10 Tips to Reduce Customer Churn

As most any business knows, customers have choices when it comes to the products and services they want. When they choose your brand, it’s both a privilege and a responsibility: a privilege to gain new business and be chosen over a competitor, and a responsibility to prove to these customers that their choice is justified. Such a challenge can be hard to meet, and brands inevitably have to handle the grim reality of customer churn when customers are less than satisfied.According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current one. With that said, brands need not despair. Through a comprehensive look at where customer needs are not being met and proactive measures to improve the customer experience, any brand can reduce customer churn and, in turn, increase their retention rate through greater customer satisfaction. Here are the first five tips to consider to reduce customer churn.

Identify your target customers.

Customer churn may result from poor customer experiences, but it can also mean that certain customers are simply not interested in your products or services. Identifying your target market is therefore an essential step for any brand that wants to reduce customer churn. For example, retail brands offering trendy designs might focus on a young market, while telecommunications companies may focus on upselling or cross-selling to existing customers who have demonstrated a proven interest in such products or services. Being precise in your marketing approach will reduce customer churn and attract customers with the greatest potential lifetime value.

Be a good listener.

Your customers have plenty to say about your brand, so listening to their comments is vital to brand growth and their ultimate satisfaction. Listening to customers involves everything from thorough and personal attention during service interactions to paying close attention to customer feedback surveys. Social listening tools are also important for understanding social media conversations around your brand. Comments from social media can reveal a great deal about where your brand might improve, how marketing campaigns can be better managed, and which customers may be identified as strong brand advocates who just might be willing to play a role in marketing campaigns. Valuing customer opinions and acting upon their feedback is vital to long-term loyalty and reducing customer churn.

Involve and empower your employees.

Your customers may be the reason for your brand’s ongoing success, but your employees are the pulse of the business. Their empowerment is essential to maintaining a strong brand, as their motivation to work hard for brand success is directly aligned with how much you invest in them. Employees should therefore receive thorough and ongoing training for their specific roles as well as professional development opportunities. Mentoring programs, leadership opportunities, team-building retreats, and employee recognition programs can motivate employees to grow individually and as a part of your brand’s culture. Lastly, soliciting their feedback is an important aspect of understanding where services might be improved to better satisfy customers and reduce customer churn.

Show appreciation for your customers.

How can you tell your customers that you value their business? Show them your appreciation as often as you can. Every service interaction should be followed by a thank you on the customer’s preferred contact channel, accompanied by a feedback survey. Promotional offers may be sent periodically, while goodwill gestures should always be made when a customer has a poor experience (especially if the brand is at fault).

Understand the importance of timeliness.

Customer service moves at a rapid pace these days, and brands that fail to deliver timely responses may suffer from customer churn. Customers want brands to value their time, so swift responses to customer service inquiries on all channels are absolutely a must. Similarly, information should always be easy to find on brand websites, including contact information and frequently asked questions. In addition, brands should never underestimate the rising trend of the mobile customer. Websites should be optimized for a quality mobile experience, with easy-to-use buttons for customer service contact and checkout. The more customers feel their time is valued, the more likely they will support your brand.To reduce customer churn, brands need to take proactive measures and keep the best interests of your customers at heart. Stay tuned for our next blog post on the last five tips to reduce customer churn. 

Exceed customer expectations through proactive service.

Savvy brands know that exceeding customer expectations is better than simply meeting them. A proactive approach is an excellent way to win over customers, as it shows them that your brand has considered their needs well ahead of time. Examples may include informing customers in advance of technical issues with products or services or simple web maintenance, making deliveries easy to track, offering live chat options when customers search your brand site, and the like. Lastly, if your brand at any point causes customers inconvenience, make sure to use goodwill gestures (such as vouchers) as a way of making amends and showing appreciation for their understanding.

Improve existing products and services.

If your products and services are always of high quality, your customers simply won’t want to leave. Indeed, one way to reduce customer churn is to constantly work on improving existing products or services without necessarily asking customers to pay for the improvements. For example, a telecommunications company that improves internet service with a faster connection is likely to win the long-term loyalty of current customers. Why switch brands when a service is just getting better?

Reach out to unhappy customers.

Whenever a customer is at risk of leaving your brand or has already decided to do so, it’s essential to understand the reasons why. Making a call or reaching out on a preferred channel can yield insights into your brand’s weak points and, through genuine and proactive measures, just might convince such customers to give your brand another chance.

Empower customers through self-service.

Automated service options empower customers as they save them time while demonstrating your brand’s efficiency. Offering such tools as IVR options, prioritized callbacks to avoid hold times, and thorough FAQ resources online are all ways to provide efficient self-service options. When a customer can solve an issue on his own, there is a much greater incentive to remain loyal to a brand.

Be consistent in values and practices.

Reliability and consistency are essential to any brand’s reputation. Needless to say, the very first thought a customer has of your brand should be a positive one, and there are many ways your brand can deliver this. If your brand has a certain affiliation such as being eco-friendly, then all products, services, and general business practices should clearly reflect that. When you a promise a delivery at a certain time, your brand must deliver on that promise. If something goes wrong in the process, the follow-up should be clear and fair to the customer. By standing for good principles and backing up these ideas with action, customers will better understand, respect, and ultimately support your brand.Customers have choices, and it’s up to brands to deliver the very best customer experiences that win long-term loyalty. To truly reduce customer churn, brands must make a consistent effort to understand their weaknesses, highlight their strengths, and always put the customer first.

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