Your software platform won’t last long unless you invest in end user retention. Retention, in this context, refers to your ability to keep users subscribed and actively using your platform. High user retention levels lead to increased income, greater income stability, and even higher growth rates for your platform.
So how do you boost user retention?
Build a Great Product
The most straightforward way to increase end user retention is to build a great product. If your product is functional, valuable, and easy to use, your users will never want to give it up. It’s also going to help you generate more customer referrals, so you always have a steady stream of new users to add to your base.
Of course, building a great product isn’t easy. You need to understand what your users want out of your product. You need to hire skilled, experienced developers. You need to constantly push to stay ahead of your competitors and discover new competitive advantages.
But all this work is arguably necessary if you want reasonable user retention rates.
Prioritize Customer Support
Even the best products have occasional bugs and hiccups that need to be dealt with. No matter how thorough you are in the coding process, your users will eventually stumble upon glitches and technical errors that prevent them from doing what they want. Occasional bugs probably won’t cause you to lose users, but if those bugs are frequent, or if customers struggle to get the support they need when they need it, you’re going to see a mass exodus.
Better IT help desk software can help you here. The right help desk software platform can make it easy for customers to log issues, create tickets, and chat with customer service agents. Your agents, in turn, will also have access to more robust tools and features they can use to help resolve issues quickly. If you get in the habit of closing tickets as quickly as possible, and providing prompt, polite customer service, your users will stay with your brand indefinitely.
There are probably many products like yours on the market, and if your competitors have prominent strengths, it’s possible they could siphon customers from you. The best way to address this problem is to competitively differentiate your product; what is it about your product that no other product on the market has?
There are many angles to potentially take here, such as a lower price, access to more features, or niche utility for a specific target audience. But no matter what, you should strive to have some distinctive qualities and emphasize those qualities in your marketing, advertising, and ongoing product support.
Encourage Loyalty With Rewards
Customer loyalty programs are relatively inexpensive, but they could play a massive role in dissuading users from leaving the platform. Allowing users to accumulate points based on how long they stay with the platform, or offering discounts to your most loyal users could be all it takes to boost retention rates.
Provide More Personalized Experiences
Today’s best marketers and product developers are focusing more on personalization, offering more individualized experiences that are tailored for people based on their behavioral patterns, target demographics, and other data. If you can provide more personalized experiences, and engage with people on an individual level, user retention rates should rise. This can be difficult, however, since you’ll need to gather much more data on your customers and use that data practically.
Communicate Regularly to Stay Top of Mind
You likely already understand the value of top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) in your users. When your brand is more top-of-mind, customers tend to demonstrate more loyalty and consistency. You can build this level of awareness through a variety of different campaigns, including social media posts, email marketing newsletters, and ongoing marketing and advertising. Provide your users with more information, unique insights, and helpful tips for how to get more out of your product; anything you do to add value will be appreciated.
Gather Feedback (and Act on It)
Finally, collect feedback from your users on a regular basis. What do people like about this product? What don’t they like about it? Do they have ideas for new features? Are there persistent bugs that need to be squashed? User surveys can help you understand the current perspectives of your user base, so you can use those insights to make an even better product.
Acting on customer feedback serves many purposes. It’s a pathway to objectively improving the value of your product, so more people appreciate it. But it’s also a way to show your customers that you care about them. When a customer complains about an issue, then sees the issue fixed the next week, they understand how much your brand cares about its customers – which means they’ll be much more likely to stick with you for the long haul.
Improving user retention isn’t always easy, but there are several reliable strategies you can use to do it. Each incremental step toward higher user retention will boost your profitability and your organization’s performance consistency.