How to Build Trust and Retain Customers with Interactive Content
January 26, 2016 | Elizabeth Wellington
Attaining and onboarding a new client is 5 to 25 times pricier than holding onto an existing one. Despite the high expense, marketers tend to focus almost exclusively on customer acquisition, missing the real money maker.
Research conducted by Bain & Company suggests that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases your net profit by 25% to 95%.
Goals and indicators like a low cost-per-lead, high conversion rate, and viral content all point to a successful marketing campaign but overlook efforts to nurture high customer retention rates.
By focusing on new methods to retain clients, you can make an even bigger splash in your revenue stream.
Interactive content offers an engaging and conversational channel to build relationships with current clients, educate them on your services, and ask for valuable feedback.
What’s the first step for starting a post-sale relationship? Build on the trust that you created during the sales cycle.
Trust serves as the backbone for every relationship, in marketing and real life. A recent report created by Forbes Insights and EY identified trust as both a priority and a pain point for CMOs in developing relationships with customers.
Even though 91% of CMOs are focusing on building “trusted customer relationships,” less than 30% “say with full confidence that their department or company has a full grasp of where in the customer life cycle the trust is breaking down.”
In an industry focused on trust, marketing teams can lack the know-how to recognize an eroding relationship between a customer and their brand.
Exclusive emphasis on sales-funnel marketing, for example, can leave clients without meaningful content once they have signed a deal.
Marketers need to continue to build relationships with content once they onboard clients, maintaining an elevated level of trust.
Here’s how interactive content can create mechanisms that measure and increase trust and engagement levels:
Lead by Example
Just because your customers purchased a product or service doesn’t mean they know just how great it is or what the possibilities are.
By including appealing client and customer examples in interactive content, you kickstart their creative juices, showing them instead of telling them the potential that can come from collaborating with your brand.
Burberry, for example, built an interactive gallery of crowdsourced photos of their customers in their iconic Burberry trenches.
The images debunk the idea that their trench only seems fashionable in bad weather and gives customers ideas for styling based on age, gender, and the color and style of their trench.
Showing your community how they can use your products unearths the value of their investment and encourages repeat customers and clients.
According to Gallup, the best B2B relationships start with transparency. Try giving your clients and customers the inside scoop with awesome content.
Did you just receive a big round of funding or open up a new branch of your company? Inform your audience in a big, celebratory way.
Using animated and conversational content pieces that turn more passive announcements into active experiences, keeps your audience participating and engaged.
When Asana developers played around with their software to some fun capabilities, they let their most loyal customers know. Their most popular hacks, the flying unicorn and the majestic narwhal, gave current clients more reasons to stick with their product.
Plus, Asana got a lot of traction on social media all over the world with increased value:
Ask for Feedback
Retaining clients requires more than awesome customer service — you need to use systems that give you a heads up before clients decide to take their business to a competitor. That’s the last thing you want.
With interactive content, you can measure engagement rates and identify your most loyal customers.
Instead of solely creating assessments to move leads down the sales funnel, incorporate them into your onboarding process. Extra reinforcement helps your clients to understand your product and gives you important details on when they need support.
Interactive content differs from traditional marketing because it provides the continual opportunity to ask for feedback.
Have you made any recent changes to your product or services? Offer an interactive experience that empowers customers to really let you know what they think. Even if it isn’t pretty, the information can save an off-target product.
Rob Markey told the Harvard Business Review, to maintain positive customer relationships, “make feedback a part of your daily operations. Deliver the feedback directly to the employees who need to hear it.” Interactive content creates real feedback loops that does the job for you.
Say “Thank You”
The best conversations with clients always end with “thank you.” Use interactive content to appreciate your clients with a bit of entertainment and insight.
Even if you’re still building a strong user base, a “thank you” is one of the biggest pillars of a successful business.
Hold end of the year or special event contests and awards with some of your own customers, highlighting their accomplishments and creating a social atmosphere among clients.
Sometimes it’s just about providing a fun distraction. Sending current customers light-hearted quizzes that apply to a recent pop culture event or reference something within their particular niche is a great way to keep your brand on their minds.
Found an interesting case study or relevant news announcement? Share it with your customers! Even if your organization is not directly involved, being an industry source creates an additional value to your product.
With marketers continually tasked with getting more leads, higher conversions, and engaging new prospects, the value of customer retention campaigns can be lost.
Creating interactive content specifically geared to current customers and clients is a great way to encourage an open, trusting relationship where both the organization and the customers are being heard.
The more your customer hears from you with valuable and engaging content, the more they will want to participate. And when your customers are actively participating, you can learn what exactly they want and need, making your product stronger.
So before you add content to your company’s editorial calendar with the sole purpose of retaining clients, reach out to some of your best customers. Ask them what they would love to see on your website — meeting your audience’s needs always leads to amplified results!