Most business, especially those that have subscription or membership products/services, are concerned with their churn rate – the number of customers they lose as time passes. You may not think that has much to do with inbound marketing, but it actually involves one of its key components.
We’ve covered how inbound marketing aims to attract visitors to your website, where they become a lead (thanks to your great content) and, ideally, are then converted into a customer. But the final step in the inbound marketing process can be one of the most beneficial: the “delight” stage. Once someone has become a customer, you want to make them happy; because a happy customer is a loyal customer, and loyal, happy customers will sing your praises to their friends and family. These delighted customers become “promoters” of your business and your products/services.
By reducing your churn rate, you will have more promoters out there in the world. And a referral from a promoter is not only very effective, it’s also free! That’s a price even the stingiest manager would approve. So let’s go through some tips to reduce your churn rate:
1. Provide quality customer service
This should go without saying, but good customer service is essential for keeping your churn rate low. Not only should you be pleasant and helpful when a customer visits your business, you should also be available for follow-up questions and assistance. If a customer has a problem with one of your products/services, you need to be available to help them out and make sure their problems are resolved. The customer-business relationship can’t end when the purchase is made and you have their money – you need to maintain a great relationship so they remain a customer for the foreseeable future. If you’re unresponsive or unavailable, a customer will feel unappreciated and will take their business elsewhere.
2. Understand your customer
Aside from keeping them happy, you should also listen to your customers as much as possible. Actively seek their feedback via surveys on your website, email campaigns and social media, to find out what they like and dislike about your business. Are they pleased with your products/services? What could be better? And once you have the information, make sure you do something with it. If many customers want to see something different from your products/services, make changes to address their concerns.
3. Cross-promote and cross-sell
It’s unlikely you have just one single product or one level of service that your business sells; and it’s just as unlikely that any random customer has already purchased everything you have to offer. That’s why it’s important to cross-promote. This is where keeping track of your relationship with each customer using marketing automation software (such as Hubspot) can be so beneficial. Marketing software allows you to compile information on leads and customers, so you know how long you’ve been interacting with them, what pages they visit on your site, and the products/services they have purchased.
Once you know what a customer has already purchased, you can market additional products/services to them. Since they’re already a customer, they’ll be more willing to entertain your sales pitch; plus, you already have their contact information on hand. Send them periodic emails to highlight additional services you offer.
4. Keep them engaged
Social media is already an integral part of inbound marketing, but it’s not just for trying to get new customers – it also helps keep your current customers engaged. Using social media purely for promotional purposes is boring and will turn customers off. Social media is all about interactivity and connecting with people, so have some fun with it! Take advantage of a popular social media event like #ThrowBackThursday (#TBT) – where people post old photos of themselves on Thursdays – by posting an old photo of your business, or a photo of your business’ owner from their younger days. This will increase your favorability in the eyes of current and potential customers, as well as generate some positive attention.
And by all means, post links to new offers or products on social media as well. Just remember, it can’t be purely self-promotional. Nothing will make someone “unlike” or “unfollow” your account faster than realizing it’s basically a marketing tool.