Retaining customers

By Ryan Smith on June 17, 2018

Don't neglect clients once they've stepped through your door.

Once the hard work of getting someone through the door in the first place is over, drawing them back again and retaining their business can become another job altogether.

The customer journey is a long trail that may start whenever they first come across your name. They may not even purchase the first or second time, but in this case, they eventually do.

When prospective clients are carefully choosing a financial adviser, it may not be as clear-cut as option A or option B, and a number of extenuating circumstances could come into play. For example, you may think that they came to you first, but they could have bounced through several other services before yours, or this might be their first interaction with any form of financial services.

One of the first questions to consider is how well you track your customer journey. Do you make sure that you get feedback, and can it be measured against other data? Do you know how they found you in the first place and why they are here? All of these little pieces of information can really help to improve customer retention – especially when you begin to spot patterns.

If, for example, you see that customers coming for a certain reason don’t tend to come back, it may be that those who need investment advice are encountering a better service than those looking for pension advice, and spotting this means that you immediately have an idea of how to improve your customer retention level.

Every little number counts

It may not seem like much, but each little percentile of a customer retention rate could make a huge difference to your end-of-year accounts. If you manage to stop a customer from turning away, and keep them coming back year on year, this could be like getting 12 new customers, which many would say is the much harder task. Both require a different approach to get the best from each strategy.

In fact, current estimates indicate that it can cost anywhere between 5 and 25 times more to get a new customer than it does to retain one, and when you couple that with the idea that a long-term customer can add considerably more value than several new ones, the importance becomes crystal clear.

Where should you begin? Although getting your data sets in order and implementing some statistical modelling will definitely pay off in the long run, the need for clear financial advice will never likely be overstated. You could have some of the most advanced data analysis compared to all your competitors, but if you lose sight of the importance of a great product and service experience, then it is always more likely to cause you to fall short.

Be creative with the customer journey. From a series of well-curated emails to make them feel part of the journey with you, to specialised offers and products that fit in with their ethos, treating each customer as an individual with their own ideas can pay off in incredible amounts.

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