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Are You Not Entertained? Super Simple Retention Rate Optimization Tips

You've likely heard the oft-repeated business adage - "it's easier (cheaper) to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one."

It can be difficult/expensive to acquire new customers (as any experienced enterprise can attest) and so many brands ignore audience retention initiatives all together.

For those privileged with an opportunity to concentrate on improving retention rates, and optimizing the consumer experience for long-term (lifetime) value, there are some key steps that must be taken: 

Starting the customer relationship
The foundation of a strong and profitable relationship with customers starts with setting expectations. Be a customers guide, explain what happens upon conversion (e.g. you will receive an email or text message immediately, support representative are available if you have questions, documentation is provided in the community forum, etc.), outline the actions to take, and direct them to the resources they need in advance.  

The post-conversion experience is really where enterprises will be able to solidify the customer relationship. Arguably the most effective practice in retention rate optimization is that of onboarding, an experience-driven engagement event that reveals features and capabilities to the user that may have gone unnoticed but which can improve their experience and drive up usage of an enterprises service.

Start the customer relationship off on the right foot but managing expectations and guiding users toward a better and more lucrative experience. 

Maintaining customer relationships
Once a user has successfully been onboarded (is using the service or is considered an active customer), resources and energy will need to be spent to maintain engagement levels (as defined by regular purchases or periodic interactions).

Just like any strong personal friendship, successful (profitable) long term customer relationships require ongoing communication to ensure certain behaviors are persistent. E-commerce merchants may want to send monthly personalized newsletters based on purchase history, service or information providers could invite existing customers/users to a complimentary educational webinar, etc.).

It is important to keep in mind that every interaction adds value to the relationship between enterprise and customer. 

Analyzing customer relationships
The abundance of data and diversity in audience demographics and digital preferences make analyzing customer relationships cumbersome.

Unfortunately, there's simply no other way to determine if the strategy put in place (and specific marketing tactics, techniques and channels) is effective.

Knowing what is working and what is not and aggregating sufficient data so that an experience can be delivered based on the behavior of many others is the best opportunity available to deliver improvements in retention rate. 

As a Web professional, what's the best way to keep your existing clients and users? As a consumer, what are your expectations of a long-term brand relationship? 

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