Guest post by Alex Ratynski.
Given that it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, almost every business can improve profitability by keeping its customer churn rate (the percentage of people who stop doing business with you, for one reason or another) low.
Ask your customers for feedback (and act on it)
The first step to reducing your customer churn rate is to find out why people don’t come back to your business. The easiest and most effective way to learn about this is by speaking directly to your customers.
Asking your customers for feedback—and then actually acting on that—is vital, because this will prove that you care about their opinions and are willing to create the best buying experience for them.
In an ecommerce business, you can simply ask customers for feedback by sending them polite follow-up emails after they have purchased something from you. Ask if they had a positive experience of shopping with you, whether they were happy with their purchase, and if there’s anything you could have done to help them further.
Another method you could use is to include a survey form on your website, which customers will see immediately after making a purchase. Here, you can simply ask some multiple choice questions that are easy to answer, but also include a comment box in case people have more specific information for you. If you would like to learn more about collecting customer feedback, Kayako has a great guide that can provide you with extra advice.
In B2B sales, it’s essential to connect new buyers immediately with a customer success specialist or use some other onboarding process in order to create an excellent post-purchase experience.
Create content that helps customers make the best purchase
Actionable, education content is very effective for helping people to make the decision to buy from you, as well as buy the right products or services. If you write informative blog posts and web copy that makes it easier for people to purchase exactly what they need, they will appreciate your business even more and stay loyal to your brand.
There are different types of content that can help accomplish this. For example, buying guides are helpful for outlining what someone should be looking for in a product or service; case studies show what you’ve achieved for previous clients; and comparison charts help customers choose between a range of similar options. Finally, product demonstrations can help manage your customers’ expectations and ensure they know what they’re planning to buy.
Here’s a look at some examples of companies that do a great job of publishing content that helps their website visitors make the best decisions to suit their needs. These ideas should provide inspiration and information to help you create your own compelling and useful content.
Best Value Schools is an online resource that focuses on helping prospective students choose the right course to suit their goals.
To do this, they publish a lot of comparison articles, such as their guide to the most affordable MBA programs. In this piece, they cover all of the details someone might want to know about a school or course, such as the associated tuition fees, program lengths, and whether specific schools offer scholarships.
This comparison guide is perfect for helping prospective students who are trying to make a decision on what school to enroll in for their MBA. Using this approach well requires conducting adequate research to provide your audience with accurate and useful information they need to make a decision.
Another example is this buying guide from SocialPilot, a social media management platform.
They have a blog post that compares Facebook publishing tools businesses can use to improve their social media efforts. For people in their audience who have been looking for these tools, this post will be of great help, as it clearly lists the benefits and disadvantages so people can make the best choice.
If you are trying to do something similar for your business, remember to always be neutral and unbiased in comparison posts, especially if your product is included. This shows your audience that you are truthful and interested in helping them regardless of the choice they make, and that will help you reduce your customer churn rate.
Make sure your customer service is first class
Excellent customer service is one of the biggest reasons people will continue to come back to a company. That’s why you have to ensure that people can get the right answer, quickly, when interacting with your company and/or making a purchase.
One way to deliver first-class customer service is to provide multiple ways to get in touch. This can be via a phone call, email, social media channels, or even a live chat option on your website. Teach your team to always go the extra mile when dealing with customers so they have no objection to coming back.
Another way to ensure great customer service is by personalizing your marketing. WordStream has a great guide that gives more information on how to offer better and personalized experiences for your customers, which is well worth reading if you would like to learn more.
Sleeknote is one example of a business that does a fantastic job with its customer service. The company provides software that allows people to collect email addresses for lead generation and conversion purposes. Their website includes a contact us webpage where they include several contact options. They have included a contact form, phone number, and email address that people can use to reach them.
Not only that, they also have a live chat feature for those who need to speak to a representative of the company in real time. All these options have made it easier for people to get support from the company when they need help, and that reduces the probability of losing customers. This is a simple tactic to replicate for your business to give yourself the best chance of success.
Provide customers with incentives to return
Incentives give previous customers a reason to return to your website or store. You could do this by rewarding them for every purchase with loyalty points, sending coupons in the mail, or emailing them discount codes they can use within a limited time period.
To do this in an effective way, make sure you get the email addresses of customers before they check out so you can easily send them coupons or discount codes that will entice them to make more purchases.
You can also let customers know about the incentives you offer by posting about them on your social media pages or adopting the use of app push notifications (but be careful not to over-do these!) to let people know about your discounts.
Create post-purchase content customers will come back for
Giving your customers a reason to return to your website time and time again will help you to maintain a relationship with them. You can do this with post-purchase content that teaches people more about how to use the products or services they’ve gotten from you.
Creating this type of content can also help you boost your SEO as search engines will take the return visits to mean people find your website useful, relevant, and trustworthy.
You can create user guides to help your customers learn how to get the most out of your products, or publish maintenance guides that will help them to last longer.
You could even create an FAQ section answering all the questions that your customers typically have after buying from you. Collect these questions by reviewing the queries previous customers have sent to your customer service team.
Here’s an example of a company that uses this tactic well. Venngage is a company that specializes in helping business owners and marketers create infographics. They offer a use guide that explains how to create a timeline infographic using their tool.
They know customers might need some guidance to get the most out of their platform, so they’ve made things easier by creating a comprehensive guide that shows people exactly how to use their tool. They also include templates so readers can just select and customize the ready-made templates if they want.
This is an example of a piece of content that can get customers to keep visiting your website after making a purchase to reduce the risk of customer churn. Consider what your customers might need help with after making a purchase, and then create content that will help.
Some degree of customer churn is inevitable in every business. You can’t eliminate it, but it’s highly profitable to reduce it. The good news is you can reduce the rate at which you lose customers by implementing the tips above.
Ask customers for feedback, make sure your customer service is top-notch, and provide incentives so customers will be motivated to return. Start with these steps and you’ll be able to retain even more customers over time.
Alex Ratynski is a Content Strategist at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner that works with agencies and marketers. The company focuses on helping businesses to improve their online visibility, so they can grow and reach their goals. If you enjoyed this article, visit the Loganix blog for more expert advice.