If you’re running tech-based product marketing, customer success, or business development initiatives, you know that audience attention spans are spread thin. New customer acquisition, as a result, can be an inefficient engine.

For every 100 new visitors that you bring to your website, maybe just a few will become paying customers—and that’s if your marketing efforts are the most efficient they can be. According to one analysis, the top 10% of AdWords advertisers have account conversion rates of just 11.45%. Keep in mind that these conversion rates are measured by click-through rates on ads and that actual sales are likely to be much lower.

That’s why it’s important for businesses to focus on customer retention—an area that also has a direct impact on growth. For one, customer happiness amplifies word-of-mouth success in the sense that customers are likely to talk about products that make them happy. Not to mention, retained customers provide a steady, predictable revenue stream.

Here are 3 optimizations that companies can make to improve customer retention rates.

1. Educate audiences 'in the moment'

New products, systems, and technologies can introduce steep learning curves. What customers need is guidance—something that your company is in a strong position to provide based on what you’re learning every day.

Consider our case study from e-commerce company FSAStore.com as an example. As a destination for Flexible Spending Account activity, the brand is accustomed to reaching audiences with questions about what’s reimbursable.

To provide guidance, FSAstore.com created personalized brand awareness and education campaigns that target visitors with the right content and products in real time. The company began by tracking visitors based on their shopping needs and points of friction. With this data, the company presents call-out messages to customers in real time. These initiatives have yielded revenue lifts of up to 5 percent.

2. Provide real-time engagement data

Your customers may need support to get up and running with your product. That’s where the need for human intervention comes in—support reps can jump into course-correct customer pain points before they have a chance to emerge.

Compete PRO, for instance, integrates real-time customer data with its CRM platform. Sales, support, and marketing teams can quickly look up account status levels and product usage. With this information, companies can take swift action to further engage customers and prevent potential churn.

By connecting real-time engagement data to its CRM, Compete has improved retention rates by 26%. The reason is simple—the company’s team members are better positioned to meet customer needs faster.

3. Streamline overhead through personalization

Great customers deserve individual-level attention. As much as you want to spend time on 1:1 calls, however, you can’t. You need to find a more efficient way to communicate the right information to the right audiences at the right time.

One way to optimize your customer support is through personalization. Rather than standardizing operating procedures, give each person or organization the level of support that they need. With this approach, you’ll eliminate unnecessary customer support calls while increasing the amount of attention that you can give to the audiences who need it most.

By using personalization technology, cloud services provider HostGator identifies the most frequently asked customer questions. Using this information, HostGator’s support team proactively serves up tips and self-help articles to customers, before pain points have an opportunity to arise. The company estimates that it has already redirected thousands of support calls and online chats to self-help options in the first 6 months—freeing up time for customer success reps to focus on audience segments who need the most attention.

Final thoughts

Speed, precision, and empathy will yield stronger customer retention rates. Reach audiences with the relevant communications, in a faster way, and your business will see macro-level improvements in the form of happier customers and higher retention rates.