Attract, convert, close, delight — that’s how the inbound methodology works.
So, if you’re facing a tough time retaining customers, it’s safe to assume that you aren’t getting the 4th step right, i.e., you’re perhaps failing to engage your customers after they’ve bought from you.
Customers could abandon your product for several reasons, here are 3 big ones:
Coffee is for closers! So yes — closing a sale is super-important.
But the perfect sales cycle doesn’t end with the sale. Ideally, a customer should refer you a couple more customers.
If you forget about your customers after a sale is made, you will make them feel less cared for. This will make upselling, rebilling, and creating a loyal customer base (one that starts promoting you over time) really tough.
Bad customer support tops the list of customer complaints. It’s a guaranteed way of losing customers.
It’s not a given that your customers understand how to use your product. Assuming that they will sort “it” out without any help from you can be very damaging.
Remember that retaining existing customers is as important as making new ones.
From attracting quality leads to surveying existing customers, there are a lot of areas that you can work on to make your customers stay.
“You can’t improve something that you can’t measure” — I don’t know whom to attribute this quote to, but it’s apt for customer retention.
If you start considering and analyzing customer retention as a KPI, you’ll soon start seeing patterns in the data. You can use these patterns to identify potential at-risk customers and do something for them before they leave you.
Customer retention is especially important to SaaS services as such services have a recurring billing system.
Or a thorough demo to attract quality leads
Lots of times, people just don’t understand what a product is. Such signups often end as unsubscriptions or refunds.
But you can bring down such cases by offering a freemium model or a free trial. And when you do offer one, don’t rush the trial signups into buying. Let them experience what your product does and then offer an upgrade.
Look at Trello, Dropbox, LastPass or any other popular freemium product/service around you. Their customers won’t possibly ever downgrade because of not “understanding” what the products does.
If you’re afraid of offering too much through a freemium model or free trial, create a complete demo that shows what your product does and how.
Neil Patel offers some interesting insights about offering free trials the right way. Each product is different, but it won’t hurt to check out his experience.
Try to offer a seamless onboarding experience to your customers. Ask them if they’ve managed to get your product working. If they don’t use your product often (or at all), they’ll not see any value from the purchase. And this will ultimately lead to them abandoning your product.
When I signed up for CoSchedule (a WordPress editorial calendar plugin), I had a terrible time figuring out how it worked. A one-time glitch, I suppose. I almost gave up but then there was this email.
While I was annoyed by the initial experience, this email helped me solve my issues.
When Groove saw lots of customers abandoning it due to its complicated onboarding process, it started offering help in setting up their product and thereby managed to bring down the churn by a whopping 71%.
I seriously hope that you have moved away from lengthy documentation and manuals to get your customers onboard. There are some cool tools that could help you with this, and Whatfix is a promising option. Sandeep Todi, Co-founder and CEO, Emportant had this to say about it, “On-demand software requires on-demand help. We provide “instant gratification” using Whatfix to Customers who no longer want to wait to be served. Customer onboarding is now 10x easier with the different workflows and simple integration of Whatfix with Emportant.”
Creating content doesn’t just bring you fresh organic leads, but also helps you in keeping your existing customers engaged.
79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing — HubSpot’s State of Inbound, 2013. The frequency of blogging also seems to matter. The graph below shows how blogs that are updated more often generate more sales.
But don’t just be yapping about your product — create content that addresses the needs of your customers.
Imagine if we started talking about Whatfix in each post on this blog. Wouldn’t you just ignore us over time? (Relax! We’ve no such plans!)
Your customers obviously read about your product features and benefits, but it’s possible that they may miss out some really cool things that your product can do.
Sending emails that discuss your product features is a good way to go about this. Look at the following sequence of emails that Evernote sends once someone signs up for it.
Featuring customer success stories can also help. It’s a good way to build a community and share the value that your customers have got from their investment in your product.
Always request your customers to share the reason behind their leaving/switching. You can create surveys or simply email them. This exercise will help you to (at least to some degree) avoid future unsubscriptions due to the same reason.
Groove managed to get a lot of actionable insights when it optimized how it collected data from exiting customers.
Once you understand the pattern that leads to an unsubscription, you can use it to reasonably find out the people who are most likely to leave.
“Look at your metrics and find the disparities between your most engaged users and the ones who’ve quit. Then, use what you learn to identify at-risk users and get involved right away.” — Alex Turnbull, CEO, Groove.
We hope these tips help you retain customers. But hey, here is a question before you go on So what are some of the top reasons that your customers leave you? And what have you tried to make them stay? Do share in the comments!