Customer retention strategies from Spotify

Making Personalization the Center of Your Customer Retention Strategy like Spotify

Long-term customers are more valuable to your company’s growth than you may think. A study from Harvard Business School found that increasing customer retention rates by even 5% can boost your company’s profits by 25-95%. And, when compared to the cost of customer acquisition, customer retention costs almost 5x less than bringing new customers under your umbrella. 

That said, you’re losing out on business growth if you don’t focus on brand loyalty. Aside from saving you on customer acquisition costs, when you can establish a pool of customers who are loyal to your brand, you have an edge over your competitors. Your customers do your marketing for you, spreading good words about your product and service. 

But, how do you connect with your customers to make sure they keep coming back? The music streaming platform Spotify masterfully retains customers. And, we’ve done a deep dive to see just how they do it.

>> Read Next: What Metrics to Measure in your Contact Center to Save Customer Retention and Build Brand Loyalty

Spotify Finds Success

Spotify, originally founded in 2006 in Sweden, continues to see success. They have growing customer retention despite more competitors on the playing field. In  Q2 of 2021, Spotify had 172 million premium subscribers worldwide, even more than the year prior. And, Spotify’s subscriber base has nearly doubled since 2017.

And that’s why this month we’re crushing on Spotify’s customer retention strategy. Here are a few reasons we admire Spotify’s customer experience strategy.

1. Spotify emphasizes customer onboarding 

For Spotify, customer retention starts at the beginning of the customer relationship. Right off the bat, they give new users a list of reasons to stick around. Although Spotify users can use the app for free, the Premium subscription gives users more functionality. The main differences between a Premium account and an unpaid account is that Premium users can listen to music ad-free, can select any song they wish to listen to, can skip songs, and can download music and playlists. 

But, even with all of these perks, Spotify can’t assume that when a customer upgrades, they’ll want to keep paying for Premium access for life. You have to remind customers what they’re paying for and why it’s worth it. Spotify immediately engages customers and immerses new users in the product’s features. So, for example, when a new customer signs up for a Premium subscription, they get a branded email explaining all of the features they now get to exclusively enjoy. 

An effective onboarding program shows the value of your product or service while also demonstrating that you value your customers. Make sure customers feel welcome after they sign up, subscribe, or make a purchase. This welcoming allows you to establish a solid foundation to build your brand relationship. 

>> Read Next: A Guide to Losing Customers (And How to Avoid Bad Customer Service)

2. They prioritize high-quality customer service

Imagine you’re in your office, headphones in, in your workflow. You’re keeping focused when suddenly, your music stops playing abruptly. Ugh. You’re distracted now, wasting time refreshing the app, searching online to see if it’s just you or a system-wide issue. Your work is interrupted and you’re questioning why you pay $9.95 a month for a Premium Spotify subscription.

Any online streaming service risks the possibility of a dreaded outage. In these moments of inconsistency, your customer retention depends on your customer service team.Spotify is a company that still manages to delight customers even during a crisis. 

After an outage, Spotify promptly responded to all customer concerns across all channels. Even after they fixed the problem, Spotify customer service reps prioritized reaching out to each customer who sent a message. One customer praised their fast service and her overall customer experience with Spotify in the aftermath. In response to her tweet, Spotify thanked her with a curated playlist with a special hidden message in the song list. Even when something goes wrong, Spotify delivers a personal and unique customer experience.

3. They make their customer experience as personal as possible

You could say Spotify is customer-obsessed. They’re pros at gathering customer data and using AI to generate the most personal experience possible. What’s more, built on personalization, Spotify caters to the preferences and needs of each customer. 

Here are a few key ways Spotify delivers personalized experiences: 

  • They actively monitor the content that customers listen to in-platform 
  • They use listening-related insights to deliver personalized recommendations 
  • As customers’ preferences changes, Spotify’s curated songs change with them

Spotify uses AI to surface the right content to the right user at the right time. Above all, they use it to make sure each Spotify customer has a unique experience built for their taste. No Spotify customer has the same dashboard. Instead, each customer gets a fresh and unique “Daily Mix” playlist every day, along with specialized “Discover Weekly” lists, offering customers recommended music based on their listening habits. And in the “Made for you” section of the app, customers can find playlists curated based on their past listening trends. 

Spotify uses customer data to empower customers to discover new content. This not only makes customers feel heard, but it also offers customers a unique benefit that other music streaming platforms struggle to compete with. After you’ve experienced such personalized touchpoints, it’s hard to walk away.

>> Read Next: How Marriott’s Personalized Customer Experience Strategy Encourages Customer Loyalty

4. Spotify Incentivizes Customers to Share their Experience

The use of AI and customer data culminates in one of Spotify’s most popular features (and best marketing strategy) “Spotify Wrapped.” Spotify Wrapped, described as “the story of your year with Spotify,” releases at the end of each year. To sum up your year, it offers each customer a full report of their listening habits from the previous year. 

As Spotify describes it in their promos for Wrapped 2021, “Wrapped is a deep dive into the artists, songs, and podcasts that defined your 2021. The more you listen, the better your Wrapped will be when we launch later this year.” 

Spotify's "Wrapped" keeps customers coming back

These animated reports walk you down memory lane, showing your minutes listened, your top artists, top songs, and favorite genres. Further, your personal Spotify Wrapped is easy to share with friends over social media. Every year, customers share their Spotify Wrapped reports, laugh with their friends over the crazy number of minutes they listened to Spotify. And after that, they welcome ridicule for the embarrassing fact that all their top songs were by Taylor Swift. 

Customers want to share their Spotify experience with others. So, Spotify incentivizes users to generate content on social media, organically marketing the brand and helping Spotify to grow its brand presence among potential future customers. 

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