Tips & Tricks

32 Customer Experience Pros Share the Most Effective Tactics to Reduce Customer Churn

For most companies, acquiring new customers is a more costly effort than retaining customers you’ve already earned. Naturally, finding yourself in a scenario in which you’re constantly starting from scratch to build your customer base isn’t the best way to build profit when you could devote less resources to cultivating customer loyalty and retaining the valued customers you’ve already worked so hard to earn.

That’s why more enterprises are focusing their efforts to reducing customer churn rather than new customer acquisition. In order to gain some insight into the strategies today’s top-notch leaders are utilizing to cut down on customer turnover, we asked a panel of customer experience and customer retention professionals to answer this question:

“What’s the single most effective way companies can reduce customer churn?”

Read on to find out what our pros reveal about both innovative and tried-and-true tactics you can put to work to start reducing customer turnover today.

Meet Our Panel of Customer Experience and Customer Retention Pros:


Brett StoneBrett Stone

@TheCrucialTeam

Brett Stone is a co-founder of The Crucial Team who is currently building a series of tools to assist with personal and professional development. He also has 20 years’ experience in sales and customer service as a coach and customer service manager.

“There are two ways that stand out to me in terms of the best ways to reduce customer churn, and the first is about…”

How the company losing customers is treating their staff. When companies start losing money the first step they usually take to reduce the impact of this is to cut staff numbers or to spend less on the staff they have. This is actually one of the single biggest reasons that customers leave. Staff see those types of changes as disrespectful which sours their opinion of the company. In turn, this translates to the customer experience due to staff members’ tone and demeanor, engagement, and commitment to helping customers.

My advice would be to invest more time in your staff to ensure they feel valued. Invest in additional training or development sessions to ensure they understand the fundamentals of their role while also looking at ways to add additional skills to existing staff members’ skill sets to empower them and increase their engagement. If staff feel connected and valued by your company, this will trickle through to the customers, resulting in everyone’s experience being as positive as possible.

The second way that companies can reduce churn is to focus on themselves and their offerings and how that compares to their company vision or mission statement. Often times companies lose sight of their own vision because they’re busy chasing competitors. They make adjustments and introduce new products/services to compete, which ends up making them less competitive and less profitable because they try to do things that aren’t reflective of their vision or their strengths. Too often businesses dabble in new things rather than playing to their strengths.


Scott FrederickScott Frederick

@LogisticsPlus

Scott Frederick is passionate, senior-level marketing professional with 25 years of marketing experience in the transportation and logistics industry. He is currently the vice president of marketing for Logistics Plus Inc., a global provider for freight management and logistics solutions.

“This may seem overly simplistic and intuitive, but the single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Be the company that gives a shit (or GAS as our CEO likes to say) about your customers’ business. That means employees must show true passion for both your own and your customers’ business. It means being proactive with communication, both good and bad, and it means going to bat for your customers when something goes wrong. Do the big things properly, but also do the countless little things that customers may not even expect.

The term lagniappe was coined many years ago in the southern U.S. Its literal meaning is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of purchase. When buyers would purchase grain or food at the market, it was customary for the merchant to throw in a little extra over and above the amount actually purchased. If you apply this same philosophy to your business, it’s amazing how many customers will react. This approach may not work with every customer, but apply it and, as we have found, you most certainly will win over a great foundation of loyal customers – customers that will advocate and refer your company to their colleagues and friends.


Elena LockettElena Lockett

@FMOutsource

Elena Lockett is a Marketing Assistant for FM Outsource.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is…”

Offer incentives. Customers are much more likely to stay on if they have some reason to, like a special promo or discount just for them. Even if the discount is not just for them, it makes them feel valuable and appreciated. Make sure the costs of retaining those customers do not outweigh the profits gained from the customers you want to keep on; ensure money is spent on customers more likely to increase your profits. If you feel a customer may be about to leave but they rarely spend anyway, it’s not worth the time or money attempting to retain them.


Catherine CampbellCatherine Campbell

@bright_planning

Catherine Campbell is the director of Bright Planning, a strategic marketing consultancy with a global clientele. During her ten years of experience, Catherine has created marketing campaigns for companies of all sizes, from a Fortune 100 brand to smaller funded start-ups. Her business expertise appears in Harvard Business Review, The Daily Muse, and Bloomberg.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Rethink the onboarding process. Whether it’s a product or service, customers no longer need a simple quick-start guide; they want a roadmap that clearly demonstrates how your company fits into their life for the long run. This roadmap can take on different forms of branded touchpoints and collateral: an actual visual map of services and products the customer can move to and use, an email and video long-haul nurture series, custom presentations, even one-to-one customized hello videos from your support staff to the customer. This type of introduction is not used nearly enough in our screen-heavy digital landscape!

If you position your product or service in a way that shows how the customer can graduate from one level to the next, or move laterally between products, or even onboard colleagues, families, and friends, you are defining the relationship from the beginning rather than leaving it up to the customer to define that relationship for you. This sense of security from the beginning – the message that clearly conveys the customer belongs here and showing them precisely how they fit – strengthens the bond, builds habitual use of the product or service, and opens the door for referrals, too.


Zondra WilsonZondra Wilson

@BluSkinCare

Zondra Wilson is the owner of Blu Skin Care, LLC. Blu manufacturers and distributes USDA certified organic skin care products.

“The best way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Engage your customers with your product or service. Give your customers reasons to keep coming back by showing them the day-to-day value of using your products or service.

Engagement can be achieved through providing ample and clear content about the key functional benefits of your product and offering regular news updates, such as announcements of deals, special offers, or sales you have coming up.


Deborah SweeneyDeborah Sweeney

@mycorporation

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation, a trusted industry leader in online business filings.

“Our company reduces customer churn by…”

Providing over-the-top customer service. We anticipate needs, we respond quickly, and we have great customer service. We believe that once customers begin using our service, they continue to work with us on all of their business filing needs. We are quick, responsive and work hard. Our customers recognize that and continue to use our services, thereby minimizing customer churn.


Chip BellChip Bell

@ChipRBell

Chip R. Bell is a renowned keynote speaker and the author of several best-selling books. Global Gurus ranked him both in 2014 and 2015 as the #1 keynote speaker in the world on customer service. He has appeared live on CNN, CNBC, ABC, Fox Business, Network, Bloomberg TV, and NPR, and his work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Businessweek.

“There are a few key reasons customers leave, but there are also several ways to keep them…”

Customers perceive you are indifferent to their patronage. Customers today need tangible signals you sincerely want them as customers. It can be as simple as thanking customers for their business at point of sale to as complex as designing processes to be customer-centric. For instance, when companies ask for feedback (e.g., survey,
suggestion box, etc.) and there is no indication customer feedback is used or even read, it signals indifference.

It is a hassle and effort to do business with you. Today’s customers have a very low tolerance for bureaucracy they view as unnecessary. The solution is to look at all customer experiences through the eyes of your customers. Eliminate or effectively manage wait time. Craft service procedures to make getting service easy and comfortable. Keep customers informed of any changes. Provide clear explanations.

Over communicate and follow-up. Your frontline employees are ill equipped, ill prepared, and uninspiring. Customers want to deal with people who care about them and care about your brand. Obvious pride from the front line says they are there for a purpose greater than just getting a paycheck. When they lack the expertise or authority to solve customers’ problems, it communicates you are uninterested in the ambassadors that front your brand, so you have no pride in your own brand. It takes a commitment to great selection, support, and training. And, it takes leadership that encourages, inspires, and affirms.


Jesse HarrisonJesse Harrison

Jesse Harrison is founder and CEO of Zeus Legal Loans, a Los Angeles company helping injured victims of accidents file their cases against insurance companies.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Keep your product up to date. Yes, customer satisfaction surveys are good. Yes, sending monthly newsletters is effective. But in America, our economy is driven by capitalism. Everyone is trying to get creative and make something better than already-existing products. If you just make a product and leave it at that, soon it will be outdated and replaced by something better, and your customers will just buy the other product. Imagine a clothing store that doesn’t keep up with current fashion and keeps selling the same thing every day, every month, every year. They will not stay in business for long. At our firm, we also try to keep ourselves informed and updated regarding the latest, so we can stay competitive and keep our current customers happy.


Terence ChannonTerence Channon

@terencechannon

Terence Channon is Managing Director of SaltMines Group, a start-up studio and innovation services provider. The company provides technology and capital to early-stage businesses and works with established businesses on internal early-stage projects and concepts.

“The best way to reduce customer churn is…”

Customer are always valuable, but they are exceptionally valuable to early-stage startups. We see many up-and-coming companies that have a great product but fail to retain customers. Our best suggestion is to always keep learning about your customers and their business. Read press releases, set up a Google News Alert, and read SEC filings. When there is a big story or announcement, drop a line in to your contact letting them you know are watching. It may just float across the wires in your office, but it’s the talk of the town at your customer’s office. Use this chance for dialogue to continue to ask questions about the relationship, the business challenges the customer is facing, and more. Know the stock price, the CEO’s name, the date they are attending a conference, and more.

Using these as legitimate reasons to drop in on your customer keeps you in the presence of the customer and increases your knowledge of their landscape and market, which will make your product better. It will also garner you the respect of your customer. Lastly, it can open up new sales opportunities. See a news release about a new product? Reach out to discuss how your services can help that new product. This knowledge can keep you out of trouble –calling to upsell when the release just hit of a poor financial quarter may not be the best time to ask for more money. If you can show you have a genuine interest in your customer’s well being, you will build products that address their needs and earn their trust. Retention will be sky high among those that meet those criteria.


Nathan BarberNathan Barber

@seoWorks

Nathan Barber is a Digital Analyst for seoWorks.

“There are several effective methods for reducing customer churn…”

1) Be Transparent

It is better to tell your customer that you do not know over lying to them. If you unsure of a question, politely tell them that you will ask a co-worker, and/or get back to them with an answer as soon as possible. You do not want to be caught giving false information or caught lying as your customer will likely not return.

2) Support After Sell

Your job is not done right after you complete the sell. You must go back and offer added on support or marketing techniques to bring them back through the sales process. Offering discounts, other promotions, or events is a great way to increase customer retention.

3) Personalize Your Emails

Nobody likes an unnamed email. Make sure you are personalizing your emails with names and thank you references to make them feel appreciated.

4) Educate Your Customer

Taking your time to explain specifics and subtleties will instill a sense of trust for your customers toward you.


Bryan ClaytonBryan Clayton

@YourGreenPal

Bryan Clayton is the CEO of GreenPal which is best described as Uber for Lawn Care.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is…”

We reduce turn for what we call red flag metrics. We look for the common leading indicators that could tell us if somebody is about to turn out, which is one of the following:

  • Hasn’t logged in in a while
  • Has not opened our transactional email
  • Has not responded to our behavioral messages 

When a user has been tagged with more than two red flag metrics, we give them a personal phone call to ask what’s going on and how we can do better.


John TurnerJohn Turner

@UsabilityGuyPGH

John Turner is CEO/Founder of QuietKit, which provides guided meditation for beginners (for free).

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Reach out to existing customers and ask them how their experience is. But don’t do it in some sort of ‘fill out this 39 question survey’ approach, but genuinely check in on how they are doing and if you can help them with anything.

Leave it open ended, and make it easy for them to get back to you. A simple way to do this is to automate emails to customers at certain key points, either after they take (or fail to take) a certain action, or at certain points in time, ask them openly how they are doing and if you can help, and let them know they can just reply to that email.

By presenting a request in such an easy to respond to and open way, you’re not only more likely to engage with customers who might churn out, but you’ll also uncover issues that you can quickly fix to help keep existing
customers happy.


Russell SilverRussell Silver

@russellmsilver

Born and raised in Toronto, Russell has been a serial entrepreneur since high school. Most recently he has founded Fetch, the simplest way for companies to understand their customers through 1-tap surveys.

“The single most effective way companies can reduce customer churn is by…”

To put it in context, we automatically email the customers of online stores 1-tap (extremely simple) surveys after they place an order to help stores better understand them, then reward them with promotions to boost lifetime value (i.e., reduce churn).

We identified three cornerstones that companies should follow to reduce churn:

1) Engagement – Your relationship shouldn’t end when the customer’s payment goes through. You should follow up within 2-4 weeks and at least every 6 months after that. We have found email to be most effective.

2) Care – Typically business is a 1-way street (i.e., they purchase a product from you). But if you can get them to contribute back to the business (i.e., giving feedback), customers grow a sense of attachment to the brand and are
less likely to leave. This reciprocity creates a real relationship that you can’t buy.

3) Promotion – This is an easy one, but good old-fashioned promotions are always a way to keep customers coming back.


Diane HelbigDiane Helbig

@dhelbig

Diane Helbig is an international business and leadership change agent, author, speaker, and radio show host. Diane is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling and Expert Insights, the host of Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio show, and the founder of Business Opportunity Network, a group coaching/referral sharing program.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Consistently provide the solution they are expecting with outstanding customer service. Customers expect to get what they are sold and to work with a company that is committed to providing that solution.

Customer service is a major key to client retention. When customers feel valued, they stay. Companies should always consider what matters to the client and then seek to meet those needs and expectations. When the company is
following through on their promise, connecting with clients on a regular basis, and responding to clients when they reach out, they will keep those clients for the long term.


David BittonDavid Bitton

@PracticePanther

David Bitton is the CEO of Practice Panther, a simple and secure law practice management software for lawyers and firms.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is by…”

Not giving up once the sale has been made. Once a lead becomes a paying customer, the sale is still not over. You must make sure your customers are raving fans by continually educating them and helping them get the most out of your product or service.

Some of your customers may have issues, and instead of calling, they tend to look for alternatives and give up without giving you a chance. A simple phone call once a month goes a long way to reduce churn.


Christian SculthorpChristian Sculthorp

@sculthorpseo

Christian Sculthorp is a marketing director with six years experience in web advertising, specializing in SEO. He’s currently trying to increase the MRR at AgencyAnalytics, an all-in-one reporting platform for marketing agencies.

“The single most effective way we’ve found to reduce churn is to…”

Send out NPS surveys. By implementing in-app surveys we found that churn was reduced by as much as 30%.

NPS is a scoring system where customers can grade your company on a scale of 1-10 and leave you a comment as to why they left that score. This has allowed us to pinpoint customer concerns and overcome them before they churn.

Anybody who scores between 1-6 is likely to leave within 30-90 days and is given a high priority. Many times the customers just want their complaint heard or they need direction with the software. Without NPS surveys we
wouldn’t be able to get that vital information before they leave.


Brian GattiBrian Gatti

@InspireBizCon

Brian Gatti is a marketing consultant and co-owner of Inspire Business Concepts, a Phoenix-based marketing strategy firm that works with small- to mid-sized business dealing with issues like customer experience design, improving customer lifetime value, and reducing customer churn.

“This isn’t a quick tip, but it is the most effective way to reduce customer churn…”

Closely managed customer experiences. If your firm is experiencing customer churn, it’s often caused by friction in your processes, not because your service no longer meets a client’s needs. Typical points of friction are when sales transitions to service (the service doesn’t work as promised), when customer service fails to deliver (a problem occurs and the customer service representatives don’t have the will or ability to fix it), or when the service itself is unreliable.

We recommend closely evaluating where in the process flow customers tend to depart. Look for patterns in the issues that arise and in the customer feedback that’s provided.

As an example, imagine a firm where the customer feedback was that the price was too high. The problem is that customers know what the price was when they started and they all started dropping off at the three-month mark. A
review of the situation would show that the payoff expected at the three-month mark wasn’t happening, which meant that the service wasn’t priced right for the customer.

So the firm needs to set the expectation up front that the benefits kick in at month four (and see if new or existing customers will accept it at the same price), lower the price (because they can’t deliver at three months) or find a way to deliver at three months (and keep the pricing the same).

Either way will reduce customer churn because expectations are now properly managed and the firm can be successful in meeting them.


Glenn RubensteinGlenn Rubenstein

@adoptermedia

Glenn Rubenstein is the founder of ADOPTER Media, a full-service podcast advertising agency.

“Companies that want to reduce customer churn should…”

In addition to recognizing why customers leave or stay, it’s also important to recognize what your long term customers have in common.

What are you giving them that they can’t get anywhere else? Is there a certain personality type or corporate hierarchy that is a good fit for how you do business?

Once you better understand the profile of your long term customers, it’s easier to focus your customer acquisition efforts toward that criteria. On the flip side of that, you can de-prioritize going after customers that you don’t have as strong of a track record with, which greatly reduces churn.


Chris ScullyChris Scully

@TotalBiz360

Chris Scully is a management consultant that works with small- and medium-sized businesses. In that capacity he assists his clients in putting in the systems they need to achieve their goals for their businesses. This often includes things like improving customer service and improving teamwork internally (they go hand in hand). He has worked with businesses in a variety of industries including restaurant, interior design, real estate, construction, engineering, printing, insurance, and others.

“The solution to customer churn is two words…”

Be Awesome.

This subject tends to be overly complicated today, yet it is ultimately very simple. Repeat business is built on two things: great product + great service. Good enough isn’t going to cut it. The practice of selling a Minimum Viable Product creates customer churn. Think about it; by definition such a product is not the company’s best effort. It may not even approach the competition in terms of quality, so why should customers stick around?

If you’re a regular customer of any company, it’s because they do something better than anyone else. They may not do everything better than everyone else but the things they are the best at (in your opinion) are the ones that are the most important to you. So, it also behooves the company to survey its regular customers about what it is that keeps them coming back. The company can then emphasize those things in its promotion as well. This will attract more customers with similar needs/wants who will be likely to also become regulars.

I’ll give you a personal story from the customer viewpoint to illustrate my point:

My wife is gluten-free and (mostly) dairy-free. That diet restriction limits our choices when it comes to restaurants we can go to for breakfast or brunch. We started looking seriously for restaurants that served good gluten-free pancakes and waffles. We tried over a dozen restaurants; some were better than others, but only one stood out. We went back a second time and tried something else on their menu. Since then it’s been our go-to spot for brunch. They did gluten-free pancakes and waffles better than anyone else, plus they had great people working there who were friendly and provided good service. There were tons of other menu options we could pick and choose from, most of which could be served with gluten-free toast. Those things made them an awesome find for us. If anyone ever asks either of us about a good brunch spot, this is now the first place we recommend.


Brandon CarterBrandon Carter

@bscarter

Brandon Carter is an engagement and loyalty blogger for Access Development.

“The best thing a business can do to reduce churn is…”

Position each customer for the best experience as soon as they walk in the door.

Every business has an essential action. For example, when you sign up for Netflix, the service walks you through the process of adding content to your list so that when you finish your first movie, there’s another one waiting for you.

Twitter almost forces you to follow a bunch of interesting accounts after you create yours. The more interesting accounts you follow, the more likely you are to login a second time.

It’s called onboarding in the digital world, but the same concept applies offline. For a restaurant, it may be new customers need to try an appetizer and dessert. For most businesses, it may be just a solid buying experience plus getting the customer to sign up for an email list, or give a Facebook like.

It could even be as simple as communicating your values to customers, something companies like Patagonia and Whole Foods do well.

The point is to prove your value as quickly as possible, and set the customer in position to experience it on an ongoing basis.


Garrett MehrguthGarrett Mehrguth

@gmehrguth

Garrett Mehrguth is the CEO of Directive Consulting, a Google Partner and MozLocal Recommended Agency serving mid-enterprise level firms. He has been published in Moz, Ahref, Convince and Convert, Wordstream, Raven, Local Search Ranking Factors, and more. He has spoken at MozCon Ignite, General Assembly, PeopleSpace Innovation Labs, SoCal Code Camp, and others.

“The single most effective way for decreasing customer churn is through…”

Careful onboarding and detailed customer attention on a weekly basis. We have experienced a drastic decrease in churn with little things like letters and big things like weekly meetings. The key in keeping churn down is treating each customer as you wish to be treated.


Lou AltmanLou Altman

@nextlevellou

Lou Altman is the CEO and Lead Trainer at Next Level Consulting.

“The challenge in business today is to find a balance between new sales and customer retention…”

Given the myriad of metrics available, it is understandable why senior management gets overwhelmed and lost in their bid to create and maintain growth. The research shows repeatedly that 80% of new sales will come from 20% of your customers. It costs 6-10 times as much to acquire new customers than retain existing ones, and 67% of customers who have a bad experience are gone forever. XX% of customers will pay a higher price if they feel they are more valued, etc… There is only one metric that matters – Customer Retention Rate. But how do you get there?

There is an incredibly simple way to reduce customer churn: make it a strategic directive. That’s it. Here’s why this is so effective:

When you make reducing customer churn (or customer retention as I call it) a strategic directive, your company will adopt a customer-focused mentality; it is an inevitable conclusion. This means that ALL of your policies, procedures, tactics, and everything your company does will be in support of the strategic directive of reducing churn.

So adopt it and deliver on it. Trust your staff to develop the policies that support great customer care; after all, they are the ones who know what is going on in the customer’s world, not some market research report. There are some very simple questions that, when answered, will help guide the organization to reducing customer churn.


Cindie KingCindie King

@BlackDog_LogInc

Cindie King is the president of Black Dog Logistics Inc. in Stevensville, MD. Her background has been in sales in the transportation industry. She was a national account rep for a large transportation company for 25 years before starting her own company.

“The best way to reduce customer churn is through…”

RELATIONSHIPS, and the value of them.

Our country’s industrial business environment (my background) is driven by profit. Who can get it cheaper and faster. The huge corporations use their buying power to force their vendors to slash their prices just to be a player in their field. The vendors/manufacturers/service providers lose their way or forget their initial purpose for creating their companies as they eagerly spin the wheel. They stop listening to their employees, their managers, and supervisors, and all communication comes from the top down, period. Their employees lose their drive and are just showing up to get their paycheck, because who cares, right?

So what happens to the customers of these companies? They focus solely on price, just like the huge corporations. Why? Because there is no more RELATIONSHIP with the company they used to buy from. They never hear from their rep unless it’s regarding a price increase, a reduction in product quality, or reduction in services. Gone are the days when both parties worked together to meet their goals.

Value the RELATIONSHIP with your customers. LISTEN to them. When they see that you hear what they are saying, and witness you adapting to help solve their issues, they think twice before taking their business elsewhere. And the RELATIONSHIPS with your employees are equally valuable. Never stop listening to what the folks in the bottom trenches have to say – that’s where your customers hang out.


Randy HayashiRandy Hayashi

@paymentdepot

Randy Hayashi is the COO at Payment Depot. Payment Depot is disrupting the card processing industry by shifting to a membership model where the customer only pays the wholesale rates that are set by the card brands and the company never takes a percentage of the transaction. Their goal is to keep their members for life and build a relationship where they can’t help but tell their friends about Payment Depot.

“We believe the best way to reduce customer churn is through…”

Exceptional customer service. Payment Depot is in an industry with extremely high churn as well as competitive pricing. So in a race to zero when it comes to margins, service is the area where we can stand apart.

The bar is set embarrassingly low in this industry, so there is a huge advantage for us when we treat people like the valuable customers they are, rather than a number. We don’t have scripts and our customer service team is able to spend as much time as needed with each customer to understand their problems and find them a solution. We want them to connect with our customers and become friends, because we expect to have our customers for two to three times the industry average.

Our service team is instructed to listen to the issues and do what is right. There is not one script or set of procedures that works for all customers, and we want to be able to hear what is happening and handle the problem properly. There is nothing worse than calling into a customer service line and having them solve a problem that isn’t even what you are calling about, because they went off of a script instead of listening to you.


Frances SchagenFrances Schagen

@FSchagen

Frances Schagen is a business strategist and designer of the small business operating system, SB/OS. Find out more at BusinessOwnersSuccessClub.com.

“Traditional businesses focus the majority of their resources on getting new customers. If that’s your focus, then of course, you will get churn. It helps to think of your customers as…”

Going on a journey with you, from their problem to their solution. Your business must serve and delight your customers by solving the problem they have.

Every customer journey begins and ends with serving and delighting your customer. It is your delighted customers and the stories you tell about them and they tell about you that will attract the right customers for your solution. It doesn’t matter if that solution is a cup of coffee, the perfect pair of shoes, or accounting service. The first encounter with your customer must be all about making them feel welcome and that they made the right decision. Then solve their problem in a way that serves and delights them, and the cycle begins again.

In other words, focus the majority of your business efforts towards turning your current customers into raving fans.


Dr. Lisa FairweatherDr. Lisa Fairweather

@FairweatherMed

Dr. Lisa Fairweather owns and operates the aesthetic medical spa DailyGorgeous located in Colleyville, Texas. She is also a seasoned psychiatrist helping adults with ADHD and addiction.

“In my experience, the best way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Improve communication and appreciation. To lose contact with a client is to neglect that relationship and risk losing it altogether.

Although many businesses embrace multiple touchpoints in their customer relationships, too often it’s impersonal, unbalanced, and too sales-y or executed poorly. It’s much more than the frequency of communication that matters. It’s the content and context.

Follow-up calls, handwritten thank you notes, unexpected gifts or birthday cards, and well-timed surveys (mostly about them, not you) communicate to a person: you matter to us.

As our medspa business continues to make deliberate communication more authentic and regular, I repeatedly hear from customers that it’s these little things that keep them content and coming back.

I’ve also discovered that many of our customers who try one of our competitors on for size end up returning to us because it’s a relationship and not just a business transaction.


Billy BauerBilly Bauer

@RoyceLeather

Billy Bauer is the Managing Director at Royce Leather, a family-owned American lifestyle brand.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to…”

Engage your customers with your product. Give your customers reasons to keep coming back by showing them the day-to-day value of using your products. In other words, you have to make yourself (your products, services, offers, etc.) a part of your customers’ daily work flow.

Engagement can be achieved through providing ample and clear content about the key functional benefits of your product and offering regular news updates, such as announcements of deals, special offers, or sales you have coming up.

It is also a good idea to ask for continuous feedback. For example, ask your new customers what their first impression of using your product was. This will help you to better understand the initial impact that your products are making.


Fareed RajaFareed Raja

@FareedRAhmed

Fareed Raja is an author & Marketing Strategist at KinHR.com, a web-based app that helps you manage new hire onboarding, employee data, time-off tracking, and employee reviews and objectives.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is to understand that…”

Customers churn when they think that another product or service has a feature that you don’t have, even if you do. Therefore, emphasis should be put on educating your customer. The first 90 days are crucial when it comes to onboarding your brand new customers. Spend this time educating your customers about all the benefits your product or service provides, and constantly ask for feedback.


Emily McIntyreEmily McIntyre

@McIntyreWrites

A coffee-slurping, world-traveling brand strategist + storyteller, Emily McIntyre specializes in connecting businesses with their customers, no fuss. A journalist and co-founder of two coffee companies, she lives in Portland, OR.

“The single most effective way to minimize customer churn is to…”

Learn WHY customers are churning, and adjust the customer flow to ease their pain points. There is always a reason when customers order just once or twice, and never again: is your product too expensive for the value offered? Is your shipping causing issues for customers? Does your messaging and customer communication match the promises you actually deliver?

Personally reaching out to customers who have churned and respectfully requesting information on why they left is the best method to learn this. For large brands, a little listening-in on social media can also offer clues.

Once a list of common issues has been identified, the company should determine which issues can be resolved easily, which need long-term solutions, and which have no solution, and change course accordingly.

Remember as well that shifting churn rate down by just 1 or 2 percentage points is a huge triumph. The churn rate is often stubborn, and one of the most important (and telling) metrics for business longevity.


Vitaliy VerbenkoVitaliy Verbenko

@helpracing

Vitaliy is a Marketing and Support Advocate at Helprace, a help desk and customer service software. He has been into customer service ever since he co-founded a small construction company five years ago. He holds a BA from Canada’s Ryerson University and has a passion for business growth and customer experience.

“Most believe that while running SaaS business, the best way to reduce churn is through…”

Customer onboarding. In reality, churn occurs when you attract the wrong type of customer, either by a) convincing them they need your service when in actuality they don’t, or b) by failing to differentiate between key features of importance to them during your communication. Customer churn exists because a customer’s expectation of your product during initial contact (first visit or free trial) does not match their reality. This is akin to providers offering a free gift if you sign up now. Such statements are usually viewed with skepticism. If for some reason the gift doesn’t pan out (or doesn’t meet their expectations), the customer will leave disappointed and likely tell friends and acquaintances to avoid your company in the future.


Rob RistagnoRob Ristagno

@SterlingWoodsGr

Rob Ristagno, an expert in content monetization, is the CEO of The Sterling Woods Group. Media executives, publishers, and content creators work with him develop new, primarily digital revenue streams. Rob previously served as a senior executive at several media and e-commerce companies. Rob started his career at McKinsey and holds degrees from the Harvard Business School and Dartmouth College.

“The single most effective way to reduce customer churn is…”

This will be the most boring, but also the most effective method: make sure you are processing your payments correctly. I have seen double-digit improvements in retention rate by having a solid payments processing strategy in place. You should do at least three things:

1. Sign up for the card updater programs from your payments processors (e.g., Account Update from Chase Paymentech or Card Refresher from American Express). This will automatically update card numbers and expiration dates as they change.

2. Establish a declined card recycling program. Transactions get declined from time to time. If you get a soft decline (usually do to insufficient funds), you should try again in a few days. (Don’t bother re-trying hard declines; they usually result from stolen cards or canceled accounts).

3. Motivate customers with expired cards to update their expiration date. The best way is to get them to purchase something new and ask at checkout. If this isn’t possible, consider offering an incentive (a discount, free product, etc.).


AJ SaleemAJ Saleem

@SuprexLearning

AJ Saleem is the Director of Suprex Private Tutoring, a leading private tutoring and test prep company based in Houston. AJ has created a big dent in the private tutoring market by offering well-trained, high qualified teachers who are also dynamic instructors. The company also operates in New York and Chicago.

“Customer retention is often considered the most important part of a company because maintaining the same customer is cheaper than finding another. Here are some ways companies can reduce customer churn…”

1. Offering the same deals for new clients and old clients. Several companies that I have used in the past would often offer great deals for new clients only; this process would cause many clients to simply quit their company and switch because they are not valued as much.

2. Retention bonus. A business should off a client a set retention bonus at the end of every year. This usually means that a customer would generally wait until they receive the retention bonus and leave. However, that would also mean that the longer they delay the less likely they will cancel the service.