Ask The Business Coach: 10 Techniques to Combat Customer Attrition
Content was originally published on Inc.com on October 26, 2016.
You work so hard to bring in a new customer, yet so many businesses play passive when it comes to actively combatting attrition.
Think of how much you spend to attract a new customer. You have lead generation costs… sales costs… higher fulfillment costs as generally a new customer needs a higher level of support than an experienced, established customer of yours.
Carl, one of my business coaching clients, spends between $500-700 per new customer in his business. Kimberly, another client, spends roughly $300 to bring in a new customer.
What do you spend acquiring a new customer?
Clearly retaining your customers matters.
Here are 10 tips to retain more of the customers you bring in so that you can increase your profitability.
1. Identify your key “drop points”. When do you regularly lose clients? Is it at the start? Perhaps you need a better onboarding process for new clients? Is it at the 90 day mark? Maybe you need to find a way to keep your product or service interesting and engaging for your customers? Knowing where you are losing customers helps you get strategic about what to test out to fix the leak.
2. Improve your schedule of communication so that you effectively close up your known “drop points.”
3. Use a timed gift to get someone over a known drop point. Either give them a gift before the drop point to build good will, or build up the value of the “coming” gift that they get after the known drop point.
4. Deepen the relationship. Get personal with them. Share authentically. Make the relationship more than just “costs/benefits.”
5. Increase the costs (financial, time, convenience, etc.) of switching or moving away from your product or service.
6. Expand your roots in your customer’s lives — become so easy and indispensable that they wouldn’t think of leaving you.
7. Use social proof and share stories of customers who have stayed with you over the long term. Make this the “given” in your customer ecosystem.
8. Negotiate a longer contract term. If you normally work on a “at will” contract, shift to a 1 year agreement. Perhaps add in an automatic renewal if they don’t opt out in writing prior to the 60 day mark before the renewal?
9. Upgrade your value. What can you add that would delight them? What can you simplify or eliminate that would give them a better experience?
10. Pre-complete client steps. If they hate filling out a “new client form”, do it for them. If they have already given you certain information, don’t make them do it again. If they find a specific step in using your product or service difficult or frustrating, do it for them. For example, when I buy a kindle Amazon preloads my account information on the device so it’s ready to use right out of the box.
I think you can see where all of these ideas are leading. A little bit of focused thought goes a long way to helping you retain your clients longer. This will translate into more profits and happier customers for your business.
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