Today’s savvy consumers have a wide pool of options to choose from for any given product, and thanks to the internet and social media, they also expect more from their interactions with brands. Consumers want personalized, instant experiences and companies must exercise agility while providing experiences that surprise and delight.
That’s why customer churn is a company’s worst nightmare, as it signifies disinterest in the brand and their marketing messages.
Marketers witness several behaviors that play a role in whether a user churns —how much time someone spends on-site or their level of engagement—but there’s no sure way to put all of those metrics together when predicting the likelihood of a customer’s departure.
Thankfully, there are some successful strategies that can reduce customer churn.
- Personalize Engagement
Almitra Karnik, head of marketing at CleverTap, said that when tackling churn, it’s important to understand at which stage in the customer journey users drop off, and why.
“One of the tactics that has worked well to reduce churn has been to personalize engagement with users—the messaging, the channel, and the time,” she said. “All three are critical. It is also important to maintain the same experience across devices and channels. This is where omnichannel orchestration becomes invaluable. Churn is a complex problem to solve, and requires understanding user behavior. Using data analytics and leveraging the right technology can help solve this challenge.”
- Leverage Data Science
VP of marketing at Stericycle, Monu Kalsi, noted that leveraging data science and customer analytics is key to understanding attrition churn patterns, propensity by customer segments, and improving customer retention.
“For this tactic to work, marketing teams must have the right VOC and interaction data collection mechanisms in place to monitor these characteristics and continually evaluate and adjust data models to find the best data capture,” he said. “Applying technology that analyzes customers through a variety of factors including location, industry, interactions with the company, and much more allows your team to create a better picture of what kind of customers are causing this churn and the root causes of churn.”
Additionally, understanding which customers are at risk allows marketers to create more targeted campaigns to mitigate customer loss.
“This data can also help marketers improve future retention by informing new outreach strategies for current customers who could be on the brink of leaving, reminding them of the specific value the product or service provides to their company,” Kalsi said.
- Understand Customer Onboarding
Much like employee onboarding, customer onboarding should educate and demonstrate value to new customers at every touchpoint.
Bigtincan’s CMO, Patrick Welch, said that product setup is an essential part of the onboarding process, and many software products today provide templates new users can utilize as models before loading real customer data into the system.
“As customers complete each module, absorbing a bit more information each time, the vendor’s onboarding program triggers an email or in-app message that introduces the next module,” he said. “The onboarding system collects data on the customer’s interactions with the vendor’s software and uses AI to tailor the experience. The more personalized the tour or tutorial the vendor provides, the more likely customers will adopt the product and even become fans.”
- Revamp the Onboarding Process
Many customers who sign up for a free trial, take samples, or research a new product, will never use it again after an initial interaction.
“For the majority of users, this is because they don’t see the value in your product and how they can benefit from it,” said Jason Yau, VP of eCommerce and general manager at CanvasPeople. “Revamping your onboarding process to prove to your customers why your service is valuable is critical. Make the process simple and easy so users don’t become frustrated.”
- Think Rewards
Theresa McEndree, VP of marketing at Blackhawk Network, urges marketers to leverage rewards and incentives to build customer loyalty, long-lasting engagement, and reduce customer churn.
“According to research, loyalty program members want more accessible redemption opportunities and prefer to redeem their points at least once a year, so offering more frequent reward redemption opportunities is important,” she says. “As a whole, consumers favor prepaid and gift cards. Research from Hawk Incentives found nearly 80% of consumers prefer rewards in the form of prepaid cards to other incentives such as discounts and merchandise.”
- Invest in Digital Experiences
A by Clicktale revealed that 200 top marketers and CX professionals found that 74% believe greater customer loyalty is the number one priority outcome for investing in digital experiences.
That’s why Sara Richter, CMO at Clicktale, said that one of the ways businesses can reduce customer churn is by creating digital experiences that are smoother, easier to navigate, and more personal.
“To understand what can be done to improve digital experiences, businesses need to capture and analyze customers’ behavioral data, mouse clicks, scrolls, and in-app swipes and taps—all of which can then be used to build an image of users’ ‘digital body language,’” she said. “With these pictures in mind, businesses can gain a greater understanding of what works well for their customers, what doesn’t, and help make a positive and more personal digital experiences to encourage repeat customers.”
- Value Existing Customers
Linda Pophal, CEO of Strategic Communications, LLC, said that one of the most important things businesses can do to reduce churn is let customers know how important and valued they are to the business.
“Very often what we will see is organizations spending a lot of time and effort to attract new customers, including offering them special ‘deals’ that existing customers can’t take advantage of, and not paying enough attention to the customer they have,” she said. “Expressing gratitude for existing customers can take place at many stages of the customer relationship—when customers first come on board, whenever they make a purchase or have an interaction with the company, on special dates (e.g., holidays, customer birthdays/anniversaries, etc.), or randomly.