Customers leaving your business for a competitor or other alternative, aka customer churn, is detrimental to your customer lifetime value as well as your ability to grow as an organization. You know that increasing customer satisfaction and building stronger relationships with customers can improve retention, but the question isn't why it's how. Here are three effective tactics for reducing customer churn:
Set customers’ expectations (and meet them!)
One of the root causes of customer dissatisfaction, and therefore customer churn, is a mismatch between customer expectations and your performance as a business. This isn’t necessarily because your staff is failing at customer service or your employees aren’t trying their best. In fact, they may be nailing the goals you set for them. The problem is that the customer’s expectations have not been properly set.
To ensure that customer expectations are realistic and attainable, take a look at your sales tactics, salesperson training practices, and marketing. Your sales team and marketing department's messaging should be fully aligned with your service team when it comes to setting expectations.
Plus, with properly set expectations, your service team can often exceed them, which improves customer satisfaction and further reduces churn.
Communicate added value to your customers
You know your company (hopefully!) is providing value to your customers your competitors can't match, but don’t assume your customers already know that! When you incorporate an added value, a perk, put in extra hours for a rush job—whatever it is—communicate that to your customer. Let them know that your company goes above and beyond to add value to their experience. This can be done very informally (and usually should be). Simply say, "I threw that in on the house." It’s not a matter of putting a competitor’s service down, either. The goal here is to highlight just how great your service is.
Listen to your customers
When your customers are telling you something over and over, listen! When one customer is telling you they’re dissatisfied with some aspect of the service, listen! You don’t even have to follow the old “customer is always right” adage. What you do need to do is demonstrate to your customers that their opinions matter and that you want to get down to the bottom of why exactly they’re dissatisfied.
And here’s a bonus tip: consistently gather data regarding customer satisfaction, so that you can be proactive when something isn’t going right. With convenient survey apps and services like SurveyMe, listening to customers is easier than ever before.