How mid-market companies are investing in customer retention

How to reassess your approach to keeping customers engaged with your brand over time.

Customer loyalty and retention are key to navigating any disruption—whether from a global pandemic, a new competitor or changing demographics. It’s more expensive to acquire a new customer at any time in the business cycle than to keep a current customer or repeat client. That’s why savvy business leaders create and manage effective, unique retention strategies.

In late 2020, Capital One worked with Forbes Insights to survey 1,001 U.S. mid-market executives to learn more about the steps they are taking to become more resilient and agile in growing their companies. The research uncovered trends about how these executives are approaching customer loyalty and retention for their brands—essentially, how they are improving customer relationships.

Predicting change before it occurs

Change happens for everyone, including your customers. The way they switch habits, preferences and expectations all affect how they interact with your business. But what if you could predict those changes as they gradually started to happen? Chances are you could get ahead of customer churn and retain more business.

The survey indicated that now and in the coming year, 87% of executives expect to build strategies and tools that more closely engage customers as a way to detect change or disruption. Those tools and strategies (like social listening, focus groups, surveys and data about call center/chat messages and volume) can deliver valuable insight into:

  • Overall consumer spending levels
  • Purchasing trends / seasonal trends
  • Product reviews
  • Competitor actions

By capturing this data early in the customer lifecycle, executives expect to gain an important understanding of how to keep customers longer.

Creating the ideal customer experience

Connecting with customers has additional value aside from helping you anticipate change. That connection also helps improve customer experience—the perception customers have of your brand after interacting with your product, people or processes. 

The survey indicated that 41% of executives surveyed are focused on improving the customer experience and staying ahead of evolving customer expectations, specifically through customer relationship management tools. These tools supply a two-fold advantage: they can deliver data that helps strengthen relationships while also streamlining the consumer experience. Additionally, transactional technologies designed to make payment seamless—like mobile/ digital payments, contactless payments and kiosks— seem to be of particular interest, with 58% of responding executives indicating they are investing in transactional technologies to enhance the customer experience. 

Highlighting mission and purpose

Effective customer loyalty and retention strategies extend beyond the transactional. Aligning your brand values with your actions goes a long way in demonstrating that you care about your customers’ and community’s needs. By engaging more with your customers over your mission and purpose, you can create deeper loyalty and improve how your customers think about your brand and do business with your company. 

Improving internal processes

Your internal processes can also impact externally facing experiences and help deepen customer relationships. Executives who responded to the survey indicated a keen interest in fine-tuning the processes that keep their businesses running. They aim to improve efficiency and help employees focus on activities that drive value into the customer experience: better customer service, collaborative product and service development, customized solutions, targeted selling and more.

Deeper customer relationships drive future growth

Commerce continues to adapt to the challenges and impacts of the pandemic. To drive future growth, it’s necessary to focus on delivering connected experiences with your company—rather than short-lived transactions. Knowing your customers and working to meet their expectations for experience with your brand can directly enhance your potential for increased business success.


For Informational Purposes Only

The information contained herein is shared for educational purposes only and it does not provide a comprehensive list of considerations or best practices. This information does not represent any opinion, guidance or recommendation, whether formal or informal, of Capital One, National Association, or any of its officers, directors, employees, advisors, attorneys, consultants, affiliates or subsidiaries (collectively, “Capital One”). Nothing contained herein shall give rise to, or be construed to give rise to, any obligations or liability whatsoever on the part of Capital One.

Products and services are offered by Capital One, N.A., Member FDIC.  © 2020 Capital One.

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