the overall bounce rate, and that adds to the merit of your website in the eyes of Google.

Adds to Credibility:

Credibility … the single most defining factor for an online store, the first thing online buyers look for is the trustworthiness. And while trying to retain your customers, you will have to engage the customers on social networks, and that’s going to add a lot of credibility. If you can get some positive testimonials from your loyal customers on your Facebook profile, the newcomers will feel much more comfortable while dealing with your business.

Is customer retention necessary for small businesses?

Lastly, if you are a relatively small business and thinking … Ok, such fancy marketing goals are meant only for big businesses then you are totally mistaken. Customer retention is an even more worthwhile goal for small businesses, mainly because they can’t afford to invest in expensive marketing mediums that will keep bringing new customers, so they need to cherish each and every customer and do their best to retain them.

  • Torry

    customer retention is an integral part of small business,or if they do not like your service they will go to another company offerin the same service

  • Samantha Wright

    Agreed Torry I certainly know that from previous experience with some of my own clients, some of us learn the hard way :)