If you’re not already investing in a comprehensive customer retention management strategy, you should be. Businesses from all industries put significant effort into attracting, engaging, and converting their customers through various channels. It only makes sense that once you successfully capture a customer, you find a way to keep them loyal to your brand.

After all, increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% can increase your revenue by up to 95%. What’s more, retained, loyal customers are more likely to spend more with your brand, drive other customers to your business, and elevate your company’s reputation.

But, mastering customer retention management can be complicated. You need the right software to and tools to build comprehensive retention campaigns and monitor metrics. You’ll also need a clear view of your target audience, and how you can maintain their engagement.

As experts in creating software that strengthens relationships between businesses and consumers (and increases conversions), we’re sharing our top tips for successful customer retention management.

Why You Need a Customer Retention Management Strategy

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Customer retention is the ability your company has to turn customers into repeat buyers and loyal advocates for your brand. It’s essentially how you ensure your buyers keep purchasing products from you instead of switching to a competitor. A customer retention management strategy is how you plan out your retention methods, implement strategies, and monitor results. 

High customer retention rates have always been valuable. However, your ability to retain customers is even more critical in today’s world, and here’s why:

You’ll Save Money

An uncertain economy means every company needs to accomplish more with less these days. A customer retention management strategy can help with that. Customer acquisition costs are increasing, with some studies indicating they’ve risen by more than 222% in the last ten years. 

Since selling to an existing customer is five times less expensive than converting a new lead, you’ll save significant money on marketing and sales campaigns. 

Your Profits will Increase

Investing in customer retention management doesn’t just save you money; it can help you increase your profits, too. Cross-selling or pitching upgrades to customers can help increase customer lifetime values and generate more revenue for your business. 

Since there’s only a 5-20% chance of closing a sale with a new customer but an up to 70% chance with an existing customer, you’re more likely to see results for your bottom line. 

You’ll Benefit from Customer Loyalty

Repeat customers are more likely to purchase from you again and less likely to abandon you for a competitor. Plus, if you offer an excellent customer experience and create loyal customers, your buyers will spend more on average. Research shows loyal customers spend 23% more per purchase than the average customer.

What’s more, loyal customers are more likely to recommend your company and products or services to other consumers. According to Yotpo, 60% of consumers “advertise” brands they are loyal to regularly when speaking to family and friends. 

How to Measure Customer Retention

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The first step in successful customer retention management is knowing how to measure, benchmark, and track your retention rates. Unfortunately, around 44% of businesses still say they don’t have a clear insight into how many customers they’re retaining.

Various metrics can offer insight into how well you’re building customer loyalty beyond the standard “customer retention rate” calculation. Here are the metrics we recommend monitoring.

Customer Retention Rate

Formula: Number of customers at the end of a period – Number of new customers/customers at the start of a period x 100. 

Your customer retention rate offers a basic view of how many customers remain loyal to your business in a specific period. At the end of a year, you might have 2000 confirmed customers for your company, but not all of those will be retained customers. 

Removing the number of new customers you’ve converted and comparing the end result against the number of customers you started with will show you your retention rate.

Customer Churn Rate

Formula: Lost customers/ total number of customers at the beginning of a period x 100.

Calculating the churn rate gives you a different way to look at your retention level. Instead of focusing on the number of customers you’ve kept, it shows you the percentage of customers you’ve lost in a specific time. The higher your churn rate, the more likely it is you need to upgrade your customer retention management strategy with better experiences and service for your buyers.

Customer Lifetime Value

Formula: Average order value x average number of purchases per year x retention rate. 

Looking at customer lifetime value shows you exactly how valuable your retained customers are. It’s an insight into the total revenue you can expect to earn from a customer throughout their lifetime. Plus, it can help you to determine which of your customers are most loyal.

The longer a customer spends with your company, the more likely they are to contribute significantly to your profits and bottom line.

Repeat Customer Rate

Formula: Number of return customers / total number of customers x 100. 

Keeping your customers around is great, but only if they continue to purchase products and services from your company. Repeat customer rate is a metric that will tell you how many of your buyers are making more than one purchase. This can also help you to identify whether your customers are getting the value they need out of your solutions.

Purchase Frequency Rate

Formula: Number of orders/number of unique customers.

The purchase frequency rate metric shows you how much repeat business you’re getting in a specific amount of time. It can give you an overview of how often customers are purchasing your products. This can give you an insight into when to send push notifications or messages to subscribers, reminding them to renew a subscription or purchase a product they need.

The Software You Need for Customer Retention Management

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Alongside an insight into the right metrics, a strong customer retention management strategy also relies on access to the correct software. The right software ensures you can gather valuable insights into your customers, engage with them (consistently), and implement retention campaigns.

While the exact software you use can vary, the most important tools include:

Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)

CRM technology allows you to capture information about your customers and implement strategies for engaging and retaining crucial buyers. 

They offer behind-the-scenes insights into customer journeys, preferences, and churn rates and boost your chances of repeat sales by giving you a way to personalize every consumer interaction. In fact, 70% of salespeople think CRMs are crucial to closing deals. CRMs can also help you track customer service metrics and monitor how frequently you follow up with customers, which can assist you in building better experiences for your buyers.

Marketing Automation Tools

A common part of effective customer retention management, is finding ways to consistently communicate with and engage your audience. Marketing automation tools, such as software that allows you to send emails to customers, or push notifications based on specific triggers, helps you to consistently interact with buyers at the right moments. 

These tools can also offer useful insights into factors that might be influencing your retention rates. For instance, if you notice that your customers start to churn when they receive too many or too few messages from your company, you can adjust your communication strategy.

Customer Service Software

Another key part of customer retention is delivering exceptional service and support. Customer service software, from help desk and ticketing tools for tracking customer requests, to contact center platforms, and even AI chat tools help customers overcome issues and make the most of their purchase. You can even use software to accelerate time to value for your customers.

For instance, onboarding software packed with plenty of educational and training resources can show buyers how to use your products or services effectively. 

Customer Feedback and Monitoring Tools

While monitoring metrics like customer retention rate can help you determine how effective your strategies are for building customer loyalty, they don’t always offer in-depth insights. Social media monitoring tools will help you to gauge your customer’s sentiment towards your business, and identify potential reasons for churn. 

You can also use customer feedback tools, such as survey builders, to collect insights directly from customers, asking them why they’ve chosen to stick with your brand or move to a competitor. 

9 Proven Ways to Improve Customer Retention 

Effective customer retention management strategies involve constantly looking for ways to boost your retention rates. You need to deliver exceptional customer service, ensure your products or services address specific customer needs, and more. However, you also need to find ways of effectively building and maintaining relationships with customers. 

Here are some of the best strategies you can use to convince customers to stick with you.

1. Create an Incredible Onboarding Experience

When your customer purchases something from you for the first time, you have an opportunity to make an incredible first impression with personalized onboarding experiences. It’s your job to ensure your customers can see the value of whatever they’ve purchased as quickly as possible. 

If your buyers don’t know how to use your service or have trouble getting everything set up, their opinion of your company will diminish. An onboarding experience that guides your buyers through the steps they need to take to reach their goals shows your customers they’ve made the right decision to buy from you. In fact, customer onboarding is particularly important in the B2B world, where 47% of B2B buyers want to see evidence of a “return on their investment” as quickly as possible. 

The best onboarding experiences are simple, convenient, and tailored to the needs of your customers. For instance, Dropbox walks customers through the process of adding their first file to the platform, sharing a link to a file, and more, so they can use the system straight away. 

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2. Use Push Notifications for Regular Communication

Communicating regularly with your customers is crucial for a few reasons. First, it shows you’re committed to ensuring they get the best experience from your products and services. It also gives you a chance to introduce customers to new features, collect feedback, and ensure your brand remains “top of mind” in a competitive environment.

While there are plenty of ways to communicate with your customers, such as through social media or email, push notifications are becoming increasingly popular in today’s mobile world. Not only is it easier for customers to “opt-in” to push notifications, but they’re more likely to interact with your website or mobile app faster after receiving a message. 

Around 40% of users visit an app or site within an hour of receiving a push notification. What’s more, you can use push notifications to deliver a highly personalized experience with the right triggers. You can target users at the ideal time or based on their location or previous actions. You can even use tools like Subscribers.com to build entire welcome and onboarding campaigns, or message customers when they abandon a product in their cart.

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As mobile commerce continues to grow, and more consumers purchase smartphones, push notifications could give you the power you need to significantly increase customer loyalty. Some studies have already shown that they can drive retention rates of up to 93%. 

3. Deliver Omnichannel Support, Fast

As we mentioned above, exceptional customer support is another key factor in any customer retention management strategy. The harder it is for your customers to get help from your team, whether they’re troubleshooting an issue or checking on an order, the more likely they are to churn. 

The key to success in today’s world is ensuring your customers can access support on the channels they use most quickly. You need to be available not just via email but also over the phone, through social media, and even via instant chat. 

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Most importantly, you’ll need to ensure your customers get the same consistent level of personalized, rapid service, whatever channel they use. Studies show that companies with strong omnichannel customer service and engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers. On the other hand, brands with a poor omnichannel strategy only retain an average of 33%. 

Even if you don’t have enough employees to respond to every query straight away, make sure your customers know they’ve been heard. 

Sending an automated short message letting a customer know you’ve received your request and when they can expect a reply can significantly increase satisfaction rates. 

4. Personalize Every Experience

No two customers have the same exact requirements when they purchase something from your business. Similarly, everyone you serve will have different preferences and requirements when it comes to getting support from your team. 

Investing in a high level of personalization ensures that consumers feel they’re getting experience “tailor made” for them. According to Evergage, around 99% of marketers agree that personalization helps them build stronger customer relationships. 

There are plenty of ways you can make customer experiences feel more personal. For instance, if you’re using rich push notifications to communicate with your buyers, you can suggest product upgrades and new items to existing customers based on their previous purchases. 

Personalized Push Notifications to Inspire Yours - Taplytics

If your customer reaches out to you for help, using your CRM data to track their previous purchasing history, referring to them by name, and identifying their customer service preferences will lead to a more powerful interaction. 

You can even give your customers a way to personalize the product or service they purchase, giving them various options to choose from based on their specific feature needs or budget. 

5. Incentivize Loyalty 

Today’s customers often need a good reason to stay loyal to their favorite brands. While amazing customer service and unique features are good incentives, new competitors are arriving in the market all the time. It’s hard to constantly fight against other companies offering similar products for lower prices. So, find ways to incentivize loyalty. 

For instance, you could create a comprehensive loyalty program, which gives customers access to exclusive offers, VIP events, and discounts, in exchange for their continued commitment to your business. Sephora’s Beauty Insider program is an excellent example of this. It allows consumers to earn points for everything from buying products to reviewing past purchases. 

Sephora beauty insider community

Plus, customers exchange those points for free samples and discounts on Sephora products, encouraging them to consistently interact with the brand. You could also look at strategies like:

  • Sharing exclusive discounts: Share exclusive offers and early access to new products with the customers who have been with your company the longest or spent the most.
  • Create subscription packages: Give customers the opportunity to save money with a subscription that allows them to receive your products or services regularly. 
  • Flash sales: Host flash sales and send push notifications to your most loyal customers, giving them the chance to get the discounts they want first.

6. Implement a Customer Feedback Loop

If you want to ensure your customers stay with your business as long as possible, you need to ensure you’re proactively addressing the challenges they face with your product or service and improving its value. The only way to determine what you need to fix and improve is with customer feedback. 

Adding a customer feedback loop to your customer feedback management strategy is how you learn what you need to do to minimize churn. It can involve sending out surveys to customers about their experiences with your product or asking them to rate their experience on a scale.

7 Best Templates for Writing a Better Customer Feedback Email

You can even send automated feedback requests to customers through push notifications as soon as they purchase a product through your site or app. A good way to ensure you’re collecting as much valuable data as possible is to incentivize the process of giving feedback.

Tell your customers that their insights will help you to make a better product, and make sure you’re living up to that promise whenever you upgrade your offering. Alternatively, offer your customers points, discounts, or extra gifts in exchange for their feedback.

7. Create a Referral Program

Referral programs can be powerful tools for conversion rate optimization. They help activate your loyal customers, turning them into advocates who drive new buyers to your business through word-of-mouth marketing. However, referral programs aren’t just a great way to attract new business.

They can also boost your retention rates too. When a customer refers a friend to a solution, they’re more likely to continue using that service or product themselves. That’s particularly true if you offer your existing customer a reward for connecting you with a friend. 

Dropbox product launch example

For instance, Dropbox’s referral program, which asked customers to share a link to the platform with a friend to earn additional storage space, had incredible results for the business. The referral strategy led to a 3900% increase in Dropbox users within just 15 months. 

Just make sure the bonus you’re offering your customers encourages them to continue using your service. Offer them a discount on their next purchase, or give them points they can exchange for freebies from your store or website.

8. Educate and Empower your Customers 

Just like creating an onboarding program can help your customers see the value of your product or service a lot faster, designing an ongoing education program means they can consistently unlock more benefits from your offering. Your strategy for educating your customers might include something simple, like creating a knowledge base or blog where you share insights and advice. 

Alternatively, you might create something more in-depth, like a full academy environment, full of videos, guides, webinars, and tutorials that teach users how to make the most of your solutions. 

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For instance, HubSpot Academy offers access to a range of courses tailored to the needs of marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Other ways to educate and empower customers include:

  • Providing one-on-one training: If you’re selling complex solutions, particularly to other businesses, one-on-one training sessions could be extremely useful to your customers.
  • Designing an online community: Creating a community environment where customers can share questions with other users and interact with like-minded people can boost engagement and give you valuable insights into your customers. 
  • Creating courses: Creating and sharing courses related to your industry is an excellent way to demonstrate thought leadership and earn the trust of your audience. 

9. Create Something Truly Unique

This might be the toughest strategy to include in your customer retention management plan, but it can also be one of the most valuable. If you’re offering your customers something truly unique that they can’t get anywhere else, then they’re less likely to leave you for a competitor. 

The good news is you don’t necessarily need to re-invent the wheel. Sometimes offering a unique experience can be simpler than it seems. For instance, countless companies offer access to hair care products, but only Function of Beauty creates specific formulas their customers can customize.

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Similarly, Salesforce is just one of many software developers offering CRM technology and sales tools. However, it’s also the only company to offer customers a unique “community” experience, complete with exclusive events, training sessions, and certifications for its software. 

Looking for ways you can deliver value to your customers, and eliminate pain points that other competitors overlook, can give you a significant edge when it comes to customer retention. 

Examples of Excellent Customer Retention Management

Now we’ve covered some of our favorite strategies for customer retention management, let’s take a look at some examples of companies using these methods effectively. 

1. Amazon Makes Online Shopping Simple

One of the easiest ways to boost your chances of retaining customers is to give them an experience that feels completely effortless. That’s part of what has made Amazon one of the most successful ecommerce marketplaces in the world. Everything from searching for products to re-ordering the items you want and even requesting express delivery is simple. 

In fact, with Amazon, you can make a purchase in just a couple of seconds without having to endlessly re-enter payment details. On top of that, the company also takes advantage of the “subscription” method to keep customers coming back for more. 

Not only does Amazon have its own subscription service for access to faster delivery, TV channels, and music in the form of “Prime,” but it allows companies to give their customers discounts when they subscribe to receive a product on a regular basis:

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This is yet another way that Amazon makes shopping simple, allowing customers to put the delivery of their favorite products on autopilot. 

2. TOMS Increases Retention with a Clear Mission

Sometimes, the best way to convince your customers to stick with your business isn’t just to offer them an excellent product or service. Up to 89% of shoppers say they stay loyal to brands that share their values. Demonstrating a commitment to a specific vision or mission that aligns with your customer’s priorities can strengthen their connection to your brand.

For instance, TOMS built its entire business model around giving something back. Whenever someone purchases a pair of shoes from the company, it donates another pair to those in need. 

customer retention strategy example: TOMS

It’s this approach that convinces customers to consistently choose TOMS over other shoe companies. They know when they buy a product from the brand, they’re not just getting something great themselves, they’re doing something wonderful for the world. 

You don’t necessarily have to give something away to use this strategy either. Simply showing your customers that you’re taking positive action can be enough. For instance, the Lush cosmetics company earns millions of customers, thanks to it’s commitment to abolishing animal cruelty.

3. Dollar Shave Club Stays Proactive

Delivering an excellent customer experience is essential to strong customer retention management. However, these days, it’s not enough to simply respond to requests and issues quickly. Up to 62% of customers now expect businesses to “anticipate” their needs in advance. 

That means you need to evaluate the goals and pain points of your customers constantly, and stay one step ahead of any issues they might have. The Dollar Shave Club company does this well. As soon as a customer arrives on their website, they’re greeted with a bot that suggests questions they might want to ask about delivery times, new products, and more. 

Dollar Shave Club

What makes this strategy even more impressive is that the bot can tell when it’s speaking to a registered customer and call them by name. It can even draw insights from previous conversations to help drive the discussion forward. 

4. Deliveroo Speaks to Customers

We mentioned above that communicating constantly with your customers and gathering their feedback is crucial to boosting your retention rates. Deliveroo is an example of a company that knows how to create an amazing feedback loop. 

First, after each delivery, Deliveroo sends either a push notification or an email to its customers, asking them to rate their Deliveroo driver and the quality of the service. Additionally, whenever a customer submits a complaint, they’ll get back in touch after resolving the issue to ensure the buyer is happy with the resolution. 

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The company also regularly sends out NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys to find out how likely their customers would be to recommend them to a friend. Plus, they’ll share updates via push notifications and emails about new additions to their app or changing features. 

This comprehensive approach to communicating with consumers ensures Deliveroo can constantly discover new ways of improving the customer experience, while also guaranteeing customers never forget about the app. 

5. Chewy Surprises and Delights Subscribers

As we noted before, sometimes the best way to retain your customers is to give them an experience they just won’t get anywhere else. For instance, there are countless companies out there selling pet food subscriptions, but Chewy separates itself from the pack. 

The company sends handwritten letters and cards to its customers, addressing pets by name and making them feel like an important part of the community. 

A Survival Guide to Holiday Greeting Cards - Waste Advantage Magazine

They also regularly surprise their customers with added gifts in their subscription boxes, free samples, and little extras throughout the year. These bonuses might not seem like much at first, but they ensure customers actually feel excited about receiving their parcels from Chewy. 

If you can implement a similar strategy, you’re more likely to build deeper emotional connections with your audience. Plus, they’ll be more likely to talk about these little surprises with other people, giving you access to some great word-of-mouth marketing opportunities. 

6. Adobe Fights Back Against Churn

Customer retention management can be difficult in any industry, but it’s often particularly complex in the software-as-a-service landscape. Consumers are always signing up for free trials and discounted versions of the products they want, then canceling their subscriptions before they renew. 

That means SaaS brands need to take extra steps to ensure their customers stick around, even when their subscription prices increase. Adobe is a master at this. The company offers its Creative Cloud Subscriptions on a monthly basis, which locks customers into the service for a year at a time.

When customers decide they want to cancel their subscription early, they have the option to receive two months of free access to the same tools. 

customer retention strategy example: adobe

By stepping in at the exact point when consumers are thinking of abandoning the ship, Adobe gives their buyers an opportunity to stick around for a little longer. During this time, Adobe has another chance to prove its value to its customers and prevent them from moving to a competitor. 

If you use a similar strategy, it’s worth taking the approach a step further, by using your CRM technology to track your “at risk” customers, and offer them a personalized level of support.

7. CodeAcademy Amplifies the Voice of their Customer

Listening to your customers is important to ensure you can constantly improve the services and products you offer. However, it’s even better to show your customers that you’re not only listening to them but also value their opinions. A great way to do this is to amplify and share the feedback your customers give you. 

Codeacademy shares videos which highlight real-life stories from people using the platform, to highlight how their services have positively changed their lives. This not only makes existing customers feel heard and valuable, but it also gives them a stronger connection to the brand. When customers think they’re actively contributing to the success of your product, they feel a sense of “ownership” over it. 

What’s more, this technique means that CodeAcademy can take full advantage of user-generated content and social proof to earn the trust of new customers. More than 97% of buyers say that reviews from other buyers strongly influence their purchasing decisions. Consider reaching out to your customers and asking them to share their thoughts and stories. 

8. Flo Builds a Thriving Community

Flo, the female health app, has achieved incredible results with its technology over the years. The company’s app offers access to world-class tools for predicting, analyzing, and monitoring health data. However, what really sets it apart from competing solutions is the in-app community. 

Within the Flo app, users can create an account or use the application anonymously to connect with other women who are monitoring similar health data. 

Period tracker app Flo developing 'anonymous mode' to quell post-Roe  privacy concerns | KNKX Public Radio

Even better, Flo regularly uses push notifications to prompt customers to discuss their concerns and goals with other people. It even pairs every user with a virtual health assistant and allows people to set up chat rooms where they can talk about certain topics. 

The community experience addresses an important issue in the healthcare landscape, ensuring people don’t feel isolated or stressed waiting for health results and insights. 

9. MeUndies Makes Retention Fun

Referral and loyalty programs are an excellent way to boost retention rates and even bring new customers to your business. However, the key to ensuring these strategies have the right impact on your audience is making them as engaging as possible. 

Customer Retention Strategy Example: meundies

MeUndies offers an excellent insight into how exciting and fun referral programs can be. The company encourages customers to drive new buyers to the store by asking them to share a 20% discount code with their friends. When the new customer makes a purchase, the existing buyer then receives a $20 credit they can use on their next purchase. 

To make the experience even more exciting, users can watch how far their friends get through the buyer process and even send a “nudge” notification to encourage them to make a purchase. Each customer can even send their friends “abandoned cart” emails. 

Master the Art of Customer Retention Management

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The right approach to customer retention management is crucial for any business in today’s world. Whether you’re running an ecommerce company, launching a SaaS brand, or selling services, the more customers you can retain, the more profit you’ll earn. 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all way to ensure you retain customers, there are plenty of powerful strategies you can use to boost loyalty and engagement. Discover how you can strengthen your connections with customers, increase repeat purchases, and reduce churn with the power of personalized push notifications today.

Contact Subscribers.com, or get started with the free version of our software and take your customer retention strategy to the next level. 


What is a customer retention strategy?

A customer retention strategy is the tactics or methods you use to turn customers into repeat buyers and reduce their chances of leaving your company. It can involve everything from sending regular push notifications to customers with personalized offers to creating loyalty programs.

How can you increase customer retention?

There are plenty of ways to increase customer retention, from creating a feedback loop to ensure you’re constantly optimizing your products to rewarding loyal customers and promoters and even educating your buyers with the right onboarding process and informative content.

What is a good customer retention rate?

The average customer retention rate achieved by your company will vary depending on various factors (including the industry you serve). As a general rule, a retention rate of between 35% and 85% is often considered “good”, while anything under 35% is considered low.