Reducing sales churn is the holy grail of every sales director.
The more customers you lose – churn – the less likely it is that your company is going to grow significantly any time soon. You see, the cost of acquiring new customers is far greater than retaining the ones you already have.
Sure, of course, you need a constant supply of new leads and prospects entering the sales funnel, but don’t let that cloud the importance of existing customers and their likelihood to churn.
If your business is churning customers more frequently than you would expect, you need to find out why, and fast.
There are multiple reasons why your churn rate might be high – everything from a bad product experience to poor communications.
And that’s what you need to find out.
How to burn the churn
If you’ve armed your sales team with modern, smart, and efficient sales CRM software you’ve already taken the right steps to burn the churn.
Your customers came to you because you could provide them with a resolution to their problems. They stayed with you because you did something right, but now something has changed, and it’s your job to find out what.
Your CRM software can provide you with all the data you need regarding every lead, deal, and customer who has entered your sales pipeline. That information is golden, the more you know about your customer, the easier it should be to keep them on board.
In order to keep your valued customers on board, a good CRM dashboard can show you just where the churn may have begun to occur, and more importantly, what you might do to stop it.
Here’s a list of suggestions that can go a long way towards helping you retain your valued customers and greatly reduce churn rates right across your entire sales process.
Deliver on your promises
OK, this might sound like a no-brainer but, keeping your promises is the first step to reducing customer churn. Even at times when you can’t deliver on your promise your customer needs to know this immediately. Your inability to deliver might not win you any awards there and then, but your honesty and integrity will be remembered when it comes to your customer’s decision time. Trust is one of the major weapons in your armory in the fight against churn.
Onboard like a pro
Your customers are new to your product or service, that’s why they need you to take them by the hand and lead them through the whole onboarding process. It might take you time to establish the correct steps for a great onboarding process, but once that process is in place your customers will thank you. Anything that speeds up the learning process – tutorials, videos, one-on-one consultations, conference calls, or any other means of imparting the necessary knowledge – can really help to keep your customers loyal.
To keep satisfied customers onside, keep them in mind. Try to remain in contact with them even when a deal is not on the table. Your CRM software can keep you reminded about dates of note – birthdays, anniversaries, events, etc. Take time to let your customers know that you haven’t gone away and that you haven’t forgotten them.
Get your customers’ opinions
Knowing your customers’ thoughts about your product and your customer service goes a long way towards understanding their mindset.
Send well thought out questionnaires, the answers will help you create the optimum overall sales process with reduced churn. Your CRM software can help you target specific groups with your questionnaires, thus ensuring you are getting the right feedback from the right people. This article will explain how to get customer reviews in detail.
Featuring your satisfied customers’ testimonials on your website, in your newsletter, or in any other outlet is a great way of demonstrating the value of your customer. Prospective customers and existing customers – in danger of churning – can be revitalized by exposing them to the satisfaction of existing customers.
Once you know your customers’ satisfaction levels, along with their pain points, addressing any concerns which arise can reduce churn dramatically.
Segment your customers
Segmenting your customers into groups according to their place in your sales pipeline – recurring customers, new customers, customers at risk of churn, customers with special concerns, etc. – can be vital to ensuring that you stay engaged with their needs at all times.
A quality CRM will allow you to segment your customers in such a manner and ensure that they can be targeted specifically and exclusively. Personalizing communications with each individual group can nurture continuous engagement, more successful deal conversion, and cater directly to prospects in danger of churn.
A CRM can also automate reminders and triggers, and it can also produce the metrics and reports you need to visualize your customers’ satisfaction levels.
Keep the conversation going
Even when customers are not active in your sales process stay aware of their needs and offer them valuable free content – videos, testimonials, eBooks, etc. – to ensure they stay engaged. Newsletters with informative, interesting, and engaging content is also another great way to remind your customers and your prospects that you still exist and still care.
Know your priorities
If you’ve accurately used your CRM for scoring and ranking your potential customers you can save yourself and your sales team a lot of valuable time and effort dealing with customers who show little prospect of converting.
Nurturing relationships with highly-ranked customers helps build a habit of being better equipped to identify leads and prospects with a higher chance of conversion.
Say it with flowers
OK, it doesn’t have to be flowers, but presenting small occasional gifts to valuable customers is a great way of saying that you still care and that you are open to engagement whenever they are ready. We all love gifts and free stuff, make the most of it.
Happy is as happy does
Use the value of your happy customers to the limit. Be sure to constantly (but not too often – your CRM can keep you reminded) make them aware of your gratitude for their support and continued loyalty. There’s no other form of marketing that works as hard for your benefit than your happy customer list. Invite them to events, awards, outings, and make sure they’re included first in any company news, improvements, or announcements.
As we said at the beginning, it’s a lot cheaper to retain your satisfied customers than it is to source new customers, so give them the respect they deserve.
Nurture is the enemy of churn
Armed with great CRM software, a little common sense, and a lot of respect for your customer base churn can become a thing of the past.
Sure, there’s always going to be someone who won’t be happy and will want to take their business elsewhere, the truth is that there’s very little you can do about that.
Retaining satisfied customers and converting prospects is all about the nurturing process – treating customers as valued associates with the aim of building long and lasting relationships. However you go about this nurturing process, it’s never a waste of time or effort and goes a long way towards keeping churn to a minimum.