Do you know the 3 easiest ways to increase customer churn rates?
The first way: Infrequent or non-existent customer contact. The second way: Poor follow-through when resolving issues. And, drum roll please, the third way: Disconnected customer churn prevention activities.
Seriously, the fact that I am writing this post attests to the existence of a whole lot of folks in your organization who are completely committed to executing this strategy. Including your leadership. And they are very successful at their jobs.
Infrequent customer contact is an incredibly easy way to increase customer churn rates!
Contacting customers once a year, just before it is time to renew their contract, just will not cut it from the customer’s perspective. Alternatively, you have lengthy projects, such as those found in manufacturing and construction. Every now and then, your organization “sticks close to customers” by sending out a “so how are we doing?” survey.
Either way, infrequent customer contact communicates that your relationship with customers is transactional. Plus, according to HBR, you interact with only one customer touchpoint when, in fact, there tend to be 6.8 customers involved in every buying decision. Why leave customer retention in the hands of only one person who, in turn, tells the rest of the decision makers about how infrequently they hear from you?
Poor follow-through when resolving issues is another easy way to increase customer churn rates!
Customers have issues and contact customer service. Then, there a follow-up call or communication is promised. Except that follow up does not happen due to faulty post-call follow-up processes. To add insult to injury, the customer receives an automated follow up survey about the quality of their customer experience (CX).
As a result, issue resolution becomes the responsibility of the customer, who opens multiple tickets with multiple customer service folks. Then, that customer is inundated with reminders to complete the now-multiple, post-call CX surveys generated from all those open tickets. Consequently, customer retention is left in the hands of, you guessed it, automated CX survey instruments and poorly-created customer care scripts. Why should that customer continue to do business with you?
Disconnected customer churn prevention activities are amazingly effective in increasing customer churn rates!
The goal of increasing rates of customer retention leverages creating better and better customer experiences throughout the duration of the customer lifecycle. Except, when pre- and post-sale customer contact is disjointed and reactive, rather than strategic and continuous, how can your organization create continuous and enduring client outcomes?
Take a solid look at the quality and integration of customer retention systems. Chances are, you will find that they are not well-integrated, at all. In fact, pre-sales activities may cease once the contract is signed. And, post-sale teams may be outsourced, with little investment in the quality of how well they add value by lengthening the customer lifecycle.
- While your organization may have processes, do your people feel their role in customer churn prevention is over once they fill in a form or complete a chart?
- How much do you rely on CX survey results to project churn rates? It just could be that you are overlooking factors which make additional customer segments more vulnerable than you think.
Take the next steps towards creating and executing a rock-solid customer retention strategy.
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Image source: iStock