It’s often been said that it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to gain a new one. Having said that, it’s all too common for faithful customers to suddenly disappear. They stop reading the posts on your Facebook page or cancel an online subscription for your product. The whole topic of ‘churn’ – losing your customers – has become a big topic in itself.
Computer software has been devised to help you, and material has been written. That’s what this article is all about.
1. Customer Training
The technological revolution has brought with it an information revolution. One thing people will respond to is customer training. People want data, as mentioned by the experts in this post from Raven 360 where it says it reduces churn and maximizes revenue. Your customers will adopt both you and your products if you feed them resources on a regular basis. Many business websites now include ‘how-to’ videos and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages to help people both before and after they have purchased a product.
2. A One-Stop-Shop
Your first impression of a company may be the moment you discover their website. If it’s clunky to use and looks out of date, you’re already losing ground. You want people to be impressed with what they see, so they will buy your product/s. If the website is a good resource, they will keep coming back to it. That’s where customer retention occurs. They might want a full catalog and product reviews. They may desire training articles and payment information. They will want to know when they can expect delivery. More and more companies try to make their websites into a ‘one-stop-shop’ for everything the customer will need. If they succeed, the customer won’t be tempted to look elsewhere. The key here is to turn your website into a honeypot of relevant information.
3. Offer Value
Marketing is all about getting into peoples’ minds. What do they want and what questions are they asking? Where do they live and what are they prepared to pay? One thing they definitely enjoy is freebies. That could be an ebook or a free trial of an online product. Once people are on the hook, they are far more likely to buy from you. If they need to supply their email address to access their freebie, you will then have what you need for your future email marketing campaigns. That makes it a ‘win-win’. You may have heard the phrase ‘under promise, over-perform’. There is some wisdom in that. Provide clear information at the beginning: ‘This is what we provide. This is what it does. This is why it is better than our rivals. This is the after service and support’. If you say you’ll deliver in three weeks, do it in two. That’s a good example of over performing. Learn to delight your customer. That’s how to stand out from the rest.
4. Obstacles Turned To Building Blocks
It’s so true that it’s almost corny: you really can turn complaints into compliments. Some positive reviews begin with: ‘The company messed up my order and delivered later than they’d promised’. If you get something wrong, honesty is the best policy. Put your hands up and apologize. Prioritize the resolution. If you remedy the issue, why not throw in a freebie or a part refund? Turn your ‘enemies’ into friends. What you’re effectively offering is a quality after service, and that’s something people want if they are going to stay with you.
5. Let Them Tell You
You might feel vulnerable if you regularly ask for feedback from your customers. Ask them: ‘Are you happy with the product? Is there anything we could improve? What do you like least about our service?’ Do they struggle to get hold of someone on the telephone? The point is this: Rather than knocking you down, these are opportunities for you to learn and build. With improvement comes more business. These kind people are your target audience, and their free advice could be pure gold for you. That’s why it’s good practice to read customer reviews for your and your rival’s products. You will learn what people want and what they don’t want. If you tailor your products around your customers you’ll be on to a winner.
If people unsubscribe from your emails, why not immediately ask them some questions? The issues you most need to know are available at that moment – they will be lost soon after.
6. Stay Current
Today’s dinosaur is tomorrow’s fossil. You may be providing top of the market products now, but could fall behind tomorrow. Check the rivals. See what they are offering. Are there add-ons or freebies they are supplying? Do they give the chance to chat with someone online from their website? Can people buy online twenty-four hours a day? Rather than resisting change, it is something you have to go with. You have to adapt to survive. Things are moving too fast for you not to.
7. Be Regular
If you post regularly on social media, your followers will be pleased. They’ll feel engaged, and be interested when you push a new product. They’ll feel they have adopted your company – that they are a part of it. Give them information and photos. Better still, use video content as this is the best way to get engagement on social media.
8. Anticipate The Churn
It’s going to be profitable for you to stay ahead of the game. One way is to anticipate whose business you are about to lose. Who is engaging less with your social media posts? There is analytical software you can buy that will tell you about the traffic to your website. It will help you learn what is and isn’t working. If you address these issues on an ongoing basis, you may rescue some of your customers from defecting to a rival. That’s why I mentioned the importance of regular customer feedback.
When you give your customers what they want, they stay with you. They buy again or maintain their subscription. They then become unpaid evangelists of your products. ‘This company always delivers!’ ‘They messed up, but they apologized and gave me one month free!’ ‘They do free demonstration videos on their website!’ The list goes on. The maths are undeniable.