If your customer retention rate looks more like the jagged drop off of a cliff instead a glorious mountaintop – you know you’re in trouble. Assuming you’ve got all the major pieces of the puzzle put together — you’re gathering relevant data, creating tailored marketing campaigns and engaging with your customers in a way that makes them feel cared for, you may be asking yourself…
“What else could possibly be wrong?”
Maybe you hit all the right buttons when it comes to social, or you’re a master at lead nurturing. But people are still leaving in droves. Sit back. Take a deep breath.
Maybe it’s not your marketing that’s at fault. Maybe it’s your approach to it. Let’s take a closer look:
The Customer Experience Focus Problem
In a recent survey from Adobe and eConsultancy, client-side marketers were asked which touch points were most important in the customer experience. Take a look at these numbers — particularly the “not important” percentages:
Text messaging, push messages and even apps themselves have wide swaths of participants noting that they’re “not a focus”.
Have you ever wanted to reach through your screen and shake someone? Because this survey’s results just might make you do it.
Repeat after me: “Every interaction a customer has with our company deserves our attention and focus.”
Solution: Make Every Experience Count
It should be seamless. Branded. As tailored and invaluable to the customer as possible. You wouldn’t think an app could be part of someone’s lifestyle, but there are plenty of examples to show that it can.
Check out Ikea’s app — with 3D furniture modeling, print media tie-ins and much more:
Image source: Localytics
The app could’ve just been a reprint of Ikea’s catalog. Or pushed sale notifications to the customer, but it does much more by eliminating a problem that many furniture shoppers have — wondering how the end result will look in their home.
Now, you may not have Ikea’s app ingenuity, much less their budget. But ask yourself what unique, exclusive or otherwise share-worthy features can you add to improve any facet of the customer experience? There’s a reason — perhaps more than one — why customers are leaving. And if tangible reasons (product quality) aren’t it, it could be because your competition is giving them something they can’t get anywhere else.
The Problem with “Regular Business Hours”
Here’s another big reason customers are leaving. They know they can comparison shop, read reviews and take to social media to get feedback and recommendations from others. If they email customer service with a problem, and they get an auto response that says “Do not reply to this email. Messages to this inbox will not be replied to” How do you think that reflects on the company?
It’s great that you’ve automated your email system. But business hours are going the way of the dial-up modem. When people have so many channels to interact with and get assistance from — if you can’t give it to them, they’ll simply go elsewhere.
Solution: Help Them Help Themselves
It’s understandable that you can’t man the phones every hour of every day. But there’s hope. A study from IBM Retail Research showed higher levels of customer satisfaction with a DIY model. The reasoning? Customers are a lot more patient and forgiving of themselves when it comes to self-service. According to the survey, 72% of respondents prefer it over picking up the phone, and a whopping 91% would use it if it were available.
We Don’t Know How Our Content is Performing
Here’s another retention strategy that will perk your customer numbers back up. Write relevant content. “But Sherice!” I can hear you saying “We already produce awesome content!”
Hey, that’s great! How useful is it?
It’s true, you’re producing awesome content. Surveys show that your customers are eagerly lapping it up. And that’s precisely the way it should be.
The problem is, they’re taking, taking, taking — and not giving back. Look at these numbers. We can all say with confidence that we’re creating the kind of content people want. But watch the numbers nosedive when it comes to figuring out the ROI of that content:
Solution: Learn How to Determine the ROI of Your Content
It’s not rocket surgery. And determining the dollar value of your content is easily done using Google Analytics and Excel. Here’s a step by step guide from the Content Marketing Institute.
But this only measures the dollar value of the traffic and its ranking in the search engines. It doesn’t measure those intangible (but highly valuable) things like social engagement, back links, lead generation, closed sales and more — all made possible because of awesome content.
Remember, good content should always have concrete, actionable steps – and easy ways for the customer to reach out to you to take the next step. It all goes back to the DIY service initiative and making every experience count. These aren’t just one-off tips — they’re a cycle that keeps paying you back.
When everything from the content you produce to the messages you send your customers (whether by email, catalog or text) has a seamless, unified goal of making the customer’s experience with you outstanding — everything else, including retention, just seems to fall into place.
Now It’s Your Turn…
What are some customer retention strategies and techniques you’ve used to grow your business? What’s worked best for you? What hasn’t? Did your business make a dramatic turnaround because of one simple change? Share your stories with us in the comments below!