Losing customers is always difficult, and 70% of marketers agree that trying to acquire new ones comes at a bigger cost than keeping them. This means there’s more focus than ever on customer retention, and plenty of customer retention software tools are available to help you out.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about customer retention software. Discover the different uses for it, why it’s worth investing in, and some of our top picks for customer retention software to try in 2021.
What Is Customer Retention Software, and How Do Companies Use It?
Customer retention software can refer to any tool or software that helps you reduce customer churn and therefore increase the rates of people staying with you for longer.
These tools — often SaaS products — can be used to help you action your customer retention strategies. Some customer retention software is focused on customer engagement and support, while others help you run surveys to collect useful data or spot opportunities to engage before you lose a customer. Once you have a goal in mind, you can choose a tool or software that helps you reach it.
Here are several popular ways that companies use customer retention software to help them store, interrogate, and make the most of customer data and connections.
Identify Opportunities to Engage
One of the main reasons why people invest in customer retention software is because they want to catch customers before they leave. If a company can identify a dwindling customer relationship or an unhappy client, they can take action — like scheduling a personal call to talk through concerns or offering an incentive or more appropriate plan. This can help reduce churn and create a more positive experience for your customer base.
Customer retention software tools in this space blend customer relationship management (CRM), with smart analysis tools that can help you identify which customers are more likely to churn. From there, you can reach out to them with personalized messaging, offer additional support, or offer a discount to entice them to stay.
Run Customer Loyalty Programs
A great way to encourage your customers to stay with you for the long haul is to incentivize customer engagement, actions, and purchases. Customer loyalty programs can help you retain customers, but you’ll need the right tools to manage them effectively.
Customer loyalty program software helps make it easy for you to set up, run, and promote your loyalty programs. You can automate the onboarding, messaging, and updates so your customers can build points as they shop, share, and stay an active part of your brand community — without too much ongoing attention from your marketing team.
Offer Better Customer Support
One of the main reasons why customers leave a company is because they’re unsatisfied with the customer experience or service. Offering a high level of service to your customers means they’re less likely to churn over a small issue. Plus, 89% of businesses see customer experience as a key factor in driving loyalty and retention.
SaaS tools that help you optimize your customer experience and customer support often help you streamline the process between noticing an issue and providing a fix. They can also help you make yourself more available to your customers in a useful way, like ServiceBell’s live video chat.
Get Customer Feedback and Insights
Another popular use for customer retention software is to get valuable insights on what your customers think, feel, need, and want. Knowing more about customer behavior and interests can help you optimize your existing offer, products, or support to retain them for longer.
Survey tools are one of the most useful types of customer retention software, as they allow you to build, send, and analyze the results of questionnaires filled in by your customers. You can ask about your product, service, or customer support — or get insights on wider areas like the niche you operate in or your customers’ other interests.
Benefits of Investing in Customer Retention Software
While the tools that feature in the customer retention software category vary, they all bring you one main benefit — they can help you keep your customers around for longer. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of using customer retention software in your business.
Reduced Customer Churn
If your tools help you retain customers, you end up with reduced customer churn. Your customers don’t just buy from you once — they remain with you for multiple purchases or subscription periods.
Increased customer retention rates don’t just equal a healthy number for your figures, but they mean you have to spend less on advertising and customer acquisition. After all, retaining a customer is more affordable than trying to acquire a new one.
More Referrals from Happy Customers
When your software is working well on your behalf, your customers will stick around for longer. Chances are they’ll be happier too as their needs are being met — especially if you’re investing in customer service or support software, like ServiceBell.
Happy customers are more likely to talk about you to their friends, family members, and network. They might also leave positive feedback on social media or review websites. This means you can expect to see a healthy uptick in the number of referrals from existing customers. Not only does this help reduce your customer acquisition costs, but you can funnel some of those saved funds right back into even better customer support and retention efforts.
Increased Spend from Existing Customers
Loyal customers are more likely to buy from you again and again and offer a higher customer lifetime value. In fact, research shows that your top 10% of most loyal customers spend three times more per order than the other 90% of your customers.
Retaining customers and delighting them pays off for your bottom line. Investing in customer retention tools helps you spot opportunities to transform regular customers into your top ones, provide amazing customer support, and tempt them to stay with you through impressive VIP loyalty schemes.
5 Customer Retention Software Tools to Consider in 2021
Customer retention software is well worth investing in. It can help you identify opportunities to engage with customers, give you useful insights into customer behavior, and help you create amazing experiences for your customers so they can’t help but want to stay.
If you want to reduce your customer churn and improve your customer retention rates, here are some useful software tools to consider adding to your business.
1. Gainsight CX
Gainsight CX is a customer retention tool that's focused on customer experience. Its features include surveys, journey mapping, and data analytics — all of which are designed to help you offer impressive customer service that keeps customers longer.
- Ability to track and understand the health of clients, then take action to improve it
- Useful integrations with other marketing and sales tools, like popular CRMs
- Ease of use across multiple devices
- Built for larger teams — you’ll probably need a dedicated person overseeing things
- Steep learning curve to understand how best to use the software
- Need some technical knowledge to introduce and manage it
Heap is a smart analytics platform designed to help marketing, customer success, and product teams build more impactful customer experiences — with a focus on customer retention. It’s a tool that gives you a wealth of customer data around how people interact with your product, so you can optimize the most valuable features and make improvements to aid retention rates.
- Automatic data capture, so users don’t need to set up individual events to get information
- Built-in Heap University walks users through how to use the tool and gain more knowledge on data analytics
- Back analysis of events is possible, which is unavailable with many competing tools
- Steep learning curve for people that are less tech savvy
- Limited dashboard features and views
- Lack of customization options for graphs and formatting in reports
3. Qualtrics XM
Qualtrics XM sits within the experience management bracket of customer retention software. It’s a tool that helps you deliver better customer service and increase retention rates through having a better understanding of their wants and needs. Think of it as a more advanced survey tool — one with hundreds of questions and sophisticated scoring.
- In-depth data and analytics from survey results
- Easy to use — even for beginners
- Opportunities to conduct real-time data analysis
- Can be overwhelming for users who only need to send basic surveys (a tool like Google Forms would work better in this case)
- Question customization can be challenging at times
- Pricing can become expensive if you want to invest in multiple areas of the tool
ServiceBell is an innovative live video chat tool that plugs into your website, allowing you to have one-to-one real-time video calls with customers. This means each individual customer feels like they’re getting your full attention right when they need it.
It’s a fun way to recreate an in-person, VIP experience for your customers — without them having to leave your website. Consider adding ServiceBell to your business if you want to retain customers through impressive, personalized customer service and support.
- Offers a money-back guarantee
- Ability to engage with customers browsing on both desktop and mobile
- Engage more actively with customers through remote screen takeovers and video support
- Basic technical knowledge needed to insert the relevant code into your website
- Requires you to have a team member ready to take real-time calls with customers
- Paid plan required for more than 10 calls per month
Zendesk is another customer retention tool that’s focused on helping you do better at customer service, so your customers are more likely to stay. It blends a practical help desk tool with opportunities to keep customers engaged through live chat, forums, and knowledge bases.
- Offers a comprehensive support helpdesk and ticketing system
- Easy to route and manage tickets thanks to automation features
- Simple, clean user interface that offers a good user experience
- Some users may find the huge number of options and features overwhelming.
- If you have a large team, the cost per month can end up being expensive.
- It’s designed for larger businesses and teams, rather than small businesses.
Find the Right Customer Retention Software for Your Business
Customer retention software is designed to help you keep your customers for longer, reducing customer churn and helping your bottom line and customer count stay healthy. Losing customers can be costly, so software to help you retain them is a useful investment.
Personalized, on-demand customer and sales support can go a long way towards helping your customer retention rates. If you’re ready to give your customers individual, real-time attention through live video chat, give ServiceBell a try — sign up free today.