Posted in Inbound Service. 4 min read
What is a good customer churn rate?
The answer, quite simply, is: As low as you can get it!
Of course, customer churn rate depends on industry. Some industries have a higher rate than others and all have usage and buying pattern quirks that apply only to them.
For those in SaaS, experts have estimated an acceptable churn rate at 5%-7% annually.
About a third of B2B enterprises in that sector alone have an unacceptable churn rate.
For businesses that focus on customer success, a churn rate of 1% or 2% is achievable. That’s the result of a lot of small habits that become processes and, ultimately, game-changers.
Here’s how you can cut customer churn rate in 2019 and beyond:
1. Have an Onboarding Process
Once you’ve inked a deal, it’s no time to say “happy trails.” A customer onboarding process may be as simple as a quick email sequence, but it needs to be there. It transitions the relationship to the next stage, reinforces trust, and equips customers with basic skills they need to reach ROI.
2. Perform Frequent Follow-Ups
Just because sales hands things off to the implementation team, it doesn’t mean the relationship is over. When there’s a lot of goodwill, it’s often best to have the sales pro do the first “how ya doing?” check-in with the new customer.
After that, dropping a quick email every few months can help. You can’t assume customers will always reach out for help before they get frustrated ... and by then, they might already be looking for a way to jump ship. Yikes!
3. Use Your Data Proactively
Software solutions – especially those in the cloud – have a special advantage when it comes to data. You can often see which functions users are accessing and how much time they spend.
Changes in activity patterns often precede changes in buying behavior. When login time starts to sag, it’s time to get involved: Don’t wait until the bottom drops out entirely.
By then, it’s often too late.
If you’ve got access to deep, granular data, then you can do a whole bunch of other fun things.
For example, you might notice certain users avoid particular features. Sending a quick email to apprise them of how those unused tools can be useful will not only win some short-term goodwill, it can help customers become more productive.
4. Market Directly to Current Customers
It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. Still, you have to be tactful and precise in the way you present cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Segmenting your email so current customers get relevant content and offers will go a long way toward creating a platform for you to deepen lifetime customer value.
In a best-case scenario, emails can also be triggered by activity. For example, if an organization consistently uses up a certain monthly resource, a different subscription tier may be the answer.
5. Celebrate Your Customer’s Successes
Celebrating milestones such as a sales date and onboarding date with a personal email is great.
But it’s really only the beginning.
People expect you to have this data, and they expect you to draw attention to it.
What really matters is when you’re there to celebrate your customers' successes.
Just like with warm prospecting, you should always be scanning for trigger events. Trigger events are changes in a contact’s business situation that make your products or services more relevant.
When someone lands a big client, launches a product, or opens an office, it’s reasonable to ask them in what way your solution helped. You can often grab a nice testimonial, too.
6. Identify Your “Must-Have” Clients
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an approach to marketing that focuses on top-value clients.
These are the “ideal fit” big fish you want to keep around for life.
Not every enterprise goes down this route, but all B2B firms should know:
- What a best-fit customer looks like for them.
- Which current accounts drive the most revenue.
We firmly believe in top-flight customer service for every client at Bluleadz. Still, it won’t hurt for most brands to offer perks to top accounts. For example, a priority “Bat-phone” line for customer service can make those interactions easier, cutting a big source of friction.
7. The Biggest of All: Institute a Customer Education Program
Customer education focuses on giving your customers the skills and knowledge they need to make the most of their new solution.
It helps customers feel competent and confident about the buy, which creates internal champions who evangelize your products.
It also fosters brand loyalty for an even more practical reason: When people can reach their goals with your offerings, they won’t want to switch and “start over.”
Have a favorite approach to reducing customer churn? Tell us below!