Sticky CX: Retaining Customers Through Design

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Customer experience (CX) design emphasizes brand-consumer interactions at every stage of the consumer journey. This begins when someone discovers a new brand and continues long after the purchase.

Top brands create sticky customer experiences that keep people coming back for more. This is important in the age of the consumer power.

  • Why is a sticky CX important?
  • Customer Stickiness vs. Customer Loyalty
  • What makes customers buy again?

Why is a Sticky CX important?

  • Sticky CX design aims to convert new customers and retain existing ones. It costs more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones, especially if the latter are loyal. Returning customers spend 67% more on trusted brands.
  • Customer stickiness measures the quality of the customer experience across the entire customer cycle (lead generation, lead nurturing, purchasing, product/service quality, post-purchase).
  • To maintain engagement and encourage customers to stay active in the buying cycle, you must optimize the entire customer experience.

Customer Stickiness vs. Customer Loyalty

Stickiness emphasizes repeat transactional value over customer loyalty.

Customers can stay loyal to your brand if they don’t buy similar products or services from competitors, but that doesn’t mean they do.

Creating a sticky customer experience increases customer value by increasing the frequency and/or value of purchases made throughout the relationship.

What makes customers buy again?

Convenience is the top reason shoppers return to an online retailer, according to Bread’s 2020 Consumer Shopping Survey.

While addressing consumer priorities is vital, CX design encompasses more than product page choices. Companies must create experiences that delight customers, keep them engaged even when they aren’t buying, and time motivational messages to inspire new purchases.

While frictionless buying (optimizing the buying process for repeat purchases) is critical, you should also monitor:

  • Time-to-value: Provide value as soon as possible following a new purchase.
  • Increase value: Assist customers in maximizing the value of their most recent purchase.
  • Lifecycle data: Analyze purchase behaviors to determine when various customer types are ready and most likely to make another purchase – and what they will purchase.

You can also encourage engagement by offering limited-time offers and quick product launches. It helps identify VIPs and rewards repeat customers with special status and rewards. Instant responses help prioritize support for your best customers.

You can use customer engagement to build a community. It helps customers form emotional bonds with brands. It’s also good to highlight loyal customers in social media campaigns.

Then there’s the usual cross-selling and upselling for customer retention. While transactional interactions are important in creating a sticky CX, you must also optimize the gaps between purchases and nurture emotional motivations.

Sticky CX is about keeping customers engaged after a purchase, when intent is low, especially across channels that can build motivation over time.