Do you want to know a secret? You don’t really own your business, your customers do.
I know it sounds odd when you provide the product or service, but without your customers, you have no business to own. So why aren’t more brands driving their focus towards retention?
It’s not only about attracting new customers. You have to know how to keep them too.
Naturally, 50% of customers will churn out every 5 years. That might not appear intimidating at first, but say it took you 5 years to gain 1000 customers. Natural fallout will only leave you with 500. In order to keep your momentum, you’ll need to double your efforts to replace those lost and to keep the fire going. 🔥
With that being said, only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers will complain about why; the rest of them simply leave without notice. I don’t know about you, but I’m not too big on being ghosted. 👻 Especially if there was an opportunity for me to find out the problem and do my best to fix it.
Once people leave, it is pretty hard to get them back.
Customer churn is one of those things that has dedicated its existence to make running your business more complicated. There is nothing that you can do that will completely eliminate the possibility that a customer will walk away from your brand.
Churn co-exists with a little pleasure in life called free will. Therefore it will always be a tough and persistent problem that you will be forced to deal with.
Dealing with churn is kind of like being curb sided by a flat tire. Driving down the bumpy road of business, you are always at risk of hitting some type of debris along the way. The question is whether or not you will be prepared for when it happens.
Do you have spare in the trunk or the tools to replace the tire on hand? Sometimes you get lucky and the hole can be patched, but first, you need to be able to spot the air leak.
Sometimes spotting the cause for churn is not as obvious to pinpoint. It takes some effort and the appropriate methods to locate. If you ignore the leak, your tire will gradually deflate, forcing you off the road.
When it comes to calling churn out, there is no one-stop shop or silver bullet tool that will hit your target. Churn likes to pop up in a variety of ways. It doesn’t always happen in the same place, nor for the same reasons. Therefore it is crucial to fully understand how to pinpoint that air leak and approach the type of flat your car has accordingly. Without the right strategy, you will have a difficult time getting back up and on the road.
When you are in a relationship, and neither party is putting in an effort to keep the flame burning, are you really dating? Continuing to delight your customers even after sign up is essential in order to make sure they stay engaged and loyal. Nurturing and gently supporting them throughout their journey within your company.
Customers that don’t feel attended to can easily flip and go to the competitor that will give them more time and appreciation. Because when it comes down to it, all healthy relationships are built on communication. Your customers are no different. There are a variety of ways you can reach out in efforts to nurture those relationships.
Social Responses – Buffer Reply
Social media is your biggest engagement platform. Making sure you have a solid social strategy can encourage positive feelings within your customers. People like to be heard. Businesses who fail to respond to customers over social media can increase their churn rate by up to 15%. 📈
Utilizing a tool that keeps your social reach in check will make things easier for your business down the line and across all platforms. Buffer Reply is one of those tools that allows just that. It consolidates your social channels in one place and makes managing replies much easier; for a one-man show or team approach. Forget channel hopping and focus on quality engagement and conversation.
NPS Surveys – GetFeedback 📣
Sometimes customers are nervous to speak up so their problems go unnoticed. If businesses simply reached out when engagement is low, 11% of churn in this area could be avoided. Conducting NPS surveys can be a great way to get feedback from those that are too shy to speak out on their own. There are some people who just need a little nudge to know you care about their feelings.
Email Newsletters – SendinBlue 💌
Newsletters are a great way to improve your retention rate when they are filled with value. Coupons, product updates, openness about company changes, the celebration of milestones, or even a simple Happy Birthday🎂
When brands keep their customers informed and attended to, around 9 out of 10 people are more likely to forgive and allow second chances after going through a bad experience. While 85% are more likely to stick it out during a time of crises. Nobody likes to feel forgotten, so an email is a quick and great way for increasing retention. Just don’t get too spammy, nobody likes feeling smothered.
Youtube/Video – Wistia 🎥
YouTube has over one billion users on its platform. That is almost one-third of the total amount of internet users. Not only that, the average person spends around 88% more time on a site that has video. With lower bounce rates and the fact, customers retain 95% more of a company’s message when projected via video. Utilizing video-based platforms are a great way to engage and mitigate your churn rate.
When they are entertained, the stay. When they get bored, well they find something better to do. Frequently creating value through videos will keep your customers happier, better informed, and loyal to your brand. The longer they stay with you, the more ingrained they become. Leading them to be more attached, less likely to leave, and more likely to excuse bad behavior should it arise.
In correlation to poor engagement and weak relationship building, we have faulty onboarding as a churn factor. You should be there for your customers when they take their first baby steps into your world. This is to help them ease into your company, setting them up for a successful experience. Having your platform arranged to give product tours, with tools like Chameleon, is one way to direct a cleaner onboarding walkthrough.
You want to make sure they’re transitioning smoothly and understanding how to get the most out of their time with you. If customers can’t comprehend how to get started on their own, they are more likely to become frustrated and take their business elsewhere.
Taking advantage of products like Appcues can also help you to become the product people will want to always come back to. You want to encourage an efficient onboarding experience that will drive users to take action while setting them up to stay long-term.
To effectively lower churn in this area, you want your onboarding process to be solely customer-centric, as opposed to being product-centric.
Even though your products and or services may be great, you’re not the solution to everyone’s problem. Focusing on creating the perfect product isn’t as important as is achieving product-market fit with a product that satisfies an existing problem and is worth solving. If you fail to present yourself to the right market, your efforts will be for nothing.
To better understand your market, you need to see how consumers look at you. Tools like FullStory offer session recording to capture data of the moves visitors make on your page. While Inspectlet takes what Google Analytics tells you and gives you the why behind it. When you cater to the right audience, you decrease the amount of churn you produce because the right people are making the right conversions.
No matter how amazing your product is, if consumers can’t access it, what good will it be to anyone. With a poorly executed customer experience, 48% of consumers will leave a business’ website and purchase from a competitor.
Platforms that are confusing, lack direction, or are littered with glitches or bugs, does nothing but fuel a bad experience. Which then irritates your churn percentage. It should be a priority to test your user experience to make sure everything stays up to par with your consumer preferences.
It’s no good if only you know how to use your platform and not your customers. Around 73% of users weigh heavily on their customer experience as a driving factor that influences their purchasing decisions.
Out of all the common areas for churn to occur, customer service is the biggest. After dealing with at least one bad situation, 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company. Following that negative interaction, 58% of consumers stated that they would never give the company a second chance.
When looking to decrease churn and have customers fall in love with your brand; 55% of consumers say when access to support and information is easily attained, this is something they search for.
In the U.S. more than 6 in 10 of consumers say that their go-to channel for simple inquiries are done through digital self-serve tools such as a website, mobile app, voice response system or online chat. ChipBot 🤖 combines features from live chat and user search to bring a unique, automated support experience to your website.
Bonus Points 🌟 It also helps you acquire new customers by reusing answers from old ones. Think about it… Odds are your current customers are asking questions your potential ones aren’t or haven’t thought of yet. This provides them with easily searchable (and most likely, conversion-critical) content; it shows new users that you’ve got an active community and support system in place.
When you go above and beyond to provide an excellent customer service experience, providing it quickly, 58% of consumers are willing to spend more on your business and less likely to churn out.
Whether we like it or not, churn will forever be the bane of any company’s existence. It is an inevitable situation where the only thing you can really do is proactively mitigate it. There is no setting and forgetting here.
You need to have a well-rounded view of how your customers experience your product. What journey they’ll be taking, and how you will provide continual support and value. U.S. companies lose $136.8 billion per year due to avoidable churn situations. Throwing an emphasis on avoidable.
In order to keep your car on the road, you need to take care of it. Staying on top of your oil changes or the occasional tune-ups. Keeping it clean down to addressing any mechanical issues that might flash up on your dashboard. Your car will only stay as functional for as long as you allow it to. The car can only do so much until you’ve pushed it too far.
Invest in your customers and they will invest in you tenfold. They are the blood that breathes life into your company. Talk less and listen more. You can’t make everyone happy but you should still put your heart and soul into the ones you do; because without them, your brand wouldn’t be your brand.
Kayla Lanzalaco is a spunky natural born creative breaking her way into the marketing industry. Locked and loaded with a witty metaphor, she always has a great story to tell.