While every business strives to retain all of its customers, let’s be realistic, 100% customer retention is simply unheard of. Still, it’s important for businesses to understand what factors contribute to sustained customer drop off in order to address them—and ultimately drive customer retention.
Customer churn is when an existing customer, user, player, subscriber or any kind of return client stops doing business or ends their relationship with your company’s product or service. While churn is a normal part of any business, a high churn rate can cripple the growth of any organization.
According to Forrester research, it costs 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep existing ones. On a positive note, a Harvard Business School report claims that on average, a 5% increase in customer retention rates can result in a 25% – 95% increase in profitability.
What are the main causes of customer churn?
Factors leading to a loss of customers are personal and unique to every company, still there are several areas to address in order to avoid a high churn rate.
Price is a common objection for salespeople and customer success managers alike. If customers find a more cost-effective solution to the problem they want to solve, they may churn. This is why it’s important to establish value along with a positive customer onboarding and educational experience so customers feel that their purchase was worth the cost.
Poor product/market fit is a common reason for customer churn, and speaks to the need for close sales and customer service alignment. If salespeople are hustling to hit a quota and aren’t incentivized to sell to good-fit customers, the result will be churn within a few months of purchase when the customer realizes they can’t achieve their goals using your solution.
If the user experience with software or applications is buggy, glitchy or otherwise difficult, users will be less likely to use it on a regular basis and won’t have any motivation to build their expertise around it. And what’s worse they won’t recommend you to their peers.
If negative customer experience is connected with other aspects of your brand — your marketing content, social media channels, customer support team, and account managers — churn is all but guaranteed. Customers want to feel welcomed and valued by the communities they support. If they don’t have a positive experiences interacting with your company, they won’t want to stick around.
Five growth strategies to reduce customer churn
- Invest in your best customers
Rather than simply focusing on offering incentives to customers who are at risk of churning, it could be even more beneficial to pool your resources into your loyal, profitable customers. For example, develop your email strategy, answer individually to your most loyal customers, offer them a discount etc.
- Show your customers that you care
Instead of waiting to connect with your customers until they reach out to you, try a more proactive approach. Communicate all the perks you offer and show them you care about their experience. You can educate your customers by hosting free webinars online, creating PDF reports or interesting and educating video tutorials. These are all great ways to drive customer loyalty.
- Improve your user on-boarding processes
If you want loyal customers, amazing customer service is a must. It’s no less important that your customers are able to perceive how your business can add value to their lives or business. You should clearly communicate your brand’s story — throughout each stage of the sales funnel — as you onboard new users.
- Create a community around your product
It’s true, people like to feel like they’re part of a community. Everyone wants to feel like they belong; it’s natural, isn’t it? Developing a community around your product or service is a proactive approach that guards against customer churn down the road. Make your customers feel like they’re part of your brand.
- Provide additional services
Providing additional services can go a long way in giving your customers a reason to stay. Think of services you can provide that will enable users to scale their businesses and improve their experience. Make life easy for your customers, and they’ll stick with you.
For example, beyond organizing and automating data within the platform, PDFfiller offers customers a chance to experience the benefits of top-of-the-line integrations with AI-based CRM platforms. Not only does this expand the usability of the product, but the added effect of driving brand awareness into areas that were previously inaccessible (decreasing churn) is achieved.