The concept of “customer churn”, or a customer leaving your business, is as old as commerce itself. In free market societies, customers have control over their hard-earned money and can choose what and where they want to purchase. From selecting a new brand at the store to signing up for a loyalty card to pay for it, we make decisions that cause churn both personally and professionally every single day.
So, given that churn is prevalent, what can be done to curb or reduce it? One common tactic that has become popular over the past decade, especially in the B2B industry, is the concept of a “customer success” team. Here are a few reasons why companies are implementing customer success to alleviate customer churn.
- A customer success team improves your customer knowledge – The main goal of a success team is to ensure a customer is satisfied with their experience utilizing your product or service. What’s the best way to accomplish this goal? Know as much about your customer as possible! Talk to them, facilitate surveys, and gather insights to understand their true pain points and why they churn. Once you identify their problems with your business, you can begin working to resolve them.
- Success lets you save the relationship before it’s too late – Identifying common issues is one thing, but how do you know which customers with these concerns have the highest risk of churning tomorrow? Find out who’s truly at risk and prioritize them by leveraging customer success technology that includes sentiment analysis and distress measurement. This way, you’ll be able to see what customers are at risk and closely monitor them to determine the best course of action.
- Constant dialogue keeps the door open for new opportunities – Pursing additional businesses growth with a customer that is considering leaving your business may not make much sense in theory. But, it’s often a highly successful tactic put into place by customer success teams. When evaluating customer feedback, many businesses find that “price” or “value” are among the leading reasons for churn. If this is the case with your business, it doesn’t always mean lowering the price is the best tactic. For example, if your success team encounters a customer who thinks your software is too expensive, have them let the customer know that a value bundle with on-site software training also exists. This way, you can split your profit margin between two offerings while also creating more value for your customers. In addition, you’re also increasing the loyalty a customer has with your brand by boosting their knowledge of your product. The more a customer values your company and everything you do, the less likely they are to leave your business for a competitor.
In short, businesses can alleviate customer churn by learning more about their customers, prioritizing communication tactics, and increasing the value of conversations by being flexible with customer feedback.
The need for customer success isn’t going away anytime soon and the era of “one and done” customer communication is over. If you’re not having ongoing discussions with your customers, with a strong emphasis and willingness to meet them half way to make them happy, then you’re probably not going to see a decrease in your customer churn rate. It’s really that simple. Listen to your customers and keep their needs at the forefront of your business objectives. If you do this, and it’s not an easy task, you’ll see over time that customer satisfaction metrics will trend upwards and the total number of customers that churn will go down.
About Robert C Johnson
Robert C. Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of TeamSupport.com, a cloud-based, B2B software application built to help customer-facing support teams serve clients better through stronger collaboration, superior teamwork, and faster issue resolution. A seasoned executive and entrepreneur who has founded and invested in numerous software and high-tech companies, Robert’s industry experience as a business leader and a customer inspired him to create TeamSupport to give Support Desk teams the tools and best practices to enhance customer loyalty and positively impact product sales.
Prior to founding TeamSupport, Robert was President and CEO of Sundance Digital, one of the world’s leading providers of automation software to television and cable broadcasters. The company was sold in 2006 to Avid Technology (Nasdaq: AVID).