Beyond Digital: Transforming Customer Attention into Customer Retention

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For many, the word “transformation” carries an undertone of digital specificity. And why wouldn’t it? The past two years have been a real-time case study, with consumers and organizations alike turning to digital transformation as a beacon of continued connectivity. But the truth of the matter is, organizational transformation is so much more than just digital.

Customer attention has never been at such a premium. Data scientists and media analysts believe the average consumer attention span is just 8 seconds. And while the outside world may have slowed down during the pandemic, customer communication certainly did not. In fact, in many cases, communication skyrocketed, making the time in which you can capture your customer’s attention that much more valuable. Consider the fact that:

We’ve spoken before about the power of the micro-moment, those small (and sometimes overlooked) moments in which you hold 100% of your customer’s focus. The power of these moments cannot be understated. Within these seconds, you as an organization are afforded the opportunity to transform customer attention into customer retention. You can read much more about this concept in our whitepaper,
Attention To Retention: Redefining Customer Engagement Around Micro-Moments.

It’s a big statement for such a succinct amount of time. But when you analyze these micro-moments at a macro level, you are able to more acutely observe the power of what some would classify as “a few seconds here and there.” Because in reality, very few customers will spend hours of their day researching and understanding your brand, especially today. The e-commerce boom and evolutions like social commerce have drastically reduced the timeline of the typical sales cycle, sometimes resulting in a consumer researching, considering and buying within minutes. 

What does this mean for the future of customer retention? It means your brand needs to share a consistent story across channels, customizing communications down to the individual consumer to stay top of mind when the urge to purchase strikes—whether that’s in five minutes or five weeks.    

Capturing customer retention with personalization

Want to know a secret? The great brands—the kind that customers actively seek out and consistently look to as their North Star of what a good brand should be—are the ones that don’t just capture the moment but use it to spur loyalty with personalized messaging designed to further customer retention.

Consumers want personalization more than ever. In a survey of 1,200 individuals, Boston creative communications agency CTP found that two-thirds are willing to pay a premium for brands that personalize communications. Six in 10 respondents also reported that they would purchase more products and services from brands that reward loyalty. Yes, you read that right: you could actually make more money by prioritizing customer retention. 

As we explain in this blog post about personalization, customer engagement management (CEM) is imperative to true customer retention and loyalty. Getting CEM right comes down to being available across channels and across the buyer journey, measuring what resonates best with each customer and then tweaking the next engagement based on what you learned from the previous one. We’ll get into more of what this entails in the sections below. 

Customer retention requires omnichannel 

Omnichannel has been a buzzword for years, but it’s not a concept many brands are executing effectively. 

There are many touchpoints that can be incorporated into an omnichannel strategy focused on customer retention. But this is where many brands also fall down the rabbit hole. The goal isn’t to become obsessed with a bright, shiny new marketing channel like social or SMS. Really, it comes down to understanding where your target audiences are engaging, being there with brand consistency via orchestrating the right messages on each channel in a cohesive way and then collecting, analyzing and managing your data and insights in one place. And you’re going to need the right integrated technology with a centralized view of customer and marketing expertise across the channels you pursue to do this well. 

Hubspot recommends trying up to three channels in your omnichannel strategy, and notes that some channels may work well during certain stages in the buyer’s journey, or for a short time. “Listening to your data is the best way to know which channels are worth your time and effort,” they say. And that brings us to…

The role of data in customer retention 

The CTP survey mentioned earlier also found that brands focused on trust and human relationships stand a higher chance of receiving information from their customers and prospects, including: 

  • Name (48%)
  • Email (51%) 
  • Birthday (52%)
  • Personal tastes, like music (58%) and favorite hobbies (54%) 

This is huge. At a time when data availability and tracking consumers across the web have diminished due to privacy law and browser changes, it’s critical that brands reprioritize first-party data—the kind consumers willingly opt into. If brokering a stronger relationship with customers can help brands gather more of this rich information, it’s a no-brainer to invest both time and resources into getting personalization right. 

What’s more, consumers are bought into the value exchange certain brands offer when they pony up their prized data. The CTP survey shows that more than two-thirds of consumers expect something in return for sharing their data, such as discounts and offers relevant to their personal interests.

Customer retention made easy

Customer retention in an age when customer attention is harder to capture than ever doesn’t have to be hard in and of itself. In fact, it could be as simple as knowing your customer recently made a purchase and including a promotional message for a related product on their next bill or invoice. The technology you use to do this can also be easy. There are low- and no-code, template-based, flexible systems that make onboarding a cinch so you can stay focused on your customers, not technical issues. 

It all comes back to transformation. Transforming seemingly irrelevant interactions into true moments of engagement. Transforming attention into customer retention. Are you ready to get started?

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